When I was younger, I was a perfectionist. I thought that if my house was spotless and my child was never dirty, that in essence, I was being the perfect wife and mother. I soon learned that it was all an illusion and the reality of it was revealed to me through the eyes of a three-year-old little boy.

I cannot remember the exact date, but I remember the moment. My son, who was three at the time, and I were hunting for sea shells at the beach. My son would eagerly run and pick one up and return it to me. I would tell him, “No, not that one, it is cracked or broken.” I watched as my son walked away, dejected, to try to look through my eyes for the perfect shell. It was that moment that I realized who I had become.

You see, I was looking for perfection on the outside. I was so obsessed with the thought of perfection, that I could not see that it was right in front of me.

On that day, perfection was seen through the eyes of a little boy that just wanted to please his mom. He did not see the cracked and broken outside of the shell. He only saw the beauty of what was left and he wanted with all his heart for me to have it and to make me happy.

I was crushed by the look on his face. I remember running up to him and telling him how beautiful the shells were that he had found. And he forgave me. After that we both ran excitedly up and down the beach for hours hunting for anything that he thought was beautiful.

I realized recently that moment was a huge stepping stone for me. It reflects my relationship with Christ. You see He does not see the outside of our shells either. He sees the beauty on the inside, much like through the eyes of a three-year-old little boy.

God accepts us for who we are, no matter how tattered, broken or cracked our shells are.

Perfection is something that is unseen. It is gained each day of our life as we walk closer and closer to God.

I still keep those shells that we gathered that day to remind me of that moment and what I learned from it. They sit as a treasure. It does not matter what they look like on the outside, I know what they taught me on the inside.

“…the best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen nor even touched, but just felt in the heart.” – Helen Keller

Sissy Slater resides in New Bern, NC with her husband, 3 dogs, 2 cats, chickens and horses.





Image courtesy of Max Goncharov.