My girls give me perspective on life.
I know that at first, this might seem like an obvious statement for anybody who’s had kids longer than a week, but I’m a slow learner.
This week has been an unusually stressful one. We’ve been dealing with some housing stuff that I won’t bore you with, but long story short, we were faced with a choice of higher rent, or uprooting our girls and moving to an absolute dive. It’s been a rough week. I’ve snapped at Rachel, I’ve snapped at the girls, I haven’t slept well, I’ve eaten awful. It’s been emotionally and physically exhausting.
I was sitting at the dinner table last night, completely spent. I had just made dinner, which didn’t turn out like I wanted. I sat dinner on the table, took my seat, and just zoned out. I was done. I was emotionally, physically, and mentally somewhere else. My family was with me, but I may as well have been by myself.
As I ate fork after fork of pasta, which I didn’t even really like, I felt sorry for myself. I let the shame in. I let the pity begin to fester. I kept saying to myself, “you’re not good enough. This is your fault. You’re a failure.”
And I believed it. I wallowed in it.
About that time, Avery (my oldest daughter) said to me, through a mouth full of pasta, “Daddy, after dinner, will you dance with me to some princess music?”
I soaked in those words. I asked her to repeat herself, even though I heard her the first time.
“Daddy, after dinner, will you dance with me to some princess music?”
Her words were like a salve. They sank into me, eradicating whatever shame, guilt, doubt, fear, or unworthiness were controlling me. Those twelve words did more for my emotional and mental health than anything else could have.
God used her to speak life into me, and she didn't even know it. I haven’t heard God speak in a while, but that one was as clear as day.
“Stephen, this is what is important. This is what matters. This is what life is all about. Cherish these moments, because before you know it, they’ll be few and far between.”
Loud and clear God, loud and clear.