Ever built an empire in your daydream? Mine consist of glitter, tons of glitter. Because shiny things have a special place in my heart. Just ask diamonds. They’ll tell you.
Empires are glamorous. They signify power & status. And as the days roll along, wiping toddler snot with my bare hands so he doesn’t wipe it all over his cheeks like a facial cleanser, I’ve been learning my heart is a deep well that longs for an empire.
An empire in the form of applause from others, a crowd to admire me, a significance and importance in the eyes of my friends, or in any eyes at all. Over the months, especially since becoming a mom, I’ve recognized a silly pattern. My heart is in this constant participation of a wrestling match. I’m wrestling to answer, truly answer, whether I let what I do define who I am or what I have define what I’m worth.
Because honestly, I didn’t attend NYU to become a stay-at-home mom. In fact, none of my classes taught me how to appropriately wipe a baby’s bottom which would’ve come in handy. I attended college to become someone who earned a paycheck. A paycheck that could pay for my cute NYC apartment with my cute NYC clothes and even a cute NYC dog that would be my best NYC accessory. And I’d take a cute NYC selfie, and post it on my cute Instagram, because life doesn’t exist unless you have proof in a photo thats posted on the Internet. (I hope you smell the sarcasm) Get the paycheck. Get the house. Get the clothes. Get the status. Get the fame. Get the value.
Guys, I think I’ve spent 80 percent of my life defining who I am with what I did. Got good grades- I was smart. Got into college- I was on the track of success. And success to me was being able to afford a lifestyle of glamour, status & luxuries. To build my glitter empire. That was my end goal.
And now I’m a mama to a sweet little boy who has ever so strongly flipped my life upside down. I’m married to a gentleman that reminds me beauty is within the heart. I’ve learned the glamour fades. Riches are fleeting. Brand names don’t satisfy the longing of recognition, value or acceptance. Even if I lived in my glitter empire, with recognition, fame & a giant farmhouse decorated by the phenomenal Joanna Gaines. With shiplap walls, a giant sink & white subway tiles in my spacious open concept kitchen. (Where my Fixer Upper fans at!?) Those are all great things to have, and honestly I hope one day I can have that dang shiplap goodness in my Brooklyn apartment. (Follow this link if you’re wondering what in the world is shiplap) But they will never satisfy my deep longing for significance. And so I’ve been learning to steady my eyes on God’s sweet grace.
Grace isn’t a prayer whispered before swallowing dinner. But its the true story of a loving God extending restoration to a broken me. It’s unconditional love in the form of the cross. It’s a story of reconciliation for anyone who believes. It’s meeting me in my mess of messes. It’s not asking me to be perfect or a good person, it’s asking me to sit, believe & wait on a good God to restore all things.
And that’s where I am today. In a wrestling match of glitter empires & toddler snots. Letting myself breathe in the truths of God. That my value is not in a job title. It’s not in a paycheck. It’s not in my mom status or lack of fame. It’s not in the state of my kitchen or decorations in my home. & It’ll certainly not be found in building an empire or wiping snot.
My value is simply in Jesus. Accepted. Restored. New. Enough.
And that makes all the difference.
Some of my favorite shots from this past month