What do you love about yourself?
If you ever want to immediately silence a room, or have every speck of lint picked off the carpet, pose that question – as I did – to a group of women sitting on the living room floor.
What is it about yourself that you really, really like?
A minute passes by awkwardly. They might not know what it is about themselves that they love, but I get the feeling they really don’t prefer me right now.
How has God made you, that brings joy to the world, by just by being you?
I’ve never had exactly everyone in a room desperately not look at me at the same time. I note some panic rising via red splotches and nervous twitches. There is suddenly plenty of throat clearing and smart phone fumbling to accompany the furious carpet-lint picking.
Another sweaty minute crawls by.
The silence is deafening, but the carpet around where each woman is sitting is immaculate! It’s amazing how women are still productive even in their most distressed state!
When does this question become so hard, sisters? And why is your answer important?
What do you love about yourself?
I ask this question from time to time, and have never once heard a woman say that the thing she loves about herself is that she is thin. I have heard a woman be proud of herself for losing some much-needed weight, but that is different, isn’t it?
Being proud of yourself is not the same thing as loving yourself. To love yourself because you are thin enough would be utterly tragic.
I’ve also never heard a woman say the thing she loves about herself is that she can run a marathon, a house, a company, or the show.
Being competitive and top-notch in your pursuits is not the same thing as loving yourself. To love yourself only because of what you can accomplish in this life is unsettling.
The same goes for having just-right clothes, hair, bra-size, teeth, nails, skin, social invitations…
Loving a self-made image is not at all the same thing as loving who we are at the inner core. Loving a carefully crafted (and expensively purchased) image is a futile sadness.
A woman will sometimes try to be sneaky and say that the thing she loves about herself is her children, or her husband, or her parents or friends. It’s a good try, but loving your family is not the same thing as loving yourself. It’s just not.
What do you really love about yourself?
The answer to that question – when you figure it out – will remind you that there is this totally non-threatened God who made you exactly your beautiful self, because he loves you.
This same God delights in you. He sings over you! He has made you perfectly and uniquely you.
No strings attached.
You don’t have to love him back, or thank him, notice him, or even believe he exists.
But, if (or when) you do…
…you might decide you want your strings attached to this kind of God.
This God freely gives us our beauty, our life, our breath, and even our freedom to not love him back. His hands are wide open. His designs for you are only healthy and good.
It makes me want to sing back to him. I find delight in him!
But mostly, I just want to say thank you.
“Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.”
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness.” (Zephaniah)
Peace, and great joy, to you and yours.
I love seeing your beauty shine.
2 responses to No strings attached
I thank God for His gifts being manifested through you in your perspective and grace to record so beautifully His heart for women. I love receiving your entries and the fragrance of Christ they always leave with me.
How humbled that you would use our family in your blog. I drove by your empty house yesterday and longed to see your family. I miss the chickens! I am grateful we can stay In touch through modern technology! We skyped with one of your family members last night. We miss you and are grateful for your friendship.