I’m a Mom to two beautiful teenage girls. It wasn’t until recently that I was faced with the harsh reality that this world isn’t kind to girls, and it’s not easy to be a girl and feel comfortable with the body God gave you.
I’ve struggled with self-esteem for most of my life, but it wasn’t until I saw it through the eyes of my own daughters did I realize that this self-criticism and feeling of inadequacy is most definitely NOT the way God created us to live!
One of my girls came home from school last year and asked me if her knee caps were too small for her body. I had to ask her to repeat herself because SURELY I heard that wrong. Who has ever questioned their knee caps?!?!
The next week, she told me her nose hairs were too dark.
A week later came the dreaded and heart-breaking question:
“Mom, how can I lose some weight?”
This coming from a bright and confident young girl who was always comfortable in her own skin. I had never heard her question the body parts God had given her until that awful day.
I struggled with this, because I knew that every day she (and we!) are all bombarded with literally hundreds of images and videos that tell us that we don’t measure up.
We aren’t tall enough (or in my case, too tall!)
We aren’t thin enough,
we are too thin,
we have bad skin,
we have big hips.
The list goes on and on.
So how do we counterbalance the noise and remind ourselves of who we are in God’s eyes?
There are two things we need to remember:
1: God created our bodies to be individual and unique temples.
When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, His Spirit takes residence in our body. So our bodies are literally built to be a temple for Him. So we do need to care for the bodies we are given. Diet, exercise, sleep…these are all things that we need to care for our bodies. But we need to be super careful that we don’t cross the line to obsessing about obtaining a body that God didn’t intend for us to have in the first place.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)
2: We need to balance the noise that we see and hear every day with the truth of God’s Word.
The Bible has to much to say about how God created us, and even how He takes great joy in us! We need to drown out the voices that tell us we don’t measure up and read in His Word that all of those statements are directly contrary to what He says.
When my daughter started to share with me her feelings and perceived shortcomings, I knew I needed to find a way to help her see herself as I see her, and as God sees her.
Over the next few weeks, we talked a lot about health, fitness and God’s design of our bodies. As she and I had these conversations, God showed me a simple truth:
Being healthy doesn’t equal being perfect.
Health is eating better (not perfect!)
Health is making better choices (with room for grace when you slip up)
Health is challenging your body with regular exercise that works for you ( and not everyone needs the same thing)
God created each one of our bodies for different tasks, so it’s important that we recognize that we aren’t designed to look or function exactly like anyone else.
“She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.”
Proverbs 31:17 (NIV)
My daughter came up with an amazing idea to track her daily choices. Because each day is a new day to make new decisions towards health. Starting today and making small changes and good decisions will lead to a healthier week, month then year. And if you continue to treat your health as a daily decision, it will change your life!
So Audrey and I created this book for you together. It’s called “Intentional YOU” and it’s a 30 Fitness and Faith Planner. Each day Audrey and I created a space to track all of those small decisions that you will make so that at the end of the 30 days, you can see goals met and progress MADE! And each of the 30 days includes a scripture passage that will speak about God’s truth about you, your health, your body and your faith.
Are you ready to take the challenge with Audrey and I?
Are you ready to tell the world that you are DONE listening to the lies and fill your heart with God’s truth instead?
Are you ready to take small steps and make small decisions towards your health?
If you are ready, I invite you to join us by grabbing a journal for yourself. And if you have a friend who you’d like to do this with, grab one for her, too!
And when you order your journal, please ask to join our Intentional You facebook group. Audrey and I will both be in there. This will be a place where we can all encourage and inspire each other on this journey. So none of us are in this alone.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV) says:
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Let’s stop listening to the voices and believing the lies, and let’s begin living the life being the best version of ourselves..the best and healthiest version of the woman God created you to be!
Apply what you’ve learned
♡In your journal, write out an honest reflection of how you feel about yourself. Then ask yourself the tough questions:
How can I change the things that can be changed? What small decisions do I need to start making daily to begin moving towards that goal?
♡ God’s Word has a lot to say about the woman you are. Look up the following passages and summarize them in your journal. Write out any that really speak to you and post them somewhere where you can see them often.
- Colossians 2:9-10
- Romans 6:6
- Genesis 1:27
- Jeremiah 1:15
- 1 Corinthians 12:27
- Colossians 3:1-3
♡ Pray and ask God to show you the woman He created you to be. Not the woman you want to be, but that you can see yourself as He sees you.