Hank’s mom has been staying with us for the last few weeks. She’s a Southern Baptist 90 year old who takes very little medication, walks on her own, reads her Bible out loud everyday, takes her exercises, and works puzzles like it’s her job.
She is aware of what’s going on politically and during the republican debates told us that “they shouldn’t talk that way” because I’m an old lady.
Of course, at 90, she loves to tell us stories about early life and, usually, we are more than happy to listen.
She is very serious about how she looks. She’ll get up at five o’clock in the morning to get ready for the ten a.m. service at church. She’s not going to leave the house without her makeup and hair done.
And I admire that. But there is one thing that I don’t admire about my mother-in-law and that’s how poorly she views her body. She’ll say things about her “big ole’ stomach” or how her ears are “getting huge!” The other day it was a hot and humid Florida day and she complained about wearing short sleeves because of her “ugly old lady arms.” And she wears knee-highs even when it’s a 100 degrees outside so that no one sees her “terrible feet.”
Rather than celebrating her strength and how mentally alert she is, she’s complaining about her looks!
What I’ve learned from listening to her is that we don’t automatically outgrow our negative self-talk. In fact, it can become such a habit that we continue it until the day we day.
Personally, I’m doing everything I know to break that nasty habit. For me, it begins with reminding myself of these truths:
I am created in the image of God!
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness….. 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
I am wonderfully made!
Psalm 139:14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
That’s the spiritual side of kicking the enemy’s butt in this area.
Hank helps me with this because he told me that I should never, ever point out flaws that he doesn’t see. And seeing as his eyesight is growing older along with the rest of him, he doesn’t see as much as he used to. At least not up close!
The last part of this breaking this habit is to go back to obeying one of my mom’s first rules. You remember this because you learned it too!
When you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say anything at all!
Yeap! Sometimes I just need to shut my mouth and move on!