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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom Tip – Who Opinion Counts?

Today, I have a new friend I met at She Speaks…Tracey Steel. Tracey is the author of “Images of His Beauty”; a Bible study for young women desiring to find hope and healing in Jesus. Here’s Tracey…

 

 

Whose Opinion Counts?

I recently received a new body. More specifically, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl 20 months ago. As a result, my body has changed. As I look at my reflection in the mirror, I struggle to accept what I see.

My husband has noticed this and loves to encourage me by asking: “Tracy, whose opinion counts?”

I know, HIS opinion counts.

At first, Chad’s question used to annoy me. Now my heart has grown to love hearing it. Why? His question echoes what my Heavenly Father has been trying to teach me all my life.

Tracy, whose opinion counts?

Yours does, God. Your opinion ultimately counts.

The Bible teaches what God’s opinion of me and my body is. Have I received it?

 

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”

~Psalm 139:14a, ESV

Tragically, I had not accepted God’s opinion of me when I was in high school. I let my dance teacher’s opinion of my body and what it should look like form my opinion. I allowed magazines to deceive me into believing lies about what true beauty is. I tried to be what the boys desired. I listened to everyone else but God.

As a result, I ended up harming my heart and my body.

Thankfully, God was patient with me. I came to receive His son, Jesus, as my Savior when I was in my mid-twenties. Over the last decade, God has used the truths of His Word to align my opinions with His. I was content with my body, until my muffin top expanded.

Getting older is…fun! {smile}

I am realizing that I must embrace who I am and how God has made my body, not only for my own sake, but for my daughter’s sake as well. Now that I am a mother, the stakes have never been higher…

My daughter will be bombarded with the same lies about a woman’s source of beauty and worth that I am. She will be watching to see how I handle the lies. She will want to know what I consider being the TRUTH.

She will be watching when my husband or a friend compliments me. She will be listening to my response. If I dismiss the compliment, or complain by wishing I looked like someone else, she will notice. What does this communicate to her?

If I spend more time at the gym than with her, or spend endless amounts of money on various diets, she will notice. What does my behavior model?

Precious mommy, YOU are made in the image of THE God who is beautiful (Psalm 27:4). When God looks at you, He sees His Son, Jesus. I can’t think of anything more beautiful than He! Therefore,

Whose opinion counts?

 

Mama Makeover Minutes:

I encourage you to grab a pen, paper, and your Bible. Give yourself one minute to write down words that describe you and your body. Don’t overthink, be honest!

Next, pray through your list. Give both the awesome and the flabby over to God. Ask Him to remove from your heart and mind any of the descriptions from your list that do not align with His opinion of you or your body. Ask the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of your heart to embrace God’s opinion of you.

Finally, go get the Truth! Discover and memorize passages in the Bible that focus on beauty, our body, or identity/significance. THIS is who are you are-rejoice! Here are a few of my favorites: Psalm 139:14; Zephaniah 3:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Peter 2:9, 3:3-4.

 To enter for a chance to win Tracey’s book “Images of His Beauty” just click on comments below (or go to www.LynnCowell.com) and share one positive thing from the list you wrote above. I’ll announce our winner on Friday!

 

 

Tracy is proudly married to Chad, a pilot in the United States Air Force.  Whenever they are not being relocated, she loves to drink green tea and watch re-runs of LOST. She also enjoys chasing their two children, Jackson (3) and Katherine (1), throughout their toy-infested home.  Tracy is a Phoenix Seminary graduate and author of Images of His Beauty, a newly released Bible Study, for young women who struggle with self-image issues and eating disorders. You can find out more information about the study and follow her blog at www.onedegreeministries.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OneDegreeMinistries, or chat with her via twitter @tracy_steel. You can purchase “Images of His Beauty” here or on Amazon. 

 

Lynn

Comments

  1. Tracy,

    “When God looks at you, He sees His Son, Jesus.” What an image this leaves in my mind. Thanks for turning our eyes to Jesus today, dear friend and helping us focus on His reflection in our mirrors.

    Blessings,
    Dawn

    • Dawn-thank you for your comment. I love how the infinite and all powerful God of the Universe took time to intimately weave us together (Psalm 139) and create us into daughters that display His Beauty…praise Him! Have a blessed weekend :)

  2. Well, of course my first thoughts were negative about my body, but when I gave it a few minutes, I starting thanking God for giving me the ability to walk, run (for the ice cream truck!), and nurture and give birth to two wonderful children. : ) God is good!

    • Susan-I love running for the ice cream truck too :). Thank you for sharing your positives with us! God is indeed very, very, very good :)

  3. Beautiful truth, Tracy! Reminds me of one of my favorite songs lately. Remind Me Who I Am by Jason Grey. We are His and it’s His opinion that matters.

  4. I love this post, Tracy! You are so beautiful – inside and out. Thanks for the reminder to not look to other people’s opinions, but to God.
    Out of my list, one of the positive things would have to be my eyes.

    • Thank you for your kind words Jamy. I praise God for all that He is and will continue to do in my life (Philippians 1:6) Praise Him! You are beautiful because you are HIS :)

  5. Julie Steinbarger says:

    I’ll be honest, most of my list seems negative to me. I do have a nice smile and I’ve often been told I have an awesome laugh:) Obviously I need to work on my list some more, this book sounds like it would be helpful to me. I have a 15 year old daughter and I am beginning to see her struggle with some of the same issues I struggle with. It would be awesome to change that both for her and for me.

    • Thank you Julie for sharing your heart. My list has its share of negatives too.The more I give my list over and over to Jesus, the more He changes my perspective. Praying for Him to encourage your heart today…I love that your laugh is awesome too:) Bless you fellow mommy!

  6. Angela Koerner says:

    Amazing that I received this today. Just this very morning I looked at myself and did not like what I saw. I will be 55 and menopause has hit the hips and stomach hard. But I also know that I can’t make excuses. When I looked at myself the first thing that came to mind was I needed to go somewhere and start a diet program and my second thought was that I needed to get a tummy tuck!!!!

    This message could not have been more timely. Thanks so much for the eye opener–it’s time to pray on my list.

    • Thank you Angela for your honesty. I am praising God for encouraging your heart today! I know that your time with the Lord in prayer will be an encouraging one. God bless!

  7. As I struggle with raising two beautiful blessings called daughters….I remind them each and every chance i get that the only man they need in their lives is Jesus Christ our Lord….then all else will fall in place. Just let HIM put you in HIS perfect place in HIS perfect time and he will bless you with his significant other he has in mind for you…trust…just simply trust…THANK YOU for reminding us WHO’s real Opinion Matters Most!

    • I love your comment! God finally brought Chad into my life when I was 31. Talk about waiting for what seemed like an eternity:) I trusted in my mind, though some days my emotions tried to deceive me into thinking otherwise :). I will pray for your girls this week. You keep loving and encouraging them. God is faithful to carry out His PERFECT will for their lives.

  8. I have two beautiful, healthy, smart and creative teenage girls. In response to media and secular world demands, our self-image is constantly being challenged. My husband and I tell them constantly how beautiful they are and I typed up a couple verses and stuck on each of their bedroom dresser mirrors as well as on our refrigerator so they can read it to remind themselves. The verse is: Song of Solomon 4:76 you’re beautiful from head to toe, my dear love, beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless. And also Psalm 45:11 The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.

    • Laquita-I LOVE those verses and will add them to my list! Thank you for sharing them with us. God bless you as you raise your daughters in the TRUTH!

  9. As I read this post, I think of my lifetime struggle with image, worth and beauty. I had always wanted to be a mother, but God had other plans. I now understand that my struggle is part of His call on my life. He has called me to edify and encourage women and young girls on their own personal journeys of self-discovery as to who they are in Christ instead of who they are in this world. Instead of focusing on my immediate family, I am called to focus on a larger family.

    In order to fulfill this call, I must choose to believe and embrace who I am in Him – a saved, redeemed, reconciled, restored co-heir who is made in the image and likeness of God. I am beautiful just as I am because I am His.

    • Monica, that is right!!! You are a saved, redeeemed, reconciled, restored co-heir made in the image and likeness of God! I just had to repeat it :)

    • Monica-I love your heart. You know the TRUTH-mega blessings as you go and share it!

  10. Staci Dunn Silva says:

    Wow, this is something I so struggle with. I used to be bigger and now I’m not, however I am constantly doing diets and get down about my body. I really don’t want my daughter to grow up placing such a high value on physical appearance. In my list I would have to say that my positives would be my neck, nose and shins. Still struggling with the rest. Blessings.

    • Susan Eason says:

      This is really awesome. I have 2 daughters (4 kids in all). Sometimes I forget that eyes are watching me and my choices and it is great to be reminded of this.

      • Thank you Susan for your comment! Praying for God to help and encourage you as you raise your precious children in the light of His truth…

    • Thank you for sharing your heart Staci. Love that you are seeing the positives! Keep seeking- you are beautiful because you are HIS daughter! Blessings to you as well:)

  11. My body is “able”. I can walk, see, hear, speak, think, work, hug, love with this earthly body and i forget that there are many whoae bodies dont allow these things i take for granted. Great post Tracy! Very true, we need to be aware of what our daughter see and hear of us in re: to beauty.

  12. Julia Reffner says:

    I’m currently on Weight Watchers trying to make some changes in my body to be a more efficient temple for Jesus. My positives would be my long legs and my eyes.

    • Thank you for your comment Julia. I love that you are claiming your positives! May your heart be encouraged:) You are beautiful because you are His!

  13. I love this post, Tracy! It’s so true how we are quick to “reject” the compliment someone gives us by announcing something negative of ourselves. I know, I do that often and have thought recently it’s not ok to do that. The other person wants their compliment accepted and received well. In addition, I have two boys so although I’m not a mommy to girls, I know the image I bear of myself and my body will be a correclation to the relationship the have with theirs. They’ll also be taking the image I presented their whole life into their own marriage. Defanitley makes my eyes open up a little wide when I think of it that way. Blessings to you!

    • Jenet, I love when you wrote: “In addition, I have two boys so although I’m not a mommy to girls, I know the image I bear of myself and my body will be a correclation to the relationship the have with theirs. They’ll also be taking the image I presented their whole life into their own marriage.”

      This is so true-thank you for bringing your perspective into our discussion! Praising God He encouraged your heart today!

  14. “She will be watching when my husband or a friend compliments me. She will be listening to my response. ” There is such wisdom in this. I’ve worked hard to not discuss my own weight, looks, etc. in front of my daughter. She enters high school this year, so I’m being extra diligent to compliment her on many internal things for every one external thing. Thanks for asking us to list positives. My eyes were the first thing I thought of.

    • Thank you for your comment Jeanette. Most of what I write is what I am right in the middle of learning. My husband paid me a compliment and I quickly shot it down the other night. His disappointed look spoke volumes… That is when the Holy Spirit started nudging me. I am thankful that God is patient as we work through this! Praising Him for our positives tonight:)

  15. THANK YOU!!! I have been wrestling with my body image since I had my first baby girl almost 4 years ago and more in the past 18 months since my second baby girl came along. Last night I was digging through old photos to share at a memorial service and relaized I pretty much REFUSE to be in a picture because of my self-image. Your sharing of God’s words to your heart touched me so much! It is HIS opinion, not even MINE, that counts! Yes I want to be healthy but healthy does not equal what I have been thinking I should be looking like. I also realized the “hurt” from my own mother and her self image and thoughts about my image and how it was molded me. I WILL BREAK THE MOLD!!! I want my daughters to understand that healthy is good, not clothing size or bust size.

    May God bless you for your open and honest sharing of this touchy subject. Amen!

    • Katie, it sounds like you and I are in the trenches of toddlerhood together- hang in there sister! Praying that ” the mold” will be broken! It is hard as young mothers to actually look and feel good when pajama pants are the norm and showers are the exception. That is why I really am clinging to Gods truth over the overwhelming reality of this season. Bless you fellow mommy! You are beautiful because you are His:)

  16. Tracey this is awesome!!! I love this post and you are beautiful. Jesus is reflected in you. I am so honored to be able to call you my friend. I would love to give this book to my 15 year old niece.

  17. A. Walker says:

    I would LOVE to win a copy to give to a friend. I have a friend that has the most awful opinion of her body and I see her unconciously sending messages to her little one. I would love for her to see how GOD sees her!

    • Thank you for your comment! I think you hit on something when you wrote “unconsciously sending…” I am so guilty of this. I am grateful the Holy Spirit has brought this to light and has made it “conscious” now :)

  18. I will gratefully pass these truths on to my 4 teenagers (3daughters and 1son). And, my husband too. We all struggle with sadness due to how easily we “fluff up”. It is a daily struggle. Reminding ourselves that God’s opinion is what matters will continue to lift our hearts into our futures. Thank you Tracy & Lynn (cc:Jesus)!

  19. One item from my list is , my upper arms. Praise the Lord!

    • Thank you Nicole for your comments and for sharing your positive. Thanking Jesus with you for helping us to overcome and heal. It is through the process of doing so, that I find myself loving Him more and more :)

  20. I love being ‘creative’. making projects, using what is available to create something.

    • Cathee-you most definitely are displaying His beauty when you create! Thank you for sharing your positive with us, and have a blessed day!

  21. Amanda Minner says:

    Tracy, God always uses you to speak to me!!! I needed to hear that HIS opinion counts, not anybody else. I am working on believing fully that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am not a model nor am I in the single digit sizes, but He made me WONDERFUL!!! He loves me for my heart & who I am in Him, not in what I look like or what size I am. Thank you SO much for your words!!! I sure do miss our Whataburger meetings!!! LOVE YOU!!!

    • Hi Amanda! I miss our mentoring moments at Whataburger too. Keep praying and abiding in the TRUTH. God most certainly made you wonderful…am praying that the Spirit will sow this deep into your heart and mind…

  22. I have a 12 year old daughter who will be starting Jr. High School in 11 days. I already see that the world and it’s lies about body image are trying to work their way into her heart and the hearts of her friends. Thank you for this post; I’m going to be more on purpose with how I talk about weight/body around her and I’m going to post these scriptures on her bathroom mirror so the truth will be in front of her.

  23. GREAT post for women Tracy!!! I’m embracing these different life phases with you friend! ~ Blessings out, Amy :)

    • Amy-once I get used to one life phase, it changes again! Thankful that Jesus is my constant through it all. Blessings to you as well Amy, and thank you for your comment!

  24. I would love to read this book. As a former teenage anorexic, I know all about body-image and how easy it is to believe the lies. My positive thing from the list? The gaps between my teeth aren’t weird, they’re special! :)

    • Yay Courtney-you have given me another positive to add to my list. I have gaps too :) Thank you for your comment and blessings as you continue to walk with Jesus. You are beautiful because you are HIS!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Today I have the honor of guest posting on her blog. She is also giving away a copy of my Bible Study Images of His Beauty! So come and join me over at Lynn’s blog and discover the answer to the following question: “Whose opinion counts?” [...]

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