Don’t you just love kids?

My children teach me all sorts of life lessons. Whether it’s reminding me of the value of ‘play’ and silliness, to slow down and enjoy life rather than rushing from task to task, or even of the fun of dancing around the living room to the Sing soundtrack, I’m so thankful for their influence.

Today’s post is about one such lesson I learned that’s consequently had a profound effect on my life.

A few years ago when my daughter Isabella was about nine months old, I was holding her in front of a mirror one day and letting her admire herself. She was giggling and cooing and generally having a wonderful time staring at her reflection. 

As I enjoyed watching her laugh at herself, I was suddenly overcome with a desire to raise her in such a way that she always looked at herself with the same glee and excitement that she was experiencing in that moment. 

Right then, I realized that as she grew up she would be inundated with messages from the media and culture about what was beautiful and what wasn’t and that this had the potential to affect her sense of worth, just like it has for so many women today. I almost felt desperate as I considered the possible pain that awaits her as she navigates her way through growing up in this world and I wanted to do everything I could to prevent her from going through some of the heartache that I experienced as a young woman. 

As I turned inward and prayed a silent prayer for wisdom in raising my truly beautiful daughter, the Holy Spirit immediately responded. 

This is what I heard: 

“If you want Isabella to grow up and always love who she sees in the mirror, then you must never again speak negatively about yourself when YOU look in the mirror. You are her first example and the way you speak about yourself will have a profound impact on her life.” 

In that moment, I was so struck by the truth of that statement that I made a vow to myself to never again partner with words that depreciated my own value or my appearance. I knew that the way I treated myself would affect my daughter and so I set my intention—from that day forward—to only speak well about myself, especially when I was looking in the mirror. 

This wasn’t about vanity; it was about refusing to partner with words of negativity that belittled who I am and who God has declared me to be.

God knows we have enough external forces bombarding us that attack our inherent sense of worth without us partnering with them in our own self talk.

While I haven’t done this perfectly, I can truthfully say that my self talk has drastically improved.

There may be days where my thoughts will feel negative and occasionally the words come out of my mouth, but my desire to set an example for my daughter spurs me on to speak words of life and affirmation over both myself and her. Even when I miss it, that lesson in front of the mirror that day is never far from my mind.

Now, let me ask you this: 

What’s your self talk like?

Would you want a young child to copy your words about yourself in the way he or she speaks?

If not, it’s not too late to make a fresh start today. Remember, you were that small child once upon a time. ?

Let’s commit afresh to speaking words that bring life.

You’re worth it!

P.S. Want to grow in your sense of self worth and self care in this season? Come join my FREE Facebook group—Change your habits, change your life—2020 Habit Challenge. We tackle one new life-giving habit each month in a fun, empowering environment. Come check it out here!