As moms it’s easy to dive into an undertow and swirl around in worries that defeat us and damage our joy. What we feel are imperfections in ourselves like shyness, a less than perfect body, a bombed birthday party for little Johnny, or even a feeling of unworthiness can cripple a happy, productive life and can even be transferred to our children.
During youth outings, life group socials, and even in my own family, I’ve found that the moments that sometimes help me step out of my own "dropped head syndrome" is to see the beauty in others through the gift of affirmation.
When they were little my children would sometimes ask, “You love me the most don’t you?”
I would respond with a big hug and say to whichever child was asking, “You know what I love about you? I love the way you sometimes take my hand and want me to run with you to discover something exciting. I love the way you always want me to watch you when you learn a new soccer trick. I love the way (and just know I'm not clueless to what you're doing) you smile and rub my shoulder to calm me down when I get mad at you. I even love the way you take my breath away when I see you doing something daring and maybe even a little dangerous. I love you for being exactly the person you are.
At night during youth mission trips, we would sometimes get in our pajamas, form a circle with the girls, and would take turns telling the person to our left what we had observed during the day that made us respect and love that person even more. Everyone always had a turn. We would also anonymously send "Encourage-a-Grams" to each other. Those positive statements did three things: allowed each person to see their positive attributes instead of the negative ones, made us more caring and sensitive to each other, and caused us to work harder on showing the love of Christ. Needless to say, those times of sharing bonded us together. On more than one occasion we shared tears of thankfulness for the group and what had been shared. It was such a sweet time of fellowship.
“Elizabeth is beautiful because she is incredibly accepting and welcoming of others. She listens to me, REALLY listens. Her big heart even out glows her beautiful smile.”
“Carly has the most exciting sense of adventure. I smile every time I see her have ‘that look’ of trying something new and fun!”
“Mrs. Jane is beautiful because she has generously touched so many lives. She has taught so many life lessons to me and all those around her. She is the strongest woman I know. She reflects the love of Christ.”
My own son once told me, “Mom, you are Godly but still cool.” (You have to know my son to know that was the ultimate compliment from him at that stage in his young life. Obviously, we were having a good day! I just melted and broke down in happy tears.)
A gift of affirmation and compliments from one person to another can have such depth that it can change a relationship for life. Just knowing someone else sees beauty and significance in me can cause my feelings of self worth to bloom. What a true gift to give! What an easy gift to give!
After 16 years I still remember the beautiful gift of affirmation my son gave me. He says he doesn’t remember it, but I do…
I pray you will take a moment to throw another mom or child a life preserver amidst their undertow and make them feel valued and beautiful today.
Mom 2 Mom
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