Thursday, March 13, 2014

Creating a positive self image & seeing yourself through God's eyes. . . would love your input

In a few weeks I will be speaking to a room full of middle and high school girls, at a church youth retreat. This is equal parts exciting and terrifying for me. It is easy to sit behind a computer screen and share your story, you know. . . to really open up and be vulnerable. Yet, it is a totally different ball game to sit in front of real faces, real eyes, and admit past failures and heartaches. When asked to speak I spent a few days praying about what to do. And within a few days the Lord made it really clear that I was to go, to share my journey, despite how inadequate and unqualified I may feel. It is in our inadequacies and lack of qualifications that God has room to do great things, to move mountains. So while on the inside I wanted to pull a Moses and beg that the Lord choose someone else, I knew I needed to step up and say yes.

The overall theme of the retreat is self image.

Specifically, how does one create a positive self image and see oneself through God's eyes? 

Especially in today's culture. 

I plan to share some of my testimony and also share some practical steps and pointers that have helped me along the way, as well as allow some time for Q&A.

But I would love to hear from you. I would love to share some of your insights as well.

So. . .

What are your thoughts on creating a positive self image?

What has helped you view yourself, and your body, in a positive light?

What steps have you specifically taken to rid yourself of the negative vibe our modern culture tries to instill into the hearts and minds of todays woman?

How do you remind yourself that seeing yourself through God's lens is the most important lens of all?


  1. Man, I wish I had good feedback here, but my husband (and Amanda) will both tell you that I don't have a super positive self image... although I will say that for some reason, pregnancy (x2) has definitely made me infinitely less hard on myself in that department. Probably not helpful to go encourage the middle schoolers and high schoolers to get pregnant though, so with that, I think my comment is officially worthless :)

  2. Man, I'm proud of you for taking on this challenge!! I wish I had some good feedback, but I feel like I could benefit from listening to your talk myself, ha!! I will be thinking, though!!

  3. I really like this quote: "Comparison is the thief of joy." It's true about every aspect of life, but especially applicable with how you view your body/self. I try (try being the operative word) to remember that God designed us all uniquely for a reason, and how boring would it be if we were cookie cutter shapes, sizes, looks, etc? I also try to remember that I am honoring God by being healthy and taking care of myself- not by trying to look a certain way at any cost!

  4. I have to ditto the blogivers' comment. It's a work in progress, and I really can't attribute the progress part to much more than pregnancy and my daughter. I am always consciously thinking of the fact that I need to be healthy and have energy and focus for her, and that keeps me going and making the right choices. But, like the above comment said, probably not a good idea to plant that seed in the minds of teenagers! Ha! I can't wait to hear what you put together. So so proud of you for doing this!

  5. I think the people I choose to have in my life helps me keep a positive self image. These people are great encouragers and build me up when I need it and allow me to share my insecurities and be vulnerable with them. When I need it, they are there for me. I think that also works both ways creating a strong relationship of trust, love and accountability. I have also experienced in my life if I am feeling down on myself physical or emotionally, usually things are out of whack between me and God. Which is always my own fault. It's usually because I am not spending time with Him like I should. When He and I are on the same page, I see through His eyes… including how I see myself. Also, when I am making time to focus on my relationship with God it is easier for me to trust Him when Satan tries to knock me down on my self image. I am nowhere near perfect and there are days where I watch the scale too closely or have a double take when I look in the mirror, but I completely accept that I will always be a work in progress instead of get overwhelmed by my self image. I am so excited for you! I know those girls will be blessed by your story! :)

  6. Hmm. This is so interesting to think about. I have always had a reasonably positive body image, although after 3 kids, the old gray mare sure ain't what she used to be! :-D Still, it does make me wonder what things helped. I think a few things.

    1. Confidence. Knowing who I was, feeling happy and secure in my family, knowing what my talents are, knowing who loves me (God, family, extended family especially).

    2. A little bit of an "F-it" attitude. When there's a lot of pressure on me, sometimes my brain kinda goes to "Ah screw it, I'm not going to get sidetracked by all that." Sometimes this works against me, like when I actually need to stick to a healthier eating plan or exercise plan or clean the stove which is sitting there sooooo grubby right now and instead I'm reading blogs.

    3. "I'm not beautiful like you, I'm beautiful like me." I just love, love, love that quote. Not only do I have a nice enough body that has worked hard and borne three kids, but I have a lot of other facets to myself. I am organized. I am confident. I am smart. I am organized. Mostly organized. ;) Which doesn't necessarily translate to "getting things done".

    I don't know. I guess it mostly comes back to seeing other parts of the self as valuable, even more valuable than the looks, and sort of saying "screw you, you're stupid" to the parts of the world (ie, media) that I see as saying that I'm not measuring up. Honestly look at the people, as a group, running the media. They are self-centered and think they control the world through their control of information, pictures, what they tell us about how the world works. But a lot of that is utter bogus crap. I don't need their shallow crap. Do they know who God is? Do they know Who created them? I love to read those passages where God responds to Job to put my life in perspective whenever I am frustrated with my life or my body or whatever.

    And sometimes I think about how God must see me. As beautiful, His creation, meant to do SO much more than just look a certain way. I am busy. I have three kids to raise, a family to feed and care for. Those are the things He intends for me.

    And I'm certainly not perfect. Like The Frys said, there are plenty of days where my focus is off. And those are miserable times!

    Good for you for sharing your story, and I also pray that they will be blessed by you sharing! Such a brave thing to do!!

  7. I am just getting caught up on your blog from the last week. This is so exciting! I would echo the comment about not comparing - instead, notice and appreciate the differences between you and your friends and view them as complementary instead of competitive. Instead of jealously or nervously wondering who in your group of friends is the prettiest, smartest, etc., see your friends as individuals and thank God that Molly is so talented at sports, that Jessica is so talented with words, and that McKenzie is so beautiful inside and out.

    I'd also touch on the importance of surrounding yourself with positive and affirming people - friends, boyfriends, etc. I have seen too many of our middle and high school girls get torn down by friends and boyfriends that don't view them the way that God views them and don't appreciate their differences, unique beauty, and unique personality. Also, try to find friends that appreciate themselves and aren't always comparing or stressing about their own looks. As much as possible, change conversations of "oh I hate this about myself" to another topic. Those would be my practical suggestions :)

    What a neat opportunity. I am so proud of you for your courage and willingness to accept this chance for God to use you!!!


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