This morning my 5-year-old daughter wanted to come along on my morning run with me. My kids often ride their bikes while I run but they max out about mile 2. Today was a 4 mile day on my running schedule. I had picked a new route and it looped so I new if she came she would have to go the full time. She was confident she use up for the task so we strapped on her unicorn helmet and took off.
As a disclaimer, I am not what someone would consider an avid runner… as in I don’t run at all. Ha! I’m not even someone who pretends to like running. I’ve just never found my groove. But years ago my husband and I decided we were going to run a half marathon together. I’ve been pregnant or newly nursing, or not found help with our 3 olders kids for everyone of his races so I have either done the 5k, 10k or just haven’t competed with him. A few months ago I decided I wanted to run my race before I was 30 even if it wasn’t going to be together and Jared was willing to support. I turn 30 in November. I signed up for a race in September. It’s only 3 weeks away. Not a lot of time to train to run 13.1 miles… But Jared decided he’d run a shorter race with the kids this time and I’d accomplish the goal.
This morning I was optimistic about my new route. That was I was optimistic up until about hill number 3 all less than a mile in. It was a precursor to a whole 4 miles. 4 miles all up and down hills. I was struggling on one particular hill and so was my daughter. She said, “Mom, I just can’t do it!”. We were both losing steam quickly and sweating even under the early morning sun.
This experience was something my normally very confident daughter had never faced before (and sooo was her mama!).
In that moment, I felt something inside that I’d known since I was little. And in that moment, I knew it was up to me to remind her of what God had showed me in her long ago.
Quickly I got behind her, put my hands on the edges of her handle bars and started pushing her up the second half mile up the hill. As we went I yelled, “I’m Henley Jo! I’m a daughter of God! I have the power!”
Over and over I yelled it as we both struggled up that mile long hill. She joined in quickly with peddling as hard are her little legs could pump those peddles and by the top of that hill we were both yelling, “I’m Henley Jo! I’m a daughter of God! I have the power!!! She literally beamed as we took a much earned water break before we headed towards the next incline.
On the way home we hit a few shorter, steeper hills that were rough. As I slowed climbing these hills Henley started saying quietly at first, “I’m Henley Jo. I have the power… I’m Henley Jo! I’m a daughter of God. I have the power!!!” She got louder and louder the harder it got. Even when she asked for help to finish the climb she would smile back at me and say, “Mom, we’re Henley Jo. We have the power!” It was one of those moments when I was dying and crying at the same time and something I will remember forever.
As I’ve thought back over this experience today it reminded me just how important it is for me to teach my children their own versions of self-confidence. That’s something I struggle with especially on the hard days but having them know their worth is something I think is crucial. But almost more importantly is how crucial it is for us as mothers to know our self-worth, to have confidence in our abilities. Our children watch us. They notice and learn. They pick up on the way we look at ourselves in the mirror; the way we talk to ourselves when we think no one is listening. We are their models. What we teach them, consciously or subconsciously they learn, the mirror and they eventually come to believe.
If you aren’t in a place where confidence is your response, let’s get you there. I know it’s possible and if you need to rely on my own belief for a time until you can believe on your own, so be it. I’m ready for you. When we ourselves are confident we are more able to love ourselves, encourage ourselves and believe in ourselves even when, especially when, no one else is willing or able to do so.
Our worth is infinite. Mine is. Yours is. It is not something someone can take away because it is God-given and predetermined. It is not dependent on the actions of others, the choices of our past or the obstacles we may be facing. Each of us is designed as we were meant to be: with the curves, abilities and resources we need in order to not only be ourselves but also believe in ourselves. And when we give ourselves the freedom to be, in all of our glory, amazing things will happen. They’ll happen to you, to your marriage, your family and the legacy you are striving to build.
You are a daughter of God. You have the power.