Ready for a break from some penny pinching? Here's one more way too random rambling . . . it's been that kind of a week in our home.
Almost fourteen years ago, my friend Nancy and I chatted on the phone one day about our sweet babies. I remember her saying “Do you think they look at us and think we're just the most beautiful thing in the whole world?” As we held those tiny infants, we were the ones who supplied all their needs. We fed them, changed them, cleaned them, rocked them . . . we were their everything. And maybe, just maybe, when those tiny infants gazed as us they thought we were completely perfect.
Fast forward fourteen years (yikes!) 14 years of wrinkles, 168 months of
grey (platinum?) hair sneaking in, and exactly 5,110 days of fat cells increasing entirely too quickly around these hips of mine. (Did I say yikes already?) Fourteen years where I've noticed my laugh lines creasing more daily, my temper flaring a little more readily all too often, and my mama bear instinct so close to the surface some days that I have to beat her down with a stick.
Yup, that's what this crazy mom thing does to us, doesn't it?
For whatever reason, yesterday I worried entirely too long about these well-earned laugh lines, was frustrated by my ~ ahem, platinum ~ highlights, and downright angry at these fat cells that have attached themselves firmly to these hips. (Seriously, wasn't there some better way that God could have chosen to make us all look different?) 😉
I was feeling unattractive, old, pudgy, and more than anything, t.i.r.e.d. That's when my eleven year old begged me to tuck her into bed.
She said she just needed me. Just as I was. Slightly wrinkly, nowhere-near-perfect, and squishy as I am, she wanted this-me-who-I-am-just-like-I-am-right-now. She doesn't care that I don't look like this (goodness, can those Oscar women just put on a pound or two to make the rest of us normal???) It didn't matter to her that I don't craft craziness like this, dress like this, or cook like this. She just wanted me ~ this mess of a momma ~ to crawl up into bed and snuggle up with her.
So of course, I did.
Five minutes later it was my next child's turn. My sweet six year old pulled me under the covers alongside her for her prayers, held me as close as she possibly could, and said (as she so often still does these days), “I just love you momma.”
Thirty minutes later (yup, you can bet I fell asleep with that girl in my arms), I came downstairs to that big-ole'-almost-fourteen-year old boy. He hung out with me on the couch for awhile, then headed off to bed and muttered quietly on his way up the steps “Good night, mom ~ love you.”
The way I look to the world is going to change so much over the next (I'm hoping sixty? at least?) years, but to be cherished no matter what my outward self looks like is just the nicest gift. Even when the outward part of us isn't quite what we may want it to be, the fact that our children still sometimes see us as oh-so-valuable is just ~ well, that's just the best. (I know, I know, my kids are getting older so them thinking I'm awesome occasionally is probably about to fly out the window.)
Guess what ladies? (I'm pretty sure any men hopped off about four paragraphs ago.) 😉 It doesn't matter what we appear to look like on the outside, rather the heart that only our little nest really sees that holds the most value. While you see me here online and I may look okay every once in awhile, my family know the real me. They see this mom who's kind of a nerd, always anxious, sometimes way too excitable, and well, really, just a mess. And the fact that they choose to love on that me, the one that I hide from way too often, is nothing beyond amazing to me.
Be encouraged that we all see shortcomings in ourselves every day, but we are so blessed when those who know us best value us just the way we are. And if you're like me, and occasionally feel like a Gumby doll being pulled in 8,000 directions by your children and your spouse, be encouraged that one day they might not be pulling so tightly, so we might just as well enjoy the ride.
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30