Aiming for progress, not perfection.

"...being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Philippians 1:6

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


tomorrow is the kids' last day of preschool for the year. hard to believe. this afternoon, we made appreciation gifts for their teachers. miss pattie for ellie. miss gloria and miss ashley for grayson. i bought pretty annuals at olive's nursery, and we embellished. we used colorful handmade paper to cover the plastic containers, and the kids decorated cards that read "thank you for helping me grow!" with stamps and crayons. we taped the cards and their spring school photos to bamboo skewers and stuck them into the plants.


hopefully the teachers will, too.

shortly after we finished the gifts, ellie started getting ready to go to church with landon. i told her to go get her shoes on, which, for some reason, took forever. finally, she appeared in the living room doorway in the socks you see here, green shoes in hand.

"oh, baby," i said. "can't you wear sandals with shorts?"

"but i like these shoes," she responded, frowning.

"but the socks look silly."

"but i like these," she said again, emphatically, starting to cry.

{enter a huge check in my spirit.}

"who cares what socks and shoes she wears? why do you?"

"um...because she looks...dorky?" i thought, feeling sheepish as the idea materialized in my mind.


convicted, i called her over to me and started putting her green shoes on as the Holy Spirit began weaving together a lesson as only the Holy Spirit can do.

"you know how proud she is when she dresses herself. every time she comes out from her room, no matter how outlandish the outfit, she beams with excitement. and she stares into your eyes, searching for your approval, for your confirmation that what she's done is a good thing. that you are pleased with her. is avoiding dorkiness worth crushing such a tender and hopeful spirit?

"she is learning from you now whether the way she was created is good enough or if she needs to morph into something else. something that others will accept. something that is cool. do you want her to believe that doing what is cool or acceptable in the eyes of others is the best path? or do you want to teach her that she is fearfully and wonderfully made, pleasing in your sight and, most importantly, in Mine?

"foster those things in her that you recognize as being unique. when you are sensitive, you can see what those are. for when you appreciate ellie, you appreciate one of the most beautiful things I've ever created."


Nanna's Place said...

Oh WOW. This so brought tears to my eyes........and I like the green shoes and socks. They looked great!!!!

clw said...

Oh geez!! Tears!!! What a wonderful lesson the Lord spoke into your heart. The shoes look awesome and the socks are adorable. One day our daughters WILL care about not looking "dorky" and we'll be missing moments like these. You were right to let her be. What a special little girl :)

Amy said...

I have read this three times and I tear up every time. She's is so beautiful and she has a beautiful Mommy who is raising her to love the Lord. Thank you for it!

marme said...

goodness gracious! i'm blubbern!

And whether you believe me or not, i took one look at her at church and thought how adorable she looked and told her I loved her green shoes!!!

that was after she came in the sanctuary where maggie and I were talking still by our pew and she squealed with glee... "there you are mamo, i've been looking everywhere for you!" and ran and jumped in my arms and wouldn't quit hugging me!

well, everything about her looked adorable! made my day! especially since i didn't even know she was there.

thanks for the reminder of her uniqueness, that makes her ellie.

Susan said...

Sarah Elizabeth! How did you ever get so wise? I am bursting with love and joy that you are the mom you are, and that Ellie is the beautiful and unique child of God she is. You inspire me in so many ways. The teacher gifts are perfect, perfect, perfect. The green shoes are going to be my motto from now on. "Don't be afraid to wear your green shoes!" I love you all and I miss you excruciatingly.

JAC said...

I think my little Ellie looks beautiful! I love the pink and green! Sometimes He speaks to us so very quietly and we need to be very sensitive to this sweet quiet voice of His. Love you and your family so very much.

ree said...

I pray that baby girl keeps her green shoe boldness all the days of her life!
Good Word, Mom. Keep listening as He speaks to your tender heart.

rhondamarie said...

even as they get older this is a great lesson to learn and relearn. i had to stop myself the other day when colleen was getting ready for her senior pictures and didn't have a stitch of makeup on. of course she doesn't wear makeup but i felt sure she would put on just a little bit of mascara. when i suggested just a little bit of mascara she looked me square in the eye and said "I don't need makeup to be beautiful" i looked into her eyes and said "you're right you don't need makeup to be beautiful"