How to be comfortable in your own skin

Lately, I’ve been telling Ellie she’s smart, or beautiful, or such a big girl. And she always responds in the same way.

Even though she’s my third, I’m still new to a lot of parenting experiences.  Like potty training, conversations, negotiations, a twin bed, and underwear. I am new to experiencing typical brain development.

I am finally a member of the “I-can-post-things-my-kid-says-on-facebook club.” We call them, “Ellieisms.”

Like, when her nose is running she will say in a panic: “my nose blowing out!”

Or she will gasp and point with one finger to the sky and say, “I have an idea!”

Or she will put her hand on her ear and sweetly look up, “I hear someting! You hear that sound?!”

And, “I’m really hun-ge. I need a nola (a.k.a. granola) bar. My tummy get bigger.”

And the best, “peeing!!”

Conversations with a two year old are new, and beautiful, and fascinating. I catch myself just overwhelmed by the beauty of it all. I definitely don’t take it for granted.

She also loves to dress up. She loves to be a princess, a gymnast, or a ballerina. And every time I tell her, “you are such a beautiful fill-in-the-blank.” And she always responds in the same way.

When we are being silly, tickling, chasing, seeking, I will tell her she is so silly, or goofy, or call her a funny nickname. And she will always respond in the same way.

“No, mama. I Ellie Brynn Boyce.”

And her consistent response reveals a fascinating truth. A truth that I too, need to claim. A truth many of us need to rediscover. A child-like faith owning a God-sized truth.

I am me. You are you. And He calls us by name. Not by how cute we are, not by what we do, not by how other people label us or by who we pretend to be. God just wants us.

My thirties has ushered in more questions than answers. I started asking myself, “who am I?” “What do I want my life to be about?” And I think I have started to own some of those answers.  But, as I begin to live out who I am, “Is who I am, enough?”

So, how do we be comfortable in our own skin?

Stop doubting.
Stop comparing.
Stop pretending.

Stop trying to control it all.

You are not your title at work or your title at home. You are not where you go to school or what you study. You aren’t defined by how many kids you have, what they can do or not do, or how you got them. You are not your failures, or your successes. That is just how we and the world choose to define us.

But God simply defined us as His. 

Reminds me of that wonderful book by Max Lucado, You Are Special. Everyone is going around proud or ashamed of the labels they are wearing except one girl. Stickers don’t stick on her. The bad ones or the good ones. I won’t ruin the end of the book, but let’s just say it’s cause she has an audience of One.

I wonder how long this innocence will last for Ellie. I wonder how long it will take for her to believe the labels others will give her, or the secret things she will tell herself. I wonder if she will spend her whole life trying to get back to the way she sees herself right now.

I’ve never had to wonder about these things before for my children.

That’s the simple but profound beauty of Ellie. She loves herself. No more. No less. Not in a selfish or conceited way. She’s just comfortable in her own skin and calls herself by name.

I think our Heavenly Father wants the same for us.

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