Several years ago I made my husband a jar of 365 Reasons Why I Love Him. I gave it to him on our anniversary so he could read a reason a day until our next anniversary. I had a lot of fun making it, and seeing his reaction as he read each new reason. I had to get very specific to fill 365 days of reasons. It was good challenge because it really made me dwell on him and his nature. My reasons ranged anywhere from “#9 You can parallel park like a bad ass” to “#293 Sometimes you hold my hand in the car” to “#111 Your dedication to work is admirable, but I never feel like it takes away from your dedication to our family, thanks for that”. Some were silly, some were serious, but all were reasons why I love my husband.
Some days I found myself wondering why Dean loves me. I wanted to read my own reasons every day. But words of affirmation are not a love language of Dean’s; he shows me he loves me through acts of service. But it got me thinking, “why not write 365 reasons why I love myself?” I instantly answered my own question, “Because there is no way you can think of 365 reasons why you love yourself.”
“Challenge accepted.” (Yes, I actually said this aloud to myself.)
I have spent most of my life tearing myself down and hating things about myself (most of which cannot be changed). However, God has been shining his light into this area of my life. I have been slowly seeing my value and worth through His eyes. God has shown me that I am created in his image, and I am his workmanship. Every time I bash myself, I am bashing his creative nature and his masterpiece. Every time I complain about something on my body I am telling God he made a mistake. God doesn’t make mistakes, which means I am telling myself lies. I am challenging myself to recognize 365 reasons why I love myself. I am not doing this to get my worth from what I do or how I look, but to thank God for his beautiful work in me and praise him for his creativity and love.
It is taking me a long time to think of all these reasons, but it’s not about how quickly I can finish this challenge. It is really about the renewing of my mind. Sometimes I get caught up on whether or not someone would agree with what I like about me, or if I am good enough at something to put it on the list. That’s not what this is about. For example, I love that I play the penny whistle. I’m not very good at it, and I don’t usually play in front of people, so I almost didn’t write it down. But when I thought about it, this list isn’t for anyone except for me and God. No one can tell me what I do or do not love about myself because they aren’t me. I really do like that I play the penny whistle.
I will not bore you with my entire list of reasons why I love myself. So far I have 159. I will keep working on this challenge and then write them all down on slips of paper and put them in a jar just as I did for my husband. But I want to encourage you to do it for yourself. Here are some questions I asked myself to help me recognize the amazing workmanship God made me to be:
- What do you love to do?
- What are you good at?
- Where are you passionate?
- Where do you find joy?
- What parts of your body do you like?
- What parts of your personality do you like?
- What have you learned to love about yourself? (I used to hate my freckles, now I love them)
- What specific moments made you laugh at yourself?
- Where do you see God in the world? (I love that I see God in nature)
- What moments were you happy to be you?
- Where do you see God working in your life?
- When have you helped others?
- What promises has God given to you?
- What are some of your quirks?
- What have others complimented you on?
- What are you spiritual gifts?
- How do you interact with others?
- What piece do you bring to your group of friends?
- What do you like about your style?
- What are some specific moments where you were proud of yourself?
- What are some things you would miss about you if they went away?
Will you accept the challenge?