Has Anyone Told You - JJ Landis
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Has Anyone Told You

I don’t want to embarrass my children (after a certain age anyway, ha ha, I know I’ve done plenty-o-embarrassing on this blog) so I pondered the wisdom in posting this drawing. But I think this self-portrait of a ten-year-old says so much. This is how Esther sees herself. She’s ten. She is on the cusp of adolescence. How long will it be until she hates the way she looks? She has all the wrong clothes? The wrong parents? The wrong hair and skin? The wrong life? Thinking of the teen years frightens me. It was just yesterday I was a teenager (yesterday? or was it 22 years? Well, either way…) and I remember the ick all too well.

Esther is all the things she thinks she is (with perhaps the exception of “clean”). And I am glad she sees all that in herself. Had I made a portrait of myself at age ten, I would have said, “Shy, ugly, bad hair, short, flat feet, goofy, lonely, loner, scared of dogs, scared of bugs, scared of the dark, scared of being home alone (I was home alone a lot), can’t sing, dork.”

I guess my parenting philosophy is that I can’t say enough good things to my kids. I don’t give them everything they want and I don’t necessarily want them to be “happy” every minute of every day. I want them to hurt a little with hard work, commitment, chores, and disappointment to build character.

But as they suffer through the pain of life, I want them to hear a million times a day how beautiful they are, how much I like them, how blessed I am to have them, how glad I am that God chose me (and their Daddy) to raise them. I don’t tell them they are brilliant and talented if they are clearly not; my love is static, neither intensified nor diminished by their skills or lack thereof.

My two girls (I’ll leave the son out of this because he is a boy with a whole set of his own issues!) have quite healthy doses of self-esteem and confidence. Something I never had. My one friend tells me it’s all my fault (she says it in love, I think) that Emma (age five) is the way she is (a diva) because of all the doting I did when she was a cute, innocent toddler. That may be true. I may have created a bit of a monsterish, over-assertive, self-reliant child, but I think that kind of “don’t you mess with me” personality will serve her well.

I pray that the confidence and love of self my daughters possess will remain intact throughout the tumult to come. I pray they will be most of all compassionate people full of gratitude who love Jesus and serve God with their whole lovely selves.

We sing this song all the time around here: Every girl young and old has to face her own reflection,
Twirl around, stare it down,
What’s the mirror gonna say?
With some luck, you’ll measure up

But you might not hold a candle to the rest.
“Is that your best?” says the mirror to the mess.
But there’s a whisper in the noise,
Can you hear a little voice? And he says

“Has anybody told you you’re beautiful?
You might agree if you could see what I see.
‘Cuz everything about you is incredible,
You should have seen me smile the day that I made you beautiful for me.”

If it’s true beauty lies in the eye of the beholder
I want my life and what’s inside to give him something to behold.
I want a heart that’s captivating,
I wanna hear my Father say,

“Has anybody told you you’re beautiful?
You might agree if you could see what I see.
‘Cuz everything about you is incredible,
You should have seen me smile the day that I made you beautiful for me.

“Close your eyes,
Look inside,
Let me see the you that you’ve been trying to hide.
Long ago, I made you so very beautiful
So I ought to know you’re beautiful.”

Beautiful For Me by Nicole Nordeman from SweatPea Beauty

4 Comments
  • Peggy Zehr
    Posted at 14:44h, 20 July Reply

    WOW! (

    (I’m not a great reviewer, but wanted you to know I really liked this post.)

  • Mad Guru
    Posted at 21:10h, 08 June Reply

    Nice post.

  • Chantelle
    Posted at 20:15h, 04 May Reply

    Weepy. Again.

    Absolutely poignant and beautiful. Thanks, JJ.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 09:13h, 04 May Reply

    Nice to see you are back on the horse again. LL

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