As I quietly crept down the stairs after putting our toddler in bed, I was feeling the weight of a long day of mothering. My makeup was long gone. My hair had made it up into a mom bun hours earlier that was now falling out. My shirt was covered in macaroni and cheese, bath water, and boogers. As I stepped into the bathroom to get some lotion for my dry hands and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I thought to myself, “I barely recognize her.”
I walked into the kitchen where my husband was standing at the sink doing dishes. I came up behind him and wrapped my arms around his waist. He turned to me, burying his head in my neck. And do you want to know what he did next? He said that I was sexy. Sexy! When I felt frumpy, like a cartoon character of a frazzled mom at the end of the day, he told me that I was sexy. And the crazy part was, I could tell he really meant it. The smile on his face when he pulled away to look at me and the sparkle in his eye gave it away. He was telling the truth.
I spent the next few days thinking about how I wished I could see myself the way my husband sees me. How blessed I feel to have a man who still finds me sexy when I’m covered in our toddlers dinner and can’t remember the last time I washed my hair.
I came here today to write about that. About seeing ourselves the way our husbands see us. About what a blessing it is to have men that find us beautiful in all of our messy forms. About being able to say “thank you” to them when they tell us we’re sexy, instead of coming up with a million reasons why we think we aren’t.
But as I sat down to write that post, I realized that I actually need to write a different one. Because while it’s true (and wonderful) that our husbands can see past the hair pulled up in mom buns and the boogers on our shoulders, there is someone else who sees past that, too. And what I really want is to see myself the way He sees me. You know who I’m talking about, right? Our loving Heavenly Father.
Do you think He cares when you last washed your hair? No, but He cares how you made your daughter giggle and giggle during her bath time last night.
Do you think He cares that you haven’t painted your toenails since you were in a wedding last summer, and yet there are still pieces of red polish on your big toenail? No, but He cares how you danced and laughed with your husband all night long at that wedding, on your first night out without your baby.
Do you think he cares that your son used your shirt as a tissue and now it’s streaked with dried snot, hours later, because you haven’t had a spare moment to change? No, but He cares how you lovingly pour into your children when they are sick, tending to them so very well.
Do you think He cares that you haven’t worn earrings in months because the baby will just pull them out anyways? No, but He cares about that ring on your left hand, and how devoted you are to the man who put it there and the beautiful life that you have together.
He doesn’t care what you look like stumbling into the kitchen to wrap your arms around your husband at the end of a long day. He cares about the way you lovingly pour yourself into your family. About the way you faithfully pray for your husband and your children. About how you strive to serve them happily with a humble heart.
Would it be wonderful to see ourselves the way our husbands see us? Of course it would. But what would be even better is to see ourselves the way our God sees us. Because He knows it all. He sees past the macaroni on our shirt and the bath water on our sweatpants, just like our husbands do. And then He sees so much more. He sees way down into the very depths of our souls. And yet He loves us exactly as we are. He calls us His children. He wants to draw us closer to Him, and then even closer still.
So when you have one of those nights where you look into the mirror and can barely recognize the woman staring back at you, close your eyes and remember the way your loving God the Father sees you. Beautifully imperfect, and so very deeply loved.