I was about five years old when I started to take notice of my grandma’s perfume collection. She had a few different bottles on her vanity, all neatly displayed, ready to be used whenever she saw fit. But my favorite was this yellow triangle shaped bottle. I would sit and open all the tops of each perfume, looking to find the one that smelled most like her, as she sat next to me and got ready. I often watched her reflection in the mirror as she comb through her hair, applied her lipstick, and then lastly, but faithfully, spray her perfume. I remember most was how happy she always looked, always smiling ear to ear. I always admired her beauty, but her smile was always the most beautiful. No matter what was happening in life, her smile always settled my heart.
It was something I often looked for throughout the years for reassurance that everything was going to be okay.
I think she liked when I watched her. At least she never seemed to mind. She would always kiss me on the tip of the nose when she was finished and as she leaned in I could smell her freshly sprayed perfume. I loved that smell. I could walk into her house and faintly smell her before I even saw her. Not in an over powering way, but in the perfect hint of knowing she was just around the corner.
As I got older I often thought of her as I sprayed my own perfume. But it wasn’t until it was almost her time to go to heaven that I truly understood the significance of what her perfume actually meant to me, and her.
During those last few weeks with her, I often went to her house to visit. One day as I sat on her bed talking with her, laughing about the good old days, she was too weak to move, so I painted her nails for her, just as they always had been when I was growing up. I began to tell her of my favorite memories I had of her perfume, she nodded happily, as if she remembered those days as vividly as I did. I then told her “It’s so funny, because as much as I loved your perfumes as a little girl, I only wear my perfume on special occasions.. I don’t want to waste it, it’s kind of pricey”…. It was then that she took my hand and softly whispered “Darlin, wear the perfume. Wear it every single day if it makes you feel good. You’re worth it.”
It wasn’t until that moment that I realized there are so many times in my life I haven’t felt “worth it”… like some how I wasn’t enough. I think as I became a mom, I often felt I could and would go without, so that my children and husband didn’t have to. If I am being perfectly honest, my heart is happiest when I know the ones I love the most are taken care of first, and I am sure many of you feel the same way. I think as mom’s it’s in our DNA to nurture, care for and provide for our loved ones, no matter what the cost. We so quickly and easily give up what might be important to us, to make sure we have done everything in our power to ensure they are taken care of first. I truly believe our hearts were designed this way purposely because it not only ensures our children and husbands are cared for, but because it often brings us our greatest joys, even when we have given so much of ourselves along the way to do so.
At times, it felt as if, if I wore my perfume, I was being wasteful. I would actually feel guilty for splurging in a sense, and truly didn’t feel I was worth that spray of perfume. Can any of you relate? I feel like we all probably have those simple things that in a way seem so silly not to enjoy, yet in one way or another we have given them up because we felt guilty for that simple pleasure.
If our children’s shoes begin to wear, or their clothes become too small we almost immediately go out and buy new things for them. But if our own shoes begin to wear and our clothes no longer fit, we are much more apt to wait as long as possible to go purchase new things for ourselves.
If our children struggle with weight or self-esteem issues we do everything in our power to help them through. We buy the right foods, we help them workout, we bring them to counseling, we find activities they enjoy and feel good at, we basically do anything possible to help them regain their confidence and self-worth. Yet when we, as parents struggle, we are way less likely to do these same things for ourselves. We can wait.. or worse..we aren’t worth the extra money it costs to buy the organic foods, or to pay for those counseling sessions. We often don’t make time to decompress, and self-reflect. Instead, we just keep on shoving those feelings deeper, and deeper, until we no longer know how to deal with them and we have convinced ourselves, we aren’t worth it.
As I sat there on the edge of my grandmothers bed, I vowed to wear my perfume any day I wanted to. Not because I was going to a nice dinner, or out with friends, or to a special occasion. But because I wanted to feel special that day. I wanted to take in the scent of my favorite Chanel perfume, and not feel guilty for wearing it.
Because as we know, it’s really not about the perfume. It’s not about the perfect outfits, or your latest big accomplishment.. it’s about feeling worth it, just because. It’s about feeling thankful for being the person God made you, and for being given the life you have. It’s about understanding that it’s not selfish to take care of ourselves, and that we are not supposed to go through life feeling everyone else is worth more than you.
Mommas, you’re worth it. Whatever it may be, you’re worth it. You’re worth that warm cup of coffee. You’re worth that half hour of quiet to dive into your devotional or favorite book. You’re worth that spray of perfume or that extra long hug from your hubby. Take those little moments and remember, you are loved. You are special, and to so many, you are worth it.