Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Conversation to Remember

It all started when my second daughter (age 7) came running into the kitchen in tears.

"She told me I'm fat!" My daughter wailed, her face red from tears and pain.

"Who told you you're fat?"

"My sister!" She cried even harder.

My oldest daughter (age 9) ran into the kitchen a second later. "She told me I'm fat first--"

"Stop!" I said, holding up my hand. I took both their hands in mine and I led them to the dining room. I pulled three chairs out and put them in a triangle--the whole time praying for wisdom from God.

"I want both of you to sit down and I want to tell you something very true and very, very sad."

The tears instantly stopped as I gained their attention.

The entire time I was praying, not quite sure where this conversation was going, but I knew God had a message for my little girls...and for me.

"When God created life, do you know what He made last?"

They shook their heads.

"Eve. As his very last act of Creation, before He rested, He created a woman."

Both of my girls stared at me.

"And when Satan came to the Garden to put into motion the fall of mankind, who did he go to?"

"Eve," they said in unison.

"Yes, Eve. God created Eve last, and I've always believed He saved the best for last. God loves women. He calls the whole body of believers His bride. He chose a woman to bring Jesus into the world. Women are very, very special to God. And that's exactly why Satan went to Eve in the Garden, he knew she was especially important to God. And from that day, when sin entered the world, until this day when you two called each other fat, Satan has been working at destroying women. One of the craftiest ways he does this is by making women believe they are ugly, fat, stupid, worthless, and on and on."

"We can fight him back by calling him those names too!" My oldest said very seriously as she punched the air with her fist.

I shook my head. "No, we can fight him back by never making a woman believe any of those things are true. We can fight him back by building up our sister and telling her she's beautiful and perfect exactly how she is. It's our job to tell other women how wonderful they are, but more importantly, to tell yourself how beautiful you are."

My girls looked at me and I stared straight into each of their faces, one at a time. "You are beautiful and perfect exactly how God made you." I said to both of them. "I don't want you to ever forget this conversation for the rest of your life. I want you to remember where we were sitting and what I've said, because it's one of the most important things you'll ever learn. You are very special to God."

I hugged each of my girls and then asked them to apologize to each other. My oldest jumped up and went back to her room, but my second daughter, the one who had been in tears just moments before, looked at me with her beautiful green eyes and said: "Just today, when I was taking a spelling test at school, I told myself I'm tall and beautiful."

I pulled her to my side and nodded. "Keep reminding yourself of that every single day, and don't let anyone else ever tell you different."

After the girls were both gone, I thanked God for this special conversation and I pray, with all my heart, that my girls will never forget what I said.

Your Turn: Do you remember an important conversation you had with your mom? If you could tell all the little girls in the world one thing, what would it be?


  1. I think another thing that's incredibally important is for girls to be praised for things OTHER than their beauty. To be recognized for being smart, kind, thoughtful, compassionate, creative, etc so they learn that those gifts also have value!

    1. Oh, you're absolutely right, Sarah! In my conversation with my girls I stressed that they are so much more than their looks. They were given amazing personalities and gifts. They're smart, funny, creative, kind, imaginative and so much more. This particular conversation stemmed from their physical insults, so I wanted to make sure they understood that beauty is not in what they look like (no matter their size), but in all aspects of who they are. Thank you for stopping by.

  2. First, you are an incredible mother. Your kiddos are so lucky to have you!

    Second, I remember very distinctly a conversation my mom had with me. I can't remember where we were or how old I was (I am thinking maybe 6th or 7th grade), but I do remember what she said: "Lindsay, more than anything else in your life, be kind to people. If someone is mean to you, remember that there is probably some hurt they're hiding. There's a reason they're striking out. Meet their rudeness with kindness."

    My tears are welling at the thought of this, because my mother was the kindest person I knew. And I remember her telling me this because I wasn't so kind when I was younger. I'm not perfect now, but I do try to remember her lesson -- which she lived out so well -- when I encounter someone who is rude.

    1. Lindsay, you do such an amazing job keeping your mom alive by the way you talk about her, and by the way you live your life. I'm sorry I can't meet her, but I feel I know her well because I know you. She gave you an incredible foundation that will make you an amazing mom too. Her words about kindness are exactly right. Hurting people usually hurt other people, and it takes a lot of self control not to retaliate when you've been hurt or insulted. You are a very kind person! Your mom would be so proud.

  3. I read an interview with Dustin Hoffman about the changes he went through to play the lead character in Tootsie. He said when he was in full make-up, he realized people didn't give Tootsie the time of day. They treated her poorly and dismissed her because of her looks and shape. It broke his heart. He said "As this woman, I had alot to offer, I was a nice person, but very few people saw the person inside...for me,Tootsie was not a comedy."
    There is not one skinny, leggy woman in my gene pool. We're sturdy woman, the lot of us. I have accomplished quite a lot in my life, yet I know certain people who ONLY see the outside of me. And they will not entertain the possibility that I am more then the sum of my BMI.
    How many of them have swum in the Amazon River or written a book? None. Yet, in their eyes, I am an abject failure, because I am not a rail.

    I find it beyond impressive that you took both the girls and sat them down and went to the heart of the problem. The enemy will use our weakest spot to dig the biggest grave, wooing us toward a slow death at the judgmental hands of others.

    Well done,Gabe. Well done.

    1. I watched the interview Dustin Hoffman did and it stuck with me. Thank you for sharing your heart, Jennifer. You're an amazing woman who lives her life to serve others. You've only just begun to influence the world for Christ. I can't wait to see all that He has for you.

      I can already see one of my daughters is more influenced by what others think of her, so I want to settle in her mind that she's so much more. She has one of the kindest, giving hearts I've ever seen and she can soften even the hardest heart. Not to mention that she truly is beautiful. I'm so thankful God gives me wisdom to raise my children. Without Him I'd be lost.

  4. Gabe, I'm commenting a little late, but just have to say, as I read this I kept thinking to myself, "What a good mom." Your kids are blessed to have you. :)

    I've had a lot of important conversations with my mom. (You've met her, so you know how awesome she is.) Some of the ones that stick out so much have been just these past couple years...when she's both directly and indirectly reminded me of who I really am, where my identity is found, what my purpose is and who I ultimately belong to. :)

    1. I have met your mom and she is awesome. :) I've thought a lot about what I'm teaching my kids, and sometimes I'm concerned I haven't taught them enough, but then I remember some of the best conversations I've had with my mom occurred when I was a teenager, and now as I'm an adult. I'm looking forward to having many, many more conversations to remember as they get older.


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