Counting the Freckles
by Paula Marchman
Juggling (and I mean juggling) a husband, 2 teens, a 4 year old, church work and a full time job can be daunting even on our best days! It was a beautiful Saturday morning, the kind I would have liked to keep the whole family in their pajamas to just stay home and play together! That didn’t happen much those days especially with the demands of all of their sports, church and school activities. Mostly, the driving force to be honest was my need to do it all and to do it perfectly.
This was more than 20 years ago but I remember it like yesterday….
So picture this, here I am sporting the cutest (of course) 4 year old son who is dressed to play some serious soccer or so I expected! He readily struts out there on the field to join the others and then not even 2 minutes later slides back to the sidelines next to me! He then plops himself down refusing to engage AT ALL!
Now, we know that this is a fine choice for a 4 year old. I hate to admit it, but it was ME who made the most fuss, coaxing, insisting he go back in!! Perhaps, because of my own expectations that were selfishly more about me and my “successful” juggling act than on my son.
So, the truth is when I am stressed, I sense an urgency for every thing to be perfect because I think that the world may tilt and fall out of the universe if I fail! So, I immediately lifted him up, dusted him off, never looking into his face or considering his perception of the situation, just demanding MY WAY, the RIGHT way? Well…..
My little son just continued to refuse to budge! In my last moments of defeat,
I finally surrendered to my exhaustion!! I too just plopped down next to him on the ground and with my eyes full of tears I looked into my precious son’s face. What occurred to me then will stay with me forever. I couldn’t believe that this was the first time ever I noticed his most magnificent FRECKLES.
It was one of those moments that feels like the rest of the world is out of focus and a spotlight from heaven is directed solely on us.
When did he get so many freckles on his nose? Better question, how did I miss this precious face? In my striving to be the perfect mom, wife, friend etc. ,what was I giving up to achieve this craziness? What do we sacrifice in our drive for control and perfectionism?
In our struggle to be “perfect” we are making the choice to focus on this world and to rely on our own power to control everything and everyone around us.
How foolish of me. My peaceful heart is in my broken spirit and in humility. Only then when my eyes are focused on my Lord will my heart find peace and the gift of presence.