Luckily, the books that I love will only take you 3 minutes to read because right now that's all the reading I do is in children's books.
My MIL bought Sadie this book, but its become a favorite for our whole family...even the boys love it.
It's called "I Like Myself" by Karen Beaumont. The book is all about how this little girl likes herself no matter what anyone else may think or say about her. She talks about how it's silly for someone to think they could know who she is just by her appearance. I have read this book to the kids 50 times and just recently did I apply it to myself.
I actually thought about how much I put into my appearance. **GULP**
I don't think I am vain, and hope none of you think that either, but it did occur to me that I spend more time running in the morning than time reading scripture. **bigger gulp**
I spend more time in the bathroom getting ready for the day than I do in prayer for myself and my family. Dear Lord, what's wrong with me? I am 30 and have been reading this to my kids for almost a year now and am just realizing that I am going to teach them to accept themselves by the way I like myself and model that for them.
You know how much I want them to love their heritage and their beautiful skin. And here I am not liking myself. What in the poo?
And then it happened. My sweet husband told me on Sunday night that it had happened. We put the kids down and then I ran to the store. When I got home at 9, the boys were still up. This is WAY past their bedtime. I asked Blake what was going on and with tears in his eyes he told me that Owen told him he couldn't go to sleep because he was thinking about something. He told Blake that he didn't want to be brown anymore. *tears*
He told Blake he wanted to be peach like him. I'm sobbing now.
We know that Owen understands nothing negative about his skin, but that he wants to be more like the man he adores. He wants to match Blake.
Blake handled it so well and told Owen how beautiful his skin is. He pulled out I Like Myself and read it to both of them and talked about how God knit our family together so perfectly and He knew we wouldn't match but that it made us more beautiful.
He told Owen about when he was little he didn't like his "spots" either. When Owen was first discovering color he found Blake's moles and called them brown spots and noted that they matched him. He told Owen of how he wished he didn't have them when he was little, but now he loves them because they make him more like the kids.
I told him the same about my freckles. I hated those suckers when I was in middle school.
As much as we think this is about being black and white, its not. I am sure one day we'll deal with those issues. But this day it was about just accepting and loving how God made us. It's about liking ourselves and not focusing on appearance.
I certainly am not saying that it's okay to "let yourself go" but I do think there is a point at which we need to look at how much energy or thought we put into our physical self over our spiritual self. I personally needed to realize that teaching my children to accept their brown skin comes in the form of modeling for them that I like myself!