"I'm fat" and other things my children have heard me say

“Beautiful faces are those that wear, the light of a pleasant spirit there; beautiful hands are those that do, deeds that are noble, good, and true; beautiful feet are those that go, swiftly to ease another’s woe.” -Unknown

I am quick to blame the media and culture for the damage done to girls when it comes to their feelings of self-worth. The media is saturated with foolish ideals and hollow worth, and I think I’m better.

But then I hear myself say to my husband, “Ug, I feel fat, I need to lose some weight.” Or “There is no hope for my face, I feel so ugly.” I throw out those careless words and then look over and see my six-year-old daughter coloring near by, quiet, taking in my words. And it hits me.

I am the media.

I am the culture.

I am the one showing her that worth is in a face or the body. I tell her that her worth comes from within, and that God sees the heart, but then I make off-the-cusp remarks about how “I feel” so fat. The truth (the truth!) is that I’m healthy and have an amazing body created by God to walk and dance and house a heart and soul and lifeblood. I have these fingers that type quickly, and toes that keep me balanced, and a mind that is wonderful because of His design.

And so do my daughters. My beautiful, artistic, brilliant, poetic daughters.

I have got to learn to gate my mouth when I want to spew out the venom of self-loathing. I must instead choose to praise God for how I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I want to care for this mind and this body that God has given me, and I will show my daughters to do the same.

Are you with me?

Love, SM

Sarah Mae

Sarah Mae spends her days home-making, home-educating, writing, reading, and drinking salted caramel mochas. Her family embraces life in the beautiful Amish country-side of Pennsylvania. She is the owner of the community site Allume and the co-host of the national Christian women’s social media conference.