When the doorbell rang, my four-year old ran to see who it was. She stood transfixed as she peered through the glass door. It was Elsa from Frozen!! As we opened the door to let her in, the other four-year old guests came running to say hello. This ice princess with a high voice, white braided hair and a beautiful blue sparkly dress became the heroine for the next hour leading the girls in dances, stories, and songs. It was magical (pun intended).
I had hoped that her presence would be a gift to not only my little princess but the other princesses in attendance. For the most part, she was. The girls left the party proudly wearing their tiaras as they sang songs from Frozen and eagerly looked into their loot bags for gems. It was the adult departures that left me feeling a little like a melting Olaf. I knew that other girls birthday parties were coming up and moms were thinking about what they were going to do as I would be if I just attended an over the top party. As I walked guests to their cars, I stuttered and apologized for being excessive and put myself down.
I did this for a couple of reasons. First, I know how I feel after leaving an amazingly decorated house or delicious dinner party…instead of being grateful, I compare my home to theirs and it never stands up. I don’t want people to feel this way when they leave my home so I downplay things or put myself down. The other reason I downplay my strengths is because I haven’t learned to love myself fully yet. I base it on what others think of me and seek approval instead of showing up fully and gloriously alive in who God made me to be without apology. I am getting there.
Ortberg suggests that the soul needs gratitude because, “all of us get so caught up in ourselves that we too often don’t take the time to be grateful-to God and to others” (pg. 170). Instead of comparisons and self-deprecation, I want to choose gratitude! I want to say, “Thank you for cooking for me and using your God-given talents to treat me to a delicious dinner! Thank you inviting me into your beautiful home and sharing your gift of hospitality with me. Thank you for this outrageous birthday party and using your gift of generosity to bless me!”
May we, “let it go”. . .all of our comparisons, feelings of inadequacy, fears and judgments. . . so we can embrace, enjoy, and be grateful for the very fun and precious moment right in front of us.