My little one is really cute. And I tell her so all the time. I mean with the faces she makes, the sining, clothes, hair accessories comments, I just can't help it! So one of our sayings quickly became me exclaiming, "Zoe your so..." "Cute," she would reply (it is so adorable how she even says it!).
Then I got to thinking. Do I really want my child to just think of herself as cute.....hummm, no, she is so much more. A smart one for sure. So I began to say that, too. "Zoe your so ______ and _____!" And of corse she would always provide the new answers "Cute" and "Smart". There that's better (now she won't just think looks are all that is important) or was it.
I thought about more as time went on. Identity is such a HUGE issue for all of us and it starts young. What do I want my girls to think of about themselves, to value. I certainty don't want them to put their weight in their looks and struggle so like their mommy did when she grew up, never feeling pretty enough (I remember always just wondering/wishing/praying that I could just look AVERAGE. That's not asking for much. I didn't have to be beautiful but could I just be average... certainty I thought that would make me feel better about myself).
Nor do I want them to put all of their hope in their mental capabilities and struggle as their father did with school (he has had to always battle the feeling of not being able to do things - esp. in the academic department - which has held him back from many things).
So OK, I know I don't want theses things....so what does that leave me with explaining to a two year old. Well, there has been one thing I am learning more and more about lately...How much I am loved. I know I'm loved by my family, no doubt about that, but honestly there is no guarantee that I will always have them (and really just the guarantee that I won't, as death waits for no one when it is time). But I am LOVED so deeply by my heavenly father. And He is showing me more and more how much and deep this is truly is. And THAT is where I can be secure. That He will always be there for me, that He sees me as beautiful, that he will grant me wisdom when I ask and that he is my source of joy.
That, that is what I want my girls to know. In a way that permeates their soul to the deepest darkest parts of today and tomorrows struggles. That they are LOVED! So now, that is what I focus on with my little one with our fill in the blanks. That is not to say that I don't tell her she is cute and smart but that my focus is on how she is LOVED! May they (and I) begin to grasp such at even this early age!
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be FILLED to the measure of all the FULLNESS OF GOD."