So I feel like all week I’ve been having these little moments that all have been telling me the same thing…okay so maybe only two moments…but still…I was all like “wow!”….so I thought it might be good to share one with you.
The most memorable moment was with my toddler, although in all honesty she likely got this from her older sister who is all-things-girl wrapped up into one creative and quirky little five-year-old. So my five-year-old is always dressing up in either her princess dresses or her fancy “church” type dresses, her pastimes include watching YouTube beauty tutorials for kids by kids, and then mimicking them with whatever “make-up” she can get her hands on…and I use that term loosely because we’ve had to wash markers and gel crayons…and nail polish and I’m sure many other things that I can’t remember at the moment…out of both of our girls’ hair and off of their faces on more than one occasion (several times this week alone in fact); she also has a flair for the theatrics and I’m pretty much convinced that in her mind her life is one great big musical (I’m serious…she sings all day er’ day…she even walks to the bus stop singing dramatically and moves to the rhythm accordingly…even when the rest of our crew is literally running to the bus stop) But I digress.
So her younger sister has caught on to this behavior (and I’m ree-e-e-e-e-ally hoping we can curb it before she’s five because I don’t think my poor laundry machine can handle two girls changing outfits 5 times a day) so I had been getting used to her dressing up with her sister in the princess dresses for play, but I was caught off guard a little bit this week when she came to me during the day (while her sister was at school) and grabbed my hand and said “mama dess” and then seeing that I couldn’t understand, led me into her room where her closet was, and pointed up at her fancy purple dress and again said “mama, puple dess”. Her message was quite clear at that point, but not wanting to dirty one of her good dresses on a regular old home day my answer was a quick “not that one”. However she was not about to take no for an answer, and again she pointed up and said “mama, puple dess”. Again I tried to redirect her to the box of princess play dresses but as I pulled each one out of the box and laid it on the floor in front of her she persisted with her request. In a last-ditch effort I found the purple Sofia the Princess dress and dramatically waved it around trying to convince her that it would be even prettier than the other one…but she wasn’t having any of it…not at all.
It was at that point that the thought crossed my mind, “why not?”,
I mean in all reality she was only two and she would only be able to wear that dress for a little longer before she would be too big for it…so why not?
And then it occurred to me. How often do I live my life like that? Saving my best for a better moment, waiting to wear the nice outfit for a special occasion, saving my celebrating for only special days, holding back the kind words for the “right moment”, waiting for the good feeling to do the good deed, withholding my encouragement for the perfect post…ouch. Yep that last one really hurt.
Then I began to ask myself “why not?”…”why do I wait?” The answer? Fear. I began to see how much fear kept me from living like every day was special; every moment important.
Fear that if I wore the stylish outfit on a regular day I wouldn’t have anything nice for the days that I actually made it out of the house; fear that if I said something nice to a stranger I could be perceived as strange; fear that the good deed might be rejected by the receiver; fear that if I posted those few encouraging words on social media I wouldn’t have enough to share in a blog post later. It all boiled down to fear…fear that I would not be enough or have enough.
Fear stops us from being fully alive. Click To Tweet
I wonder how many of us live our lives like this? Living, but not really alive? Going through the motions but without any conviction behind them? Investing time in our relationships, but not our hearts? And all because of fear.
To finish the story, I did end up letting her wear her fancy dress, and she absolutely loved every moment of it. Seeing the beaming smile on her face and watching the way she carelessly twirled to her own song and dance was proof enough that I had made the right choice. Friend, this is what life should look like; careless, free, living each moment to its fullest; like a two-year-old dancing in circles in her favorite dress.
While there’s definitely some things in life that we should save our best for; pretty much anything financial would be one (that’s just common sense…please don’t throw your hard-earned money to the wind…but also don’t be so attached to it that you’re afraid to help another when it’s within your means), your purity would be another (again it’s valuable…wait to cash it in kids…think secure long-term investment…aka: marriage), but on the same hand, don’t be so fearful that you miss the everyday moments in front of you that are worth celebrating, because you won’t get those moments back – when they’re gone, they’re gone, just like that dress that will one day be too small.
I know it may seem scary, but I’m convinced that when we let go of our fear and we purpose to be all-in, to find cause for celebration in both the big and the everyday little things, we’ll find freedom on the other side….freedom from ourselves, for ourselves, and for others…and if you’re not convinced just give a little girl a fancy dress on a rainy day and watch her spin.
Shout outs to Astrid Mueller at astridmueller.com for the Free Watercolor brush stroke featured in the post title and Angie Makes at angiemakes.com for the Free Watercolor Splash featured in the image! Be sure to check out both of these lovely sites.