I came to a realization recently that sometimes we honestly just don't know what we want. Or we think we want one thing only to find that the very thing we thought we wouldn't like ends up being absolutely perfect for us. Happens to me *all* the time. And I should know myself better than anyone out there, right?! Well there is One who knows me better than I know even myself because He constantly shows me this.
upon a time I never would have thought having a baby with stork bites
would be perfect. I mean they're stork bites. They're birthmarks. They're
not what some would deem a part of beauty or perfection.
And then I had Zoe...
And she was and is perfect. I fell in love with all of her and especially those birthmarks, which she had all over. The obvious ones are her forehead, between her eyes, her eyelids, top of her nose, upper lip, a huge one on the back of her head and a speckling on her lower back.
When I thought of what I would want before I had kids I could have given you a laundry list of all the cutesy little things I dreamed about: soft hair, button nose, pouty lips. Stork bites would not have been on that list. And not because I thought they were ugly, so don't misunderstand. They just weren't something you think of wanting to have.
When her pediatrician told me that the birthmarks would disappear by the time she was around 2 years old I was actually sad (they didn't, btw, and you can still see them when she has a fever or gets really hot). They were part of HER. If someone were to photograph her and airbrush those beautiful rosy pigments off of her face I would be so offended.
Because it turns out I love storkbites. And now I see babies with them and just melt all over again. They are imperfectly perfect, each unique.
Another baby of mine proved to prove me wrong again. I never, in a million years, would have said I wanted a child with flaming orange hair. But then I got one...
When he was born my midwife mentioned it. She said, "I think he's a redhead!" I denied it, saying it probably just looked different because his skin was still mottled and adjusting to life outside the womb. But as days went on his hair stayed bright as his skin tone evened out. I took him outside one day and in the sun his hair looked like it was on fire; it was so orange!
And this is when I fell in love with ginger hair. It wasn't something I particularly thought about nor cared for before Silas was born. I didn't see redheaded babies and people and think, "I just WISH and HOPE for that"! I didn't think it was bad or anything. Just nothing I thought I'd ever love. And now I see it in a whole new light. I love it. I keep exclaiming that I hope his hair doesn't change, as many kids will have different hair color as they age, because it is unique and so him!
In fact there's not a single thing about any of my kids that I thought, "Gee, I hope that changes because I don't like it!" Well except for bad attitudes, ha! They could have been born with crossed eyes or cowlicks or an extra finger and I'd have absolutely fallen in love with the trait. A mother's love is fierce and unique!
I thought back to all the times I hated things about myself as a kid. I hated my voice. Hated my hair (especially this one curl that stuck out on my forehead but my mother just found so endearing). Hated my nose. Hated this stupid off-center dimple in my chin and the fact that I had a crooked smile. And then I met my husband. And the *EXACT SAME THINGS* that I viewed as imperfect in myself are the *EXACT SAME THINGS* my husband loves the most. He loves my voice, my hair and he especially loves that stupid dimple and crooked lip. The imperfections I saw in myself were put there, by God, for a purpose beyond my own desires but the desires of someone else. And seeing my imperfections through the eyes of someone who holds them in high regard has helped me to accept these things and now see them as beautiful.
This extends way beyond the physical. God has shown me much more that He knew I'd love when I wouldn't have given it a chance before. But I was reflecting today on how these particular things are considered imperfections to many, if not most, and how those imperfections are completely and totally perfect.
It has given me pause so that I can raise my children up to see that their imperfections, or what they think are imperfect about themselves, are indeed perfect for them and often those who love them. There isn't always going to be someone else, nor should we put our happiness in the circumstances and people around us, to help unveil the beauty in the imperfect within ourselves. We have to train up our children to see it for themselves as well because we can't always trust others to edify them all the time.
So tonight at dinner we went around the table and thought of one physical thing we loved about ourselves and one character trait we loved about ourselves. We got so caught up in it that everyone started calling out what they loved about each other and not just themselves. Loving ourselves is so important in also seeing the beauty in others so it was natural to see them begin to tell one another the wonderful things about each other. I also made sure to tell them very specific things I loved about each of them (especially when some of them said they didn't know what to love about themselves) and to tell them one was not better than the others, they are simply different and unique and each should be grateful for the things that make us who we are.
What do you think is imperfect about yourself? Try to love yourself today and see the beauty in the imperfections.