"Can I borrow your clothes?" I asked my husband before reaching into his drawer for a pair of basketball shorts with paint stains on them and his oversized shirt from the high school soccer team's moment of glory as district champs. This was the norm for my bedtime routine. It started when I was pregnant since I could no longer fit into any of my own clothes and his just seemed so comfy. But that baby? She's about to turn two.
My thoughts on pajamas have always been pretty simple though. Nobody sees them (okay, my husband sees them but that solution is another story and another nightstand drawer to discuss) so who cares what they look like? They serve their purpose which is to keep me covered so I don't traumatize my kids when they crawl into our bed midmorning. The end.
I'm already overwhelmed with having to look cute at school meetings, girls nights, and church on Sundays. So between the hours of 8 PM and 7 AM, I will be a hot mess and no one will know. Thus began my uniform of oversized shirts, whatever bottoms are clean, and a bee's nest on my head. Not much thought or effort needed and no one's the wiser.
An Epiphany at Target
After an especially trying week with the kids and all the end of the school year volunteering and activities, I had a few hours completely alone to unwind. What does every mother who gets a few hours to unwind do? She heads to Target. She walks every single aisle slowly. She buys all the things. And that is exactly what I did.
Halfway through my blissful trip to the motherland, I came across the pajama section. Looking at the pair of shoes and the cute shirts I already had in my shopping cart for myself, I walked right passed it. My thought was that if I were going to spend effort or money on something for myself, it wouldn't be pajamas. Heck, I'm already going to have buyer's remorse the second my husband asks what I got, while I'm shuffling through my new salt and pepper shakers, a fake plant, shoes, hair bows, a rubber band holder, Fourth of July decorations, and a ceramic horse head bookend I just had to have.
I took a mindless turn after checking out some workout tops and somehow ended up right smack in front of a large display of shirt and shorts pajama sets. I had this urge to buy them. No, not the normal Target urge that makes you buy ridiculous things (read: Husbands, it's so real!). This urge had thoughts circulating through my head that seemed deeper, and more meaningful.
The voice inside spoke clearly and kindly:
"You are worthy of nice pajamas. Take the time to care for yourself. If you show yourself love when no one is looking, it will overflow into your everyday life. Rebuilding your joy and happiness begins with small simple acts of kindness to your own soul. You are important, always. You are cared for and loved when it's just you alone for no other benefit than just because you are."
A Love Note from God
Needless to say I bought myself two pairs of pajamas. My husband smiled as I explained my epiphany at Target. (He probably thinks I'm getting pretty legit at my reasoning for unnecessary purchases). I slipped on my favorite pair and snuggled into bed. Let me tell you, I slept the best I have in such a long time. I woke up as joyful as I can be since I'm not a morning person. Somehow I felt nurtured and seen. I know now that I obviously felt empowered because my inner need to be seen and valued was tended to. I've also come to the conclusion that God has taught me a thing or two through some pajamas.
That inner voice was a love note from God. He was saying all those things to me. He wants me to know that I am loved and cared for and seen. I also got the feeling that He was reminding me that not everything's for show. Ouch. We've been talking a lot more in private recently. A solo shopping trip led to a night of good sleep which grew into an epiphany of self-love and ended with a deeper connection to God.
Do yourself a favor. Buy the pajamas.
This is Candace. She hates long walks on the beach and would prefer a short drive to get a doughnut. Her creative spirit leaves her husband constantly guessing which room she'll decorate next and her kids requesting elaborate birthday parties. She'll tell you the truth, even if you don't want to hear it. But don't worry, she'll make you laugh to soften the blow. Her heart longs to share the realness of her life and provide someone else a "me too" in a moment of isolation. Words are her thing; she writes to heal. God grasped a hold of Candace as a teenage mama, and she's been desperate for His love and sensitive to His voice everyday since.