Ever notice how one act of holiday kindness becomes a tradition in your kids’ minds as soon as you execute? Decorate the night before their birthday JUST ONE TIME and every child expects it for every birthday going forward. I’ve gotten myself into a bit of a mess by not realizing this from the beginning. These are the holiday visitors who now come to the Moore home annually:
The Elf on the Shelf
Buddy the New Year’s Eve Elf (who bring Christmas pajamas)
The Halloween Switch Witch (who takes the Halloween candy and leaves a toy in its’ place)
The Easter Bunny
The Tooth Fairy (although she is extremely unreliable)
and yes…the Leprechaun
Ridiculous I know. But before you start picturing Pinterest-worthy surprises and décor, let me clarify that most of these visitors shop at the dollar store, come while the kids are at school on their designated holiday (because they are incapable of planning) and are neither creative nor elaborate. But they ARE all exhausted.
I am NOT telling you this to make you feel inadequate. Quite the opposite actually. If you don’t have these visitors then I commend you and I don’t recommend you add any of them. They are not necessary and will only add one more thing to your to-do list.
I’m telling you because yesterday I asked myself, “Why don’t I just stop doing this? The Leprechaun could just not come and life would go on. Why don’t I just allow them to be disappointed and make up a story about why he didn’t come?” And then I found the answer. I don’t nix the Leprechaun because of what my kids would believe about themselves if he doesn’t show up. If he doesn’t come, they’ll think THEY did something wrong or are in some way not good enough. And I can handle seeing them disappointed or sad or mad but I have a hard time watching them question their own worth. That hurts my heart more than I can tolerate.
Of course, as adults we do this to ourselves all the time. Sometimes life doesn’t turn out how we expected, and we think it means we’ve gone wrong. We believe that when our kids or husbands don’t behave the way we expected they would, it means something about our effectiveness. We think that if we did more, did it better, did it differently and if we were more, then our lives would look different in all the right ways. We believe that we would be happier, if we were more, better, different.
But those thoughts are simply not true. You are enough. You are just how you should be. You can evolve and learn and grow if you want to (and I recommend that as a fantastic way to live your life) but it won’t change your value. Your value never changes. Ever. No matter what you do well or what you make a complete mess of. You are worth more than you can comprehend the moment you are born (or before actually). It doesn’t go up or down. It’s fixed, and it’s incomprehensible to you or me.
I think God goes to the dollar store or to Target and picks up goodies to leave for us to help us not question our own worth. I know because I’ve experienced it and I bet you have too. God has left me goodie bags all over the place.
One Sunday several years ago I was in sitting in Relief Society in a new ward. I didn’t know anyone. I only knew that I had made some major mistakes and as a result, my life might never be the same. I knew that I was not like the women sitting around me. I knew that the topic of the lesson was one that reminded me of my mistakes and unworthiness. I was bawling my eyes out on the inside and just a little emotional with lipstick still in tact on the outside.
Then God sent the Leprechaun to bring me a goodie bag as if to say, “You are enough just as you are. You are not your mistakes. You are my daughter and I love you.” The message came in the form of a small gesture when a woman in the room simply noticed me. She smiled and put her arm around me and told me she was glad I was there. That’s it. It was like God just ran to the dollar store at the last minute, but it pierced my heart and reminded me that no matter what I do or don’t do, it doesn’t change my value.
I’ve worked with women who worry that if we believe we are enough, we will stop trying to be better, but I can assure you the opposite is true. People who recognize and embrace their unchanging value, feel empowered to live up to their potential, or at least to try to. Begin at the end. Believe you are wonderful and loved and just as you should be, and you will find yourself behaving like a person who is all of those things.
And start looking out for goodie bags because they are everywhere. God knows that we need to be reminded of our value and he’s more than willing to remind us over and over again. He decorates for parties and leaves treats in the most unexpected places and it doesn’t have to be a holiday either. And on the best days, he allows us to deliver on his behalf. If someone needs a Leprechaun with unkempt hair, good shoes and a kind heart, I hope he’ll send me because if there is a team I’d like to be a part of, it would be His. He needs every one of us to be ready to deliver our own form of gold on his behalf and if you allow him, he’ll utilize you to do just that.
Until next week…