“It’s going to be perfect!”
I wish I could count the number of times I have said or at least thought these words.
Most recently, I naively whispered them to myself as my family and I loaded our minivan to participate in a family radio interview. I could feel the excitement in the air. Jonathan and I we’re honored for the opportunity to share our new book, She is Yours, on Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson! He was a childhood hero for Jonathan and he was the first author I had ever read on raising girls, so to say the visit was nostalgic was an understatement!
I’d picked out the girls dresses days in advance, we rehearsed our introductions and prepped the girls for any potential questions. After all Dr. Dobson’s books, words and wisdom had impacted the way we’d raised our girls since their birth. This was our chance to show off the result of intentional and purposeful Christ-focused parenting as well as give credibility to our very own resource for parents of girls.
“Best behavior girls,” I whispered as we entered the studio.
We were all smiles as we piled into the office. As we prepared for the recorded conversation I could feel my shoulders begin to relax. The girls were doing great, Dr. Dobson seemed to enjoy them and Jonathan and I continued to float in clouds of gratitude.
Looking back, I believe my relaxed shoulders are actually when things started to drift downhill. The more at home we felt, the more homelike their behavior became!
To make a long story short I spent in excess of an hour shushing inappropriate giggles, nudging wiggling knees to be still under the table, and holding my hand gently over the microphone in order to toss out quick warnings and unclear instructions! At one point, I had to actually ask to pause the recording in order to switch seats with one of the girls in order to place myself between them. There was another stoppage for a bathroom break as well. Did I mention we were only there an hour and had gone to the restroom immediately before entering the studio?
When it was all said and done I was exhausted with little recollection of what had been discussed. When the microphones were turned off I sulked. The girls eagerly pushed their chairs back from the table and raced to the office to grab the promised treats they’d spotted earlier. My perfect moment felt like a disaster.
Jonathan, seeing the look of disappointment, looked at me and said, “Babe, don’t worry. There’s beauty in the chaos.”
We both exhaled and laughed.
It was true. My perfect moment was full of chaos – giggles, wiggles and whispers.
I was reminded that we could not have had a more perfect interview because we were surrounded by everything that makes our lives beautiful. It was easy to default to disappointment over the chaos. It took effort and resolve to embrace the chaos and find beauty inside of it.
As parents, it can become easy to measure or gauge our success by how close our reality matches our exceptions. When reality doesn’t match our expectations, it’s easy to sulk and to feel sorry for ourselves, typically ending with abandonment and lackluster effort.
I am reminded that God does not call us to perfection. Instead He longs to be invited into the chaos. As parents, we need to decide to bring Him and His viewpoint to that very spot. He always brings a better perspective and the solutions we need in those moments.
If perfection is the goal then raising girls can seem like a lofty idea and no doubt a weighty task. Today we encourage you to throw perfection to the side, embrace the chaos, and lean into what God wants to do through you and in your daughter today.
This article is inspired by content in our upcoming book release She Is Yours: Trusting God as You Raise the Girl He Gave You, available September 5, 2017. Pre-order and submit your receipt details by August 31, 2017 to receive these great pre-order offers:
*The first 100 pre-orders will receive a canvas print of the She Is Yours prayer. All pre-orders will receive a digital download of the She Is Yours prayer and the opportunity to attend a special Live Q&A with Jonathan and Wynter in September!