We finally got everyone in the car. Two of our daughters were crying, one hadn’t brushed her hair, the other wasn’t sure both her shoes made it in the car with her. I still had the usual routine left for the drive – to brush my hair and put on make up. But at least we remembered the diaper bag, got out of the house almost on time and were on our way to church. That’s a good day for a family of six with the youngest child still less than a year old!
“You got the kids’ Bibles?” my husband Gary asked.
“Yep,” I said as I rebounded from the bump in the road and wiped off my smudged mascara.
“And our Bible?”
“Yes, I always have one in the car” I said thinly, then scolded the three-year-old for hitting her older sister and picked up and returned the pacifier to the baby. Why was I starting to feel attacked by his innocent weekly routine of running through the church checklist?
Still trying to fix the mascara, I continued, “Moments like this remind me that I need to do something else besides just be a mom. Maybe I should set up more speaking engagements.” Then I found myself thinking, Sure, this is why I graduated top of my class in college… I used to travel the world… I used to run a department at work… Where did that me go?
“That’s not the answer, you know,” Gary responded.
Agitated, I finished my hair. I felt annoyed, like he was looking for things I missed and pointing out my shortcomings. I felt angry and like he didn’t trust me to do something basic like get us ready for church – something I’ve helped do every week since we started a family. Even still, as I got ready, I started to consider what he meant, and my heart began to soften.
I often feel overwhelmed and even like a failure in my domain as a mom because things get forgotten, left undone, replaced by the urgent moments when I have to deal with a blow-out diaper or entire dish of pasta dropped on the floor or the neverending bickering between my oldest three daughters. It’s easy to begin to believe that is all I’m about. To feel my world is limited to the moment and to the circumstances my kids face. To forget that God sees in me a precious treasure, a beautiful woman, and a person who He longs to spend time with and see develop and minister to others. It’s like having amnesia. I forget that to God I am adored as His child, as a daughter of the King – a princess.
In one quiet comment, my husband shifted my view from the minutia to the majestic and limitless promise of God in me. It reminded me of passages like one of my favorites in the Bible, from Psalm 139:
“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake, I am still with you” (vv. 17-18).
Even if I’d forgotten something for church today, that wouldn’t change my worth as a person. (I know that sounds rediculously obvious, but any mom knows what I’m saying here.) The mistakes I make as a mom and the situations that I face with my kids don’t define me. God’s thoughts and plans for me do. And they outnumber the grains of sand. I’m pretty sure even a lifetime of our mistakes and shortcomings won’t even come close to that!
So next time we get all wrapped up in the moment, may I offer the same gift my husband gave me – a quiet reminder that you are indeed a princess in God’s eyes. And He never forgets, even if we do!