There are many things that are learned in this wonderful world of mommyhood. Many are shocking, some are funny, and some are just down right not fun to learn. I can remember when I was pregnant with my 1st child, I was that soon-to-be-mom who wanted to be that strong woman who just strolls through labor…13 LONG hours later my thoughts were much, much, different. I had learned that day that child birth, although magical and miraculous, was simply AWFUL! I would never wish that pain on anyone. Although the process was excruciating, the outcome was AMAZING and in a moment the pain that once was, was now forgotten. Out of that little bundle of joy came many new learning experiences. Many I look back and laugh at, such as realizing that “poop” will always come with crazy experiences. Some I cry about, such as seeing all the “firsts” of life and most of them I still cherish because they were moments that God, in all his awesome power, showed me things and taught me things that have changed my heart forever.
Jump ahead 6 years and 3 kids later and I was standing there in the bathroom getting ready for the day, doing my hair and putting my makeup on, while my little shadow just sat and watched. My 3-year-old daughter sat there on the counter as she did everyday just watching me and playing with my things and she said something to me that struck my heart that I still hold onto today. She said, “Mommy, can I look like you someday?” I looked at her and I told her, “Oh baby, God made you beautiful and he wants you to look just like you!”
Those 7 little words rocked my world that day. It hit me on a physical, emotional, and especially a spiritual level. My daughter wants to look like me! Well what does “me” look like? God used my 3-year-old daughter to speak to me and to show me that who I am reflects on who my daughter will learn to be. What do I look like physically? Am I showing my daughter how to take care of herself and love the creation she is? Am I showing my daughter how to control her emotions and deal with feelings correctly? Am I showing my daughter how to love? Am I showing her that Jesus is my everything and that He loves us? What does “me” look like? Do I even like “me”? Do “I” want to look like “me”? All these questions, feelings, and expectations flooded my heart and mind. It didn’t take me long to take an inventory of things that I have said to my children, different ways that I have reacted or responded to life, several things that I have tried teaching them myself. That day began a journey for me of living a more intentional and purpose driven life with the motivation of living a life that I would want to look like. One that reflects what Jesus looks like. When we accept Christ into our hearts the very essence of the word Christian simply means to be “Christ like”. Who are “you”? What do “you” look like?
Those mornings in the bathroom with my daughter became precious moments where I began to teach her what my heart longed for. We made it fun, so for every little thing I did or used to get ready we used it as a life learning tool. When we did our hair, it became a reminder to think about good things. When I put on eye makeup, it became a reminder of protecting what we look at and see, to always look for opportunities to show compassion. And when I put on lip gloss, it became a reminder to watch what we say and to always be encouraging and nice. It became a practical and hands on way to teach my little girl nuggets for life. I want her to be just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. 1 Peter 3:4-5 “You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” (NLT)
Now, five kids later and 15 years of being a mom, you would think I have this mom thing down, but “ohhhhh, no!” I have messed up more times than I care to admit, yelled more times than I would like to share, and just down right have felt like an awful mom and person more times than I want to remember. There are many days that I do not want to look like “me” and the “me” that my kids, my husband, my family and friends see is not the “me” I ever want to be, but in all those moments of feeling like a failure I am reminded of those 7 little words “mommy, can I look like you someday?” and I begin to ask for forgiveness and then try again.
No one is perfect and I know I am not going to be a perfect mom, wife or friend, but I do know that the more I yearn and learn to look like Christ, the more Christ will be seen in me and that is who I want people to see in me…Jesus. Life is a learning story and we will always have others around us that we learn from and who learn from us. So let them see a “you” that represents Him. You are an amazing and beautiful creation and I pray that God begins to show himself to you and that you continue to walk in His shadow and learn life from His perfect will.
Lord, bless the mommy who so desperately wants to teach her children about your love and design for their life. Not only do we ask that you give us eyes to see the beauty in our moments with them, but give us a heart that will show them compassion for all you have created. Show us who we are in you, because that is who we want to be. Amen.