Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes

So, when I was a middle schooler, I had a severely low self-esteem. I was negative, critical, and thought very poorly of myself. I think I was also a pretty clingy friend; a kind of suffocating, energy zapping, joy sucking friend. I've worked hard since I was 14 to change all that, and for the most part, have found a healthy middle ground in the self-esteem and negativity department.

So, as I've shared openly before, the last 2 years have been rough. Really, really rough. As life has been changing around us, I have let myself go. REALLY let myself go. Not just my attitude, but my looks and health. I have started to fall back into that negative, critical thought process. Started to feel hopeless to change anything. Started to hate myself. Especially my body and looks. I've caught myself constantly talking about how fat I've become, how ugly my skin is, how gross my hair has gotten....all in front of my kids. Yes, I'm bigger than I've ever been. Yes, I'm trying to figure out which approach to take to permanently remedy that. Yes, I am embarrassed to go out into public lately because of my size. No, it is not a good idea to share that so openly with my kids.

So, I put on my shorts today and couldn't even get them over my bottom...the same shorts I bought last April to go to Disneyland (and they were loose)...my ever loving and ever encouraging daughter, Madeleine, saw my struggle and gave me a hug. Then she left me alone to wallow in my self pity, so I thought.

Ten minutes later, as we were heading out the door for soccer practice, she hands me a folded note. Not unusual, considering that I get about 4 notes a week from her, normally at bedtime and found on my pillow. Anyway, I open the note and this is what I read:

But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

I realize that this verse may be out of context, but it turns out my 10-year-old daughter has been studying her bible at night and writing in a journal. This journal is a compilation of verses that she thinks may come in handy during certain situations. Like when your mom totally hates her body and is passing down an unhealthy body image to her kids....that might be a certain situation this would help. She knows how to better use scripture to encourage and exhort than I do, at least lately.

I wanna be her when I grow up.


Jenn Nesland said...

You havea wise and very caring daughter! She has heart like her mama!

Stacie Townsend said...

I just saw this comment....but thanks so much Jenn! :)