(originally written in 2014)
It’s 7:03am and it’s my day off. My precious little Izzy is snuggled in bed with me as I begin my morning with some quiet time. This is my favorite part about Friday mornings. It’s a guarantee that I will hear little feet running through the house to my room early in the morning. And as she enters my bed, she opens the covers, gets as close to me as she can, puts her forehead to mine and whispers, “I love you, Mommy.”
I think we’ll just stay here forever. Right here. Where life can’t touch us.
Well, not yet anyway.
And so our Friday begins. We decide to turn on the song- You Make Me Brave by Bethel Music. We turn it up loud. I can feel that today is a “turn-your-music-up-as-loud-as-it-can-go-to-drown-out-wrong-perspectives” kind of day. And as I start to sing the words, “you make me brave, you make me brave, you call me out beyond the shore into the waves, no fear can hinder me now”, Izzy sings along. She takes my hand, and we proceed to sing the rest of the song together.
Melt. My. Heart.
Tears run down my make-up-less cheeks.
It’s in these precious moments where I want to keep her safe forever. I want to keep her close to me to ward off any idiot who may break her future 16-year-old heart. I want to shield her from every hurt + every disappointment. To hear a 3-year-old sing the words, “Jesus, You make me brave” is a heart-wrenchingly, beautiful sound. I want her to be brave! I want her to cling on to Jesus when she’s insecure or doubting her dreams!
As mothers, we’ve been given the amazing opportunity to prepare our littles for life’s disappointments.
>>>UM, PAUSE BUTTON PLEASE<<<
This is HUGE, right!?!? Do you need a moment? Go ahead.
Breathe in, breathe out. Chug that coffee.
Now let’s continue.
Imagine that each child carries around a toolbox. And inside that toolbox are tools, or learned lessons, that they will one day use when the time comes. Inside my daughter’s toolbox, there’s a tool labeled BRAVE. This tool is used when she battles insecurity and doesn’t think she’s good enough. Or when a friend hurts her and she must choose to love, despite her feelings.
This tool wasn’t automatically in her toolbox from birth. No- it’s a tool that I’ve had the privilege of passing on to her. This tool is used every day when I leave for work, yet long to stay home. It’s used every time I miss a school function or when I travel outside of my comfort zone and take risks. It’s used when the mound of laundry haunts me from work and screams I’m a failure of a mom because I dress my kids from the dirty pile and FeBreze the buh-Jesus out of soccer uniforms.
No doubt that I know this tool backward and forward.
But disappointments leave something, don’t they? They leave a gift, an opportunity, a possibility to create change. The word “appointment” comes from within the word “disappointment”. I know it might be hard to see, but there’s a treasure buried deep in these words.
In this present season, one of the challenges I face is working full-time. And as my husband and I plow the fields in starting a business, one of the realities is that I would need to work for a season. I knew it would be hard, as any new season is, but I didn’t anticipate the disappointment I would face. Disappointment in not spending more time with my kids. Disappointment in things not turning out how I envisioned them. Disappointment in watching others succeed while I chug along at a slower pace.
And to be honest with you, I’ve camped here for quite a while.
Until I opened my eyes to my sweet Izzy-girl lying next to me. All of sudden, it was as if I received new eyes. All this time, I had been focusing on my disappointments and missing the appointments that were right in front of me.
It’s amazing the power we have within us that can cancel all fear, doubt and insecurity with a simple choice. In that moment, I chose to see her. I chose to see her little blonde-haired, blue-eyed face staring at mine instead of the disappointment of missing her school performance the week before.
And even though my circumstances didn’t change at all, everything changed.
How sweet that was.
Like fresh, maple glaze on a hot, homemade donut.
Today, will you put your brave pants on with me? They’re probably in the back of your closet… you know, in your goal pile. It might have been some time since the last time you tried them on, but girl… even if you have to lay on your bed + suck that stomach in, pull those babies up!
Back to reality it is. But sweet Izzy doesn’t agree and asks for “just a couple more minutes, please.” So I will continue to snuggle. I will continue to have conversations with my daughter about how crazy our bedhead looks or how bad my breath smells (she tells me every morning).
And when I finally get out of bed, I will make a choice to put my brave pants on and wear them tight, but proud. I invite you to take a brave step and let real life trump a perfect life today. I am cheering you on; encouraging you to take that risk, to believe in yourself. Go make a mess and choose to focus on the “appointments of life”.
Because beauty is found in the imperfectness of life. #realtrumpsperfect