Posted in Faith, parenting

Finding God In A Sugar Scrub

Life has been pretty busy for my family and me over the past few weeks. Our young adult group was in charge of our Pre-mother’s Day brunch that we had earlier this month.

I was in charge of logistics, praise and worship, the gifts ( did I say it was a busy week) and I was also in charge of giving a word of encouragement for the brunch.

Even though I’m used to speaking at church and church events. I didn’t feel particularly qualified to talk about motherhood to any of these women.

I’ve been a mom for a little over 8 years. Most of the women who would be at the brunch either had children older than my own, grown children or were grandmothers.

What could I possibly say to these women? What could I tell them that they didn’t already know? How could I encourage them?

I looked for scriptures on motherhood. I read about various mothers in the bible. Still, nothing resonated with me. God wasn’t leading me down any of these avenues.

What he did lead me to was one of the gifts I had made for the brunch, a jar of sugar scrub.

Finding Inspiration in the Ordinary

The theme for the brunch was, “A Time of Refreshing”. So I went with a spa gift theme. I looked on Pinterest and found several DIY recipes for sugar scrubs and shower steamers.

It’s amazing how God can take something so ordinary and show you basic biblical truths. It reminds me of the following scripture:

…but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong…

1 Corinthians 1:27

As I pondered over what to say the Lord kept bringing me back to the scrub I had made.

If any of you have ever made one before you know that it’s made of 3 simple ingredients: sugar(or salt), oil, and fragrance. You mix it all together and put it in a jar.

But how was this supposed to encourage these mothers that had seen the ups and downs of motherhood that I had yet to face?

A Mother’s Job

Before I can share with you what He taught me about the sugar scrub. You have to understand one of the core duties of a mother.

One of the primary jobs of a mother or as parents, in general, is to teach our children.

Before our kids start school they are already learning from us the ins and outs of life outside the womb.

They are watching and taking in everything we say and do.

We are out child’s first teacher.

As a Christian mom, one of our biggest duties is to pass on our faith to our children and grandchildren.

Paul in his letter to Timothy says,” I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well (2 Tim 1:5, ESV).

However, we cannot pass on our faith if we are not reading and studying the word of God.

As Christians, the word of God should be our main source of information even when it comes to parenting.

All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of the God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Tim 3:16-17

So what does this have to do with that sugar scrub? Well, this is what the Lord showed me.

1.The jar

Before you make your scrub you have to have something to put it in. Most of the time a glass airtight jar is used to hold everything.

The Lord showed me that the jar is just like our bibles. It holds everything that we need to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. However, just like the jar that holds the scrub, it won’t do us any good if we don’t:

  1. Open up the jar
  2. Apply the contents of the jar

2.The Sugar

Jar of Sugar

A body scrub can be made using sugar or salt. Despite what you use they are both put into the scrub to be used as an abrasive for our skin.

The abrasiveness of the scrub depends on what type of sugar or salt you are using. This helps to remove loose dead skin from our bodies.

The word of God is like the sugar it gently removes the sin(s) that plague our lives and keep us separated from Him.

I say gently, but sometimes the word of God is not so gentle. As mentioned in the scripture above the word can be used for rebuke and correction.

How many of us like to be rebuked and corrected by other people let alone being convicted and corrected by the word of God?!

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

But it is good and necessary for us to be able to live a life of righteousness before the Lord.

3. The Oil

Bottle of Olive Oil

The job of the oil in the scrub is to carry the sugar, comfort and nourish the newly exposed skin, and to soften those hard areas that weren’t removed by the scrub.

You can use coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, etc to make your scrub.

Depending on what type of oil you use will determine the benefits it provides for your skin.

In the Bible, the oil often represents the holy spirit and the anointing of God. The job of the holy spirit is to comfort, guide, convict and lead us on our Christian journey.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance…

John 14:26

Just like the oil in the scrub is carries the word to the places in our heart that need it the most. It help bring the word of God back to our remembrance so that we may be strengthened and encouraged.

4. The Fragrance

Young Living Essential Oils

The purpose of the fragrance is to provide aromatheapy for the user.

This is usually accomplished with the use of essential oils that help promote the health and well being of the individual.

DIY body scrubs usually contain a mix of essential oils that are used to give the scrub a pleasing fragrance in addition to the health benefits that those specific oils are reported to have.

Depending on the fragrance it can help relax, energize or enhance your ability to focus.

The fragrance represents the presence of God that draws us to him. It is in his presence that we find peace, strength, fullness of joy, physical and mental healing, forgiveness, and love.

In short, the sugar scrub is just like the word of God it’s rough and abrasive because its job is to remove the dead weight or sin that keeps clinging to our life.

The oil represents the holy spirit that comes in and restores and softens those places that the word has exposed.

The fragrance represents the presence of God that draws us into him so that he can provide us with therapy for our weary souls.

Reasons Why We Don’t Use the “Scrub”

The gospel of Christ is simple and straight forward just like the ingredients for the sugar scrub.

However, just like the scrub if we don’t use it we won’t repeat any of its benefits.

There are 4 reasons why people won’t use the scrub(word of God):

  1. We don’t like the way it smells. The word of God can be a stench in our nostrils because it points out our sin, which pushes us away from Christ. Or maybe the way the gospel is presented turns us off.
  2. We believe that the scrub is to abrasive for our sensitive skin. There are many aspects of the Christian faith that people find hard to accept. Topics like the bibles position on homosexuality, abortion, etc can cause people to pull away from the faith or ignore those parts of the bible all together.
  3. We feel that the scrub is too oily. We won’t take the time to rub it in and let it penetrate our skin. Often when the word of God offends or convicts us we run away instead of letting the holy spirit do his job.
  4. Finally, we won’t use the scrub because we set it somewhere and forget about it. We don’t make the bible and the study of the word of God a priority in our lives. Our bibles sit in our homes dusty and unused except for on Sundays or during a midweek bible service.

And as parents, we need to get into the “scrub” so that we can be the godly examples that our children and the world need us to be.

That won’t happen if we are not reading our word daily and applying it to our lives.

More importantly, our children will not think that it’s important. If it’s not important to us, then it won’ t be important to them.

We need to ensure that we are passing on our faith to our children through our actions and deeds as women of Christ.

That is the legacy that we are called to leave behind.

Even though this post is written for mothers it can be applied to both mothers and fathers. If you don’t know how to read or study your bible you can read this post on ways to study your bible.

Final Thoughts

I know it may seem crazy, but God really can use the things that we use in our every day lives to speak biblical truths. We just have to pay attention to the lessons He is trying to teach us.

Jesus often used these kinds of object lessons with his disciples and when he was teaching the multitudes that followed him.

I wasn’t expecting to learn anything biblical from making a DIY sugar scrub for a mother’s day event. But I did.

Have you ever learned something about God from the world around you? Have you ever heard an object lesson that taught you a biblical truth? If so share it with me.

I’d love to hear how God has taught you something using simple objects.

If you enjoyed this post please don’t forget to like and share it.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

Posted in Family, parenting

What Not To Do When Your Child Says They’re Ugly

rear view of a boy sitting on grassland
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

You’re beautiful, my sister is beautiful, my brother is handsome, and I’m ugly…No, parent wants to hear their child utter such words. But this beautiful morning my 7-year-old son did.

I was taken aback by his statement. Why would he say such a thing? Who had told him he was ugly?

As a mom, my brain went on high alert.

How do I fix this? How do I convince him that he is not ugly?! Better yet, what child do I need to yell at for saying such a thing to my child?!

So I asked him,” Why do you think you’re ugly?”.

“Well mom my teeth are crooked and my face looks weird”, he said.

“Your face isn’t weird. You’ve got two eyes, a nose, a mouth, and two ears. And everybody’s teeth are crooked at this age. ” I replied.

It’s easy, for an adult, to tell a child not to worry about what other people think. Even though most adults are constantly worried about the same thing.

Sadly, we live in a world that constantly puts pressure on adults and children to be like someone else.

Yes, we are becoming more accepting of different body types, and skin tones, but at the same time still promoting an ideal of physical perfection.

When was the last time you’ve seen a model with acne or movie star with crooked teeth? (That wasn’t part of their character).

Perfect skin. Perfect hair. Everyone needs to have a boyfriend/girlfriend or some unrequited love.

Whether we realize it or not, our children feel the pressure to conform just as much as we do.

In a previous conversation my son told me he didn’t want to be alone.

He needed friends and a girlfriend.

I’m thinking to myself,” Where is he getting these ideas?”

I for one am not a fan of kids having boyfriends/girlfriends in elementary school.

Crushes, sure. But being in a committed relationship at 7 or 8. No, thank you. Let’s just be kids and have innocent fun.

But at the age of 7, he is already wrestling with the ideas of loneliness and what the ideal boy looks like.

And as far as he’s concerned it doesn’t look like him.

I don’t even remember being concerned with those things at that age. I don’t even think I started to really like boys until I was 10/11.

As you can see I jumped head first into this conversation. I will admit that there are plenty of things I should have done differently.

Here are my top 5 tips on what NOT to do when your child says they’re ugly or expresses any other kind of negative self talk for that matter:

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

1. Instantly Correct Their Negative Self-Talk

I think this is probably the hardest part for parents. Nobody, wants to hear their child talk negatively about themselves. Our first instinct is to jump in and reassure them that their negative perceptions are wrong.

However, this is the wrong way to solve this problem. Instantly, correcting their negative self talk sends a message to your child that how they feel is wrong and their perceptions of themselves (whether you believe it’s true or not) are not valid.

2. Take Over the Conversation

The instant my son shared his feelings with me, I began to take over the conversation. Telling him what he was and what he wasn’t. Providing justification why my opinion was right and he was wrong.

This is hard to do, but as parents sometimes we just need to keep our mouth shut. Instead of trying to talk, we should focus more on trying to listen.

Ask your child open ended questions about why they feel or think that way. Let them do the talking for a change.

3. Downplay Their Feelings

As grown up’s we know that children can and do overreact to things. However, that is not a valid reason to brush off or downplay what they are feeling.

In a time where more kids are committing suicide because of bullying and feeling isolated, we as parent’s can’t ignore out children’s emotions.

Children usually don’t come to their parents or adults about bullying and other harmful situations because they think that we will just brush them off or tell them to toughen up.

I know I have been guilty of this with my son, but I’m trying to do better.

4. Refuse To Share Your Own Stories

When your kids are small they believe that their parents are superheroes and most teenagers believe that their parents have never struggled with anything.

After you’ve listened and validated your child’s feelings, then it’s time to share your own stories. Our kids need to know that grown up’s struggle with or have struggled with the same issues that they face.

Low self-esteem was something I struggled with as a child and even as an adult I still struggle with it sometimes.

As I grew older I became more accepting of who I was and my body image. I could have shared my story with him, but I didn’t. I should have.

5. Forget To Lift Them Up

Now is the time to tell your child what you think of them and how you feel about them. Remind them of how great and awesome you think they are.

If you are a Christian provide your child with Biblically based affirmations.

My son decided to give his life to Christ when he was about 5.

As Christians, our self-worth and our self-esteem should be based on Christ not on the world’s standards. 

…I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Psalms 139:14

I reminded my son, of Psalms 139:14,”… I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”.

God has made each and every one of us unique. We are like a piece of art made by the almighty creator.

Some people will think it’s beautiful and some just won’t get it. But to God, we are beautiful. We are his masterpiece. The work of his hands.

Final Thoughts

As a parent, it’s hard to see your child struggling with these issues, but the best thing we can do is be there for our children.

Oh, and don’t forget to give them a big hug and a kiss ( if they’ll let you).

I would love to hear what other parents have to say about this issue. I have 3 more kids that I’m sure I’ll have to go through this with. So any advice is welcome.

If you can think of more tips or things that I could have done differently. Please share them in the comments below.

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Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro