The morning you dread.
Your 5-year-old sobbing before school because she doesn’t like herself.
She started out saying it was because her glasses were uncomfortable at rest time and then the big tears fell with the truth.
“Mom, NO ONE wears glasses in my class. EVERYONE asks me why I wear them. I don’t like them. I don’t want to wear them ever. Please don’t make me. I can see fine. Nothing is foggy anymore. Please, mom. Please.”
Ok, dagger to the heart before 7:00 am and I hadn’t had coffee yet.
There are times when Ella is emotional like her mother and I give her the “toughen up look” and keep us moving. There are few times when she is heartbroken and real tears fall and I know it’s time to hug her with everything I have.
My friend Ashley told me long ago to affirm your kids in their emotions so that was my first instinct, “IT’S OK TO BE SAD! I understand why that would make you sad.” I let her be sad for a minute, and I held my baby tight trying not to cry and praying for the right thing to say.
Then, I broke the news that she was going to have to wear them every day and that she was the most beautiful girl I had every laid my eyes on with or without them. I reminded her of Psalm 139:14 that she was fearfully and wonderfully made.
What seemed to help the most was giving her an answer. My first-born likes to be prepared, buttoned up and never caught off guard. So, she didn’t like being caught without an answer and embarrassed.
The ANGRY MOM in me wanted to say, “Well, you say – why are you short?” but is that teaching her to be Jesus or a light in her class? Heck no, but I thought it.
The GROWING MOM gave her two choices:
“Because that’s how God made me!”
“Because they help me see!”
She got a big smile on her face. Of course, I reminded her of the 15 friends we know that beg their parents for glasses after they see Ella. I remind her that Daddy had them and that they are super cool.
The deal is that glasses aren’t a big deal and this isn’t the last we’ll hear of this. I reminded her that we are so grateful that God gave her glasses so that she can see the board and healthy legs for playing at recess and ears that can hear her teather and so on. Unfortunately, this lesson is just the beginning. Someone has and will mention her thick hair. Your kids have probably dealt with this issue and much worse.
I have heard these situations that sting:
Why do you have two mommies (step and birth)?
Why is your hair that color?
Why are you in a wheel chair?
Why do you talk like that?
Why do you have spots on you?
Why didn’t you get a new backpack this year?
Why don’t you have a golf cart?
Most kids are not mean – they are just curious. And, I can guarantee Ella has asked some other kids questions and unintentionally hurt feelings.
This morning was a PERFECT time to remind her how that can hurt others. That discussion really hit home with her. I reminded her how she was feeling and how mentioning those differences to others might her.
The timing is SO COOL. I was just recently asked to speak to the kids at her school during their morning chapel (date TBD). What an honor and a privilege. God really laid this EXACT message on my heart and I had been preparing some notes on “comparison” in elementary school. I am so excited to get the chance to stand before precious children and remind them they are unique and wonderfully made! And how God has a unique plan for each of them.
I was struck this thought, and trying to work on the best way to say it. Thoughts?
“I don’t want to be ANYBODY but me,
because God has big plans for me!”
“Who am I to mess up God’s perfect creation?”
“If I focus on her, then I miss being ME.”
How exciting is that discussion. Oh my wheels are turning on how to bring that talk to life for a bunch of elementary kids. Let me know your thoughts as I prepare. If you’re in Florida (1 hour or less from Orlando) – I’d be honored and delighted to come chat with your Mom’s group on any of these type topics. Pure joy and passion for me.
So, today as I felt a hard lesson close to home. I am taking away three things.
- PRAY – I will be praying more consistently for protection over my girls’ hearts. And gratitude for JUST how God made them – to show me specifically their traits and gifts and remind me to speak into those often.
- ENCOURAGE – Let me be a model for my girls on how to lift up others and their unique gifts.
- TRUTH – There are things that will never change that will ground my girls’ confidence and security. God loves and them and created them. Their mommy and daddy love each other and adore them. They are wonderfully made. Styles, trends, friends, schools, hobbies and more will change – but who they are in their heart will not change.
A WISE mother of grown daughters (one who wore glasses) sent me this wisdom this morning. Loved it!
“When God marks His children, it is always for their protection – think how God marks us and seals us unto redemption. I couldn’t understand why my beautiful daughter had to be disguised behind ugly glasses, but realized that she might have leaned into her physical beauty instead of the beauty within. I know she won’t understand this but it is all part of the character shaping of their lives; doing what you’ve been told to do in spite of ridicule is a forerunner of obedience to God in spite of what the world says.”