What NOT to say.

I posted an Instagram photo yesterday about how God overcomes our mess with His mercy.

You can view it here.

I just felt the urge to expand that as I have personally been faced with the choice to choose my words wisely. Especially around little lurking ears.

I can easily relate this to my life as a mom. But this can apply to anyone. Whether you have little kids, adult kids, coworkers, friends and family alike. There is power in your words. And your thoughts. You can shift the atmosphere with your words.

That being said, when it comes to YOURSELF, how is your speech?

When you see a photo of yourself, do you automatically pick out everything you DON'T like about it? Instead of finding all the beauty in it?

I am a part of a few blogging communities and one photographer posted this beautiful photo of a a groom and his mother on his wedding day. It was clear and bright with the sun setting in the background. Then, this photographer shared the edited photo that the mother-of-the-groom took, changed and posted on her facebook wall. It was turned into a vintage looking orange tint and had been cropped so you couldn't see her arms or legs. Bascially just zoomed into their faces and the filter changed. But it was so different than the photographers original work and the depiction of the natural beauty of the day.

Some bloggers on this page commented on how she may have been insecure about her skin, or maybe her arms and wanted to take it all out.

And when I first saw the photo, I thought it was so beautiful, so touching, so lovely. I didn't even notice her arms or any "flaws" about her. I simply saw beauty. But I couldn't imagine what she saw first when she saw the photo and all the things she wanted to delete from it.

Don't we all act like that sometimes though? We seem to only see the faults in us (physical or otherwise) instead of being really proud and thankful of all the wonderful things about us.

Knowing that we are all a little "messy" anyways? And that the Lord covers that and refreshes us DAILY.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (MSG)

"God's loyal love couldn't have run out,

his merciful love couldn't have dried up.

They're created new every morning.

How great your faithfulness!

I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over.)

He's all I've got left."

My mom tells me a story of when I was a little girl. She said she walked into her room one day and saw me standing at her mirror and I looked to her and said, "My thighs are so fat! All of the other girls in school are so skinny but I'm so fat!"

Mind you, I was 7 years old at the time.

It was in this moment that my mom realized that I was repeating words I had overheard her saying about herself. She would look in the mirror, disgusted with the size of her thighs and expressing her concerns to herself, while I looked and listened on and picked up what I had heard. And then repeating it. It was a learning moment for her to watch what she spoke out loud and speak life into herself and me. And it continues to be a lesson for me today, as I get the privilege to mother my own little girls.

And WOW... I fail. Often. More than I'd like to admit.

I've been catching myself lately talking about calories and losing weight and how I look without make up on and just put down after put down. How am I supposed to teach my children about their worth and self-esteem when I don't even act like I am overjoyed at how I AM.

I can say all the nice words over and over again and teach them how valuable they are but it is all about what is TAUGHT AND CAUGHT. Meaning, my actions need to back up my words. I still need to set that example in my own doing.

And really... I don't need to keep telling them how special they are.

I need to keep telling them how special God thinks they are. Because THAT is what really matters. People are going to let you down. People are going to disappoint you. But God... He'll always be there. And no matter how many times they mess up, He will never leave. He will never stop loving.

Their true worth and value is found in Christ alone.

I love the videos of parents speaking life into their children. Telling them how strong they are. How capable they are.

And I also think it needs to be backed up with.

God made me strong.

God made me capable.

God made me special.

I can do great things through Christ who strengthens me.

It's all only because of Him. So, I want to give Jesus the glory in all of our happenings. I want my kids to know they are incredible because God is their Father, they are created in His likeness and because of Him, through Him and in Him, they are able to move mountains.

It all stems back to that one picture.

And that His mercy overcomes my mess.

And that is okay that I'm sometimes a mess. And I need to stop looking at the mess and just care what He thinks of me. Speaking life into my situation and that of the people around me and being confident in His provision for my life. He is greater than all the rest.