Teaching Your Kids to like What They See in the Mirror (Even When You’re Not a Fan of Your Own Reflection)

I listened to their gleeful giggling from outside the upstairs bathroom. From the narrow crack between the hinges and the door, I could see both kiddos sitting on the bathroom counter, merrily singing and making silly faces in the mirror. Their squeals of delight filled the tiny space as they altered their features, trying to make each other laugh. Clearly they were having a ball.

My thoughts turned wistful. Boy I wish I liked looking at myself in the mirror that much.

hand mirrorJust a few hours earlier I had been bemoaning my own reflection. Not out loud like my happy children – more of an internal air horn, blasting discontent. Complain complain. Grumble grumble. Woe is me.

The post-shower post-surgery sight was rather discouraging and slightly frightening to look at. The full length of my right leg, from hip to ankle, was covered in teeny tiny scars that my kids had lovingly titled Mommy’s Bullet Holes.

The surgery was to alleviate the aching and throbbing that had been my daily reality since our second child was born. The vein walls had officially called it quits, having had enough between changes of circulation and the pressure of scoliosis (a fancy name for a really crooked back). I was excited to be pain free. But rather depressed to have a leg looking like Swiss cheese.

It dawned on me that somewhere between childhood and motherhood, something had drastically changed in my perspective. From delight to despair. Nowadays I didn’t want to see the girl in the mirror. Now if I looked too long, all I noticed were the numerous things I felt were wrong with me.

As I brooded over my distaste for my reflection, I felt a tinge of guilt. Here I had been telling my children how their bodies were “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14), and I was demonstrating that I thought the very opposite when it came to my own body. The hypocrisy hit me. I’d been preaching how they were created “in the image of God” (Gen. 1:27), and here I was dissing my own God-crafted image.

For goodness’ sake, I had even written an article for MOPS International on the topic of true beauty – how we are to embrace who God has made us to be. I had ardently told the mom world that our worth is more than the contents of our bathroom drawers. Even with all the mountains of makeup, lotions and potions found there.

How and when had my self-image plummeted to such depths?

Further reflection spurred on a desire for action. I knew something needed to change. And straightaway. So I started putting sticky notes of scripture on my mirror. Reminders of who I am in Christ. Chosen. Holy. Beloved. Like our ministry bible verse – Ephesians 2:10.

hand mirror - chosen.holy.belovedHow about you? What do you see when you look in the mirror? A mess? Or a work of art?

For all the moms out there, I say it’s time for a Mama Makeover. Not on the outside. But in our hearts.

It’s time to live boldly. Live bravely. Live beautifully. Like we truly believe that WE ARE all those things.

It’s time to embrace what we see staring back at us from all those lovely mirrors.

Together, let’s strive to live out the truth that we are God’s handiwork, and in turn, pass that legacy of loveliness on to our children. They’re just waiting, watching from the sidelines, looking to us to set the example.

And the glorious reality is this:  We serve a good God who loves to create good things. Let’s believe it, mean it, and live it.  Live it like we mean it.

For we are God’s MASTERPIECE! He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,

so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.

~  Ephesians 2:10


Anne-Renee Gumley

Anne-Renee is a full-time mom who works part-time at her family's party store. She has two children who keep her laughing, a husband who keeps her smiling, and an itch for writing that just won't go away.

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About Anne-Renee Gumley

Anne-Renee is a full-time mom who works part-time at her family’s party store. She has two children who keep her laughing, a husband who keeps her smiling, and an itch for writing that just won’t go away.

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