This past Holy Week, I stumbled upon a beautiful quote by St. Thomas Aquinas. The more I ruminated on the quote, the more directions I felt I could take with this quote.
As I look around, I notice our culture scurries around at a frantic pace. Barely taking time to acknowledge our routines, we pass by the media standards of “beauty,” without so much more of a glance.
And yet, those mild glances have an impact on our subconscious. All too often, we internalize unspoken messages regarding the “ideal weight,” “ideal body type,” the “ideal hair cut,” the “ideal facial structure.”
And then, we go home and begin to subconsciously see how we stack up against these pressures.
Too frequently, we walk away, feeling as though we are a failure –
a failure as a wife…
a failure as a mother…
a failure as a friend…
a failure as a woman.
I realized during Holy Week that we are charged to love as Christ loved. As He hung on the Cross, Christ loved us – with all our human imperfections, with all our foibles, He loved us.
He loves us.
When we are comparing ourselves to others, or even worse, when we are counting up the ways we are “failing,” we are falling into a trap set by Satan. We are heeding Satan’s words on our imperfections… we are focusing on all the things we, as human beings, find to be at fault within ourselves.
But, as Christ hung on the Cross,
He was loving every. bit. of. us!
He was loving our unwashed, unkempt hair as we place our need for a shower on the back burner for our children’s needs to come first.
He was loving the little extra weight we carry around – whether it be due to having a baby, or because we are focusing more on spending time with kids than getting that extra run in at the gym.
He was loving our un-made faces, too often with barely a trace of make-up since our focus was getting out the door on time with everyone dressed.
He was loving the wife…
the woman you were destined to become!
So, this week, I challenge us to think of these lies perpetuated by Satan – the ones that we tell ourselves… that we aren’t good enough, we aren’t dressed well enough, our hair and make-up aren’t just right.
Recognize those lies!
And, immediately turn your thoughts to Christ.
Christ knew you, before you knew yourself. He alone knows your heart – more intimately than you know yourself.
And, Christ loved all of you… enough to die for you.
So, this week, place a sticky note next to the mirror you use every day, and repeat the following mantra ten times a day, simply because we are all His children – in whom He delights:
I am beautiful just the way I am.
I am loved just the way I am.
I am a cherished daughter of God.
This week, or dare I say this next month, I challenge you…