How has the last year been? We are in mid-November with less than eight weeks to the end of the year. What have you learnt? What has changed? What are you thinking about carrying on with you or what are you leaving behind?
I am carrying smiles and peace.
Watching myself in the mirror is an important part of my daily self-care routine. It all started a while back when I was challenged by my coach to really see myself but that is a story for another day. Every morning as I get ready, I do my hair and makeup in a small mirror facing the natural light then I go to a full-length mirror. Why? I want to see how it all works including my shoes.
I look at all aspects and when I am happy with the look, I find my smile is natural and it grows as I watch myself. At first I thought it was vanity to look at myself carefully until I saw how it changed my perception of self and my view of God. The most intense realisation was I had never noticed how big my smile gets when I am happy or how cheeky it is when I am laughing. In time, I learnt to tell what my smile looks like without looking into a mirror. I could be in a conversation and know that my smile is in full bloom, or it is just small and the impact that has on people. I noticed how much larger my smile is than some people around me just because of the shape of my face and how my features complement each other. I realised that God had been very deliberate when He put me together and I could no longer doubt that I was enough.
I can imagine the joy in God’s heart as He created each of us
Psalms 139 reminds us that He formed us deliberately in our mother’s wombs, that nothing of us was hidden from Him and He saw the full substance of us unformed making us as we were the only ones. How then could I think that this really full 200-watt smile was too much? Why would I hide my full-on belly laugh? Why would I doubt that He made me beautiful? I would be lying if I said it was always easy to look at myself in love and appreciate God’s goodness but in time, it has transformed as I have spent time really looking at God’s creation aka me and learning the intricacies of it.
It all changes when you realise that God created you among all the things, He called you beautiful. It all shifts when you realise that you are made in His image and likeness, designed to bring Him glory and honour. It transforms you when you realise you are His image, created to represent him on earth. As I settled into this reality, a quietness settled on my heart and began healing the years of self-doubt and unbelief, starting a process of many more smiles and laughter than ever before.
Smiles are a temperature gauge in my life.
When I think of God’s goodness to me, I smile. When I remember He knit me by hand, I smile. When I remember I am His beloved, I smile. When I remember He calls me beautiful, I smile. I smile because I am loved, I am forgiven, I am the apple of His eye, I am written on the palm of His hand. I smile because when He thinks about me, He smiles and speaks life to me. I smile because I realise I am His image and likeness and nothing can separate me from Him or His love.
When you see me smile or laugh, it is because I now know whose I am and how deeply I am loved. I laugh loud because I am growing in His love. I have peace because I know that every circumstance is geared to make me more like He saw me when He made me. I carry smiles and peace because they are made available by my Father in Heaven.
Child of God, look in the mirror and see God mirrored in you then SMILE.