Pretty.

February 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

Emmashoes1This picture of my niece’s shoes brings tears to my eyes. I just can’t get over them.

She had to have them, her Valentine’s Day shoes. The hearts, the pink, the polka dots, the Minnie Mouse.  And she is very proud of them. They’re still a bit too big so she has room to grow, but she doesn’t care.

They’re her Valentine’s Day shoes.

***

We had the family over after church on Sunday. All in the kitchen, amidst eating some soup for lunch and chatting about chickens and houses and book ideas, my brother turns to me and asks, “Doesn’t my wife look pretty?”

He was sitting there watching her as she simply threw something in the garbage.

***

We were headed to a wedding Sunday evening. And I knew that getting dressed up would be a challenge, as trying to up my game for church that day had already been a battle so the chances of a look coming together smoothly were almost nil. After agreeing with the room that yes, my sister-in-law did look pretty (as always, my dear SIL), I stood at the counter with my husband and murmured, “She does look so pretty and I feel like a house.”

What do ya know? Along came self pity.

I gave him a sad look and he gave me a hug, head in my neck, and said that I, too, looked very pretty.

From behind him, my niece swallowed her bite of soup and announced, “We’re ALL pretty, Auntie Natalie.”

I squeezed my husband harder and closed my eyes, feeling the fabric of his shirt beneath my fingers and the weight of her words on my heart.

“You’re so right, Emma.  We ARE all pretty. You, my girl, are just beautiful.”

“Mm-hmm,” she agreed, happily back to eating her lunch.

The gravity of her words gripped me–so matter-of-fact, such truth spoken without a second thought.  I stood corrected.  Her four years on this earth has left her no reason to think otherwise because she has been told by trusted people in her life that she is funny, smart, beautiful, and special. And so she is. And so must I be.

Exemplary “childlike faith,” yes? Believing something without cynicism or corruption. To know something without doubt or question, to trust wholeheartedly and offer correction when it is misrepresented or twisted.

She knows and has been told that God created us all in His image and that we are His perfect creations.  He, after all, never makes mistakes. We are precious in His sight, as the Sunday school song goes, and His beautiful children. And so we are.

Too often I fall victim to the cynic in my own mind, the accuser and robber of that faith. Instead of believing wholeheartedly in the truth I’ve been told by Him and those who love me the most, I can crumble and let the doubts win in a moment.

I want to be more like my wonderful little niece, leaning forward into life without reservation, with an unwavering belief in the fact that I am who I’ve been told I am. And I want to help correct that doubt in others, reminding them that we have no reason to question our worth, beauty, intellect, and so on.  We are just as we should be.

So kick up your Minnie Mouse shoes, eat your soup, and enjoy it.
You’re so pretty.

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