During a visit with my daughters recently, I showed them a photo that was taken of me, and they both liked it, even calling it profile worthy! I, on the other hand, did not like it. In fact, I have to admit that I was fighting back tears. Am I so vain? Am I the only person who does NOT like her picture? I pick apart every little thing! I found myself that day saying, “The trouble with the picture is . . . that it looks just like me! I didn’t even think about the 8 grandchildren playing in the rooms around us. They were busy, as children are. Six boys and 2 girls, ages 12 down to 4 weeks old. Love. Each. One!
It was little Lilly, though, who walked up to me a bit later and said, “Grandma, I like that picture of you! It’s so pretty!” At 5-years old, she is already an encourager. Was she looking for a chance to say that? Was she listening to the adults talking? Oh! I hope not! How easy it is to spill these negative thoughts over onto our little ones, right? Because they are always watching! Always listening. Always tuned in.
Immediately, I realized that these words were spoken in front of them. I did NOT want any one of them to have such negative self-talk. It’s toxic. It’s dangerous. Its . . . self-destructive! I may have passed it onto my children, but I had an opportunity to stop it today! I would much rather pass on faith, confidence, and truth to these children so they would know they are dearly loved by me and by God; because in fact, he calls us ALL his children (1 John 3:2).
Proverbs 15:4 (NLT) tells us that “gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
God convicted me of my words that day. Not only were they crushing my spirit, but I realized how I could be passing these negative words onto my grandchildren! (Here comes the “mom” guilt! Or “grandma” guilt, which is really the same thing. Worse, even, because my years should have taught me this lesson!)
Fast forward a few weeks, and one day I opened up my email to a picture of my little Lilly. She had come out of her room after getting dressed and exclaimed to her mom, “I feel pretty. Can you take my picture?”
I think you’ll agree with me, she IS pretty! And I haven’t ruined her yet! (Whew! That grandma guilt is gone!) God convicts us in sweet and loving ways, so how gentle of him to use children to teach us to watch our words.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14).
Journal / Reflection Questions
- What does your self-talk sound like? Is anyone else listening?
- How do you think your self-talk makes God feel? What would he say to you?
- What are some ways that you can instill confidence in your children?
- Is there a change that God is calling you to make in your life?
Cindy Dullum and her husband live in Blaine. She enjoys spending time with family, camping, writing, studying God’s Word, and being creative. She has a passion to see women grow in their faith and encourage each other.