Two of our dearest friends recently got married. My oldest was incredibly excited leading up to the big day. He could not wait for a DJ and some “real dancing,” as he called it. He even asked me to call the bride and request a dance floor that lights up and changes colors. She declined. Weird, I know.
For the weeks leading up to the wedding Cam was focused on the dancing situation, and I was focused on our outfits. I wanted us all perfectly color coordinated, with perfectly clean faces, perfectly done hair, and perfect happy smiles in order to capture that perfect family photo. I planned everyone’s outfit down to the smallest detail. The biggest problem, I thought would be that I was in the wedding, so I had to leave it up to my husband to have everyone cleaned, dressed, accessorized, and arriving on time. I even provided step by step instructions on how to do my daughter’s hair.
As the big day got closer and closer, Cam’s excitement turned to worry. He started worrying less about the dance floor and more about his own abilities asking “Am I a good dancer?” or “What if I don’t dance like everyone else?” And finally, “I’m not going to dance, I’m afraid people will laugh at me.” The statement stopped me dead in my tracks. I hated to hear his thoughts consumed with what others’ thought of him. I want my children’s confidence to be in who they are- who God created them to be, not what others think think about them. I want Cam’s assurance to be rooted in the fact that the same God who created the universe, the oceans, and the sunrise looked around and thought the world needed one of him too.
This made me think, do I live this way? Do I live as one whose confidence is in the Lord and what His Word says? For that is far more valuable than the words or opinions of others. I think deep down, I wanted everyone at this wedding to think I’ve got it all together, which couldn’t be any further from the actual truth. We might start the day in cute outfits but my children’s faces are rarely clean, and if we finish the day dressed how we started the day, it’s cause for celebration. But on this day I wanted my children to look perfect, and act perfect. So I foolishly traded the joy of my children for the trap of comparison. I defined my daughter’s hair as others may see it – wild and unruly (after all, it does favor mine) and became desperate to tame it, instead of seeing it for what it is: fingerprints of her Creator.
My pep talk to Cam was just as much for me as it was for him. “I don’t know if anyone will laugh at you. But I know God created you to love dancing, and moving, and laughing. And I don’t want you to miss the delight it brings you because you are worried about what others think. So what if they laugh, they don’t matter, you be you. Live life as only you can.”
So we traded his perfectly color coordinated shirt for a star-wars print, and I left my husband in charge of hair and outfits. My daughter’s curls were everywhere, but they made it, on time, and with real genuine smiles. And after the cake was cut, I reluctantly pulled my tall, lanky, ain’t got no rhythm, awkward self onto the dance floor, dragging Cam behind me. And man did we dance.
Well we never got that perfect family photo, in fact we didn’t even take a picture of all of us together. But my Cam danced and danced and danced. And this picture capturing the joy of him being confident in who he is and doing something he loves is so much better.
Its the little moments of today that matter. So stop comparing and bust a move.
Addi James: (Dress is on sale for $5.99!)