I sat across from my four-year-old at the kitchen table. She had her bundle of brightly colored markers and I had my pen and paper, jotting down items I needed to pick up at the grocery store later that day.
My preschooler loves to draw. And I am the mom who has a difficult time throwing away any of her masterpieces. I can be ferocious when it comes to cleaning out a junk drawer or my closet for that matter, but the scraps of paper I find all over the house with “mamama” written on them, those are here to stay.
Today though, I heard sighs as my AudreyKate attempted to draw Santa and his sleigh. I had turned on a step-by-step art instructional video when she told me her desire to draw Santa. I felt some extra help was needed.
And usually she loves following the directions geared just for her age.
“Mama, mine doesn’t look like his.” She finally exclaimed, disappointment in her voice.
“It doesn’t look like it’s supposed to look. It doesn’t look perfect.”
I compared her squiggly lines to the instructor’s smooth and clean ones, and I loved her interpretation all the more.
Santa’s sleigh had character and his bag of gifts was much too big for a sled of that size to haul. Just magical enough.
And I loved the sweetness of her little hands drawing it just so.
I turned off the video and looked into her eyes.
“AudreyKate, I love it! But listen to Mama, the more you practice, the better you will become. But you also need to know that I love what YOU draw. I don’t want what that man drew, I want you! I want your perspective and the way you do it. Just look around the kitchen.”
Her eyes scanned the room where I had her art taped up all over the sliding glass window and the fridge.
“See? What would I do without all my AudreyKate drawings? Our house just wouldn’t feel the same.”
As I spoke words of affirmation into her heart, I was immediately struck with the truth of my own words.
How often do I think, I just wish could do things better.
Keep my house cleaner or more organized. Plan better. Get up even earlier. Eat healthier. Read more. Be more creative, thrifty, and articulate.
If I could just have it more together like her.
If I could just do it perfectly.
If my lines could be a little less squiggly and a little more smooth.
But as I sat across the table from my almost five-year-old, I realized she doesn’t want that person.
She wants me.
She likes the way I do things. The way I give hugs. The way I read to her. My smell. The way we wash dishes or fold laundry together.
She never once has told me I need to just do things a little more perfectly.
And neither has my husband.
He loves my cooking.
He tells me I’m “so gifted” and “I love your style,” even though I think he would say that no matter what.
He likes the routines I’ve developed at home, my efforts at teaching and training our children, and the dates out for the two of us that I randomly schedule.
“You’re doing great. I love the way you do things,” he says.
I know I have areas where I need to grow, much to strive and reach for, but my family doesn’t see all that, they see ME.
Titus 2:4 says “urge the younger women to love THEIR husbands and children” (emphasis mine).
Not someone else’s.
Because they don’t want anyone else.
They want YOU.
At the end of the day, your husband doesn’t want someone else’s perpective, he wants yours.
He doesn’t want someone else’s touch, he wants yours.
He doesn’t care how so-and-so blogger does it, he loves how you do it.
And your children don’t want adventure mom, minimalist mom, vintage mom, fixer-upper mom, clean-eats mom, running mom, trendy mom, or scholar mom.
They want THEIR mom.
Whether you’re all of those things or none.
Because the song of your heart is more beautiful to them than the perfection of any symphony.
Just like drawings taped to the refrigerator door, your talents are what they long for because they love you.
So as you start a new week, remember that God has called you to the best sort of task – being THEIRS.
Squiggly lines and all.