"Do I look pretty, mom?"

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This morning she asked me, like she does so often now, "Do I look pretty, mom?" She was adorned with a headband borrowed from my bathroom drawer, a hair-clip she found on her bedroom floor, a pink eye patch, crooked glasses and a smudge of lip gloss.  Every time she asks, my heart breaks a little because I know that one day, someone will inflict wounds upon her with their words.  Someday, she will look into a mirror and see flaws.  She will grow up in a culture that has a standard of beauty that virtually no one can attain.  So I bent down, cupped her face in my hands, looked her in the eyes and said:

My precious baby girl, you were made in the image of God, according to His standard of beauty.

Jesus loves you.  Daddy and I love you.  We will always love you.

You are beautiful.

As I stood up, I began to think about a blog post my husband wrote a few months ago titled "My Daughter's Beauty".  {You can read it by clicking here.} In it, he gave a list of practical ways we, as her parents, will shepherd her heart.  We will tell her that the Lord created her with blonde curly hair and deep brown eyes, just the way he wanted her.  We will give her affirmation,  attention, and unconditional love, just as the Father has loved us.  We will teach her that while man looks at the outer being, God looks at the heart.  Where she hears whispers of unworthiness, we will scream the truth that she was created in the image of a God who is worthy.  We will pray that she hears the words we say and that the Lord grants her faith to believe them.

Then it occurred to me--sometimes I need to be reminded of those very same things. Maybe you do too.  So today, just for a moment, close your eyes and picture God bending down, cupping your face in His hands, looking into your eyes and saying saying to you:

My precious daughter, you were made in MY image, according to MY standard of beauty.

I sent my Son for you.  I love you.  I will always love you.

You are beautiful.