Each one of my older Children at random times of the day will walk up to me and say, “You’re so pretty mom.” It is usually followed by a hug or a kiss. I will tell them thank you and compliment them on an aspect of their character.
As a mom of four, in all honesty, I don’t feel all that pretty. My body has changed so much over the last 7 years. It has had ups and downs in weight and shapes that I’m not even sure how to dress it anymore. My normal mom uniform consists of yoga pants and t-shirts for their practicality and comfort. Make-up and straightening my hair seems to be left for special occasions of church and the doctors office. Jewelry is toned down. Where I once wore my beautiful engagement ring and band, it is now replaced with multiple colored silicone rings and my ears only bear occasional simple pearls. My outward beauty has seem to have faded into an assortment of convenience and comfort.
So what is it that kids see that is so pretty? I actually asked them one day. I first asked what makes a person pretty and my four year old responded, “Your heart.” I then asked him why do you think I’m pretty? He said, “Because you are nice to us.”
Of course, my heart melted! It also reminded me of Proverbs 31:30
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
At this stage in my life, looking into a mirror does not thrill me. At times, I do lament the body I use to have but it is often followed by gratitude for what my body has gone through. I sometimes get frustrated with my daily uniform but remember it allows me to focus on my children gives me comfort to run around and play in the floor. I’m not worried about spit up or other bodily fluid destroying nice clothes or binding me up where I cannot play tickle monster. My face might be bare but I don’t have to worry about mascara running down my face because I have had a hard day with the kids and I’ve been crying out to Jesus.
This is a time of inner beauty rather than outward beauty. It is a time that God is cultivating fruit of the spirit in me as I seek desperately for Him so that I can teach my children. A time to see beauty in the way the Father sees beauty and a challenge to have confidence in him rather than the way I look.
Before long, the season of little kids and yucky hands will be gone. I will no longer need to wear the mom uniform for practical purposes. The kids will not require my full attention as they do now. However, I suspect that as I move away from this season, I will also be moving away from the phrase, “You’re so pretty mom.” I see the evidence in my oldest. So I will relish this time and continue to peruse beauty in Christ that will last into eternity.