Michaela, dressed from head to toe in her princess finest, struts into the room with her hands on her hips and her eyelashes fluttering and declares "Mommy, I a princess!"
"Awwww, look at my baby," I always say. "You look so pretty!"
"I a princess," she repeats, as if to say no duh, mom, princesses are supposed to be pretty.
Last week, I took her to see Disney on Ice at Rupp Arena and she squealed with delight at the sight of Jasmine, Ariel and Mulan. Seeing Cinderella in that beautiful carriage nearly sent her over the edge.
In the past year, she has blossomed into a huge princess fan. Her room is filled with princesses, she wears new princess dresses for days at a time and she thinks any woman in a formal dress on is a princess.Recently, she pointed to one of my wedding pictures and said, "Mommy was a princess."
And its no wonder the child wants to be a princess. She's mesmerized by the Disney princess movies.
The theme is always the same: Some beautiful girl overcomes some form of adversity and is discovered by a handsome princess. She's always dolled up in the finest fashions, her hair long and glistening, her eyes wide and bright, her voice soft and sweet. She's loved and adored by all -- at least in the end -- and she gets carried away by a prince and lives happily ever after.
While I have issue with some of the story lines, I have chosen to let Michaela believe in magic for the time being. They say it's an important part of her development. Real life will hit her soon enough.
Then again, I sorta like the princess influence. You see, it's not about the pretty dresses and shoes and the hair. It's about the confidence, the character, the inner strength and beauty, the belief in miracles and magic.
It's a lesson I'm happy Michaela is learning early in life and one I hope doesn't fade with time.
Growing up, I was surrounded by strong-willed women. Prime example: My mother, who raised 11 children with my dad and has been a solid rock in her lives.
My mom didn't raise me to be a princess, at least not the meek-and-mild, waiting-on-a-man-to-rescue-me type. She raised me to be strong willed and independent. So if I were Tiana, I would have convinced my friend Charlotte's rich and powerful father to invest in my restaurant. If I were Cinderella, I would have run away from home and started a successful cleaning service. If I were Rapunzel, I would have climbed out of the tower, then either cut my hair and donated it to Locks of Love or used it to heal sick people.
You get the point.
But I can still be a princess. Think about it: My heavenly father is a king. In fact, he's the King of kings and Lord of lords. He rules the world and everything in it belongs to him.
When I ask him for something, I ask with authority and expectation according to John 14:14. According to Proverbs 18:21, I have the power of life and death in my tongue.
I am royalty. It doesn't matter what I wear, my education, my family history and my economic status. I am a queen and a princess. I am somebody special. You may not know it or see it, but there is greatness within me.
I love that song by Donald Lawrence, There Is a King In You.
It goes like this:
You come from royalty
And aristocratic dynasty
The goal of the enemy
Is that you don't know who your are
There's power when you speak
So be mindful of words you speak
I know that life has challenged you
But the king in me speaks to the king in you
You were born to rule
There is a king in you
Embrace that, my friends. Act like you are the princess (or prince) God made you to be.
When times get rough, when you feel like the pauper and not the princess, when you feel like the ruled and not the ruler, or when your self esteem takes a dive, remember that you are royalty.
Take a lesson from Michaela. Toss your hair, flutter your eyelashes and put your hands on your hip. Now, with with the fierceness of a supermodel, the sass of a diva and the grace of a princess, say it with pride and confidence:
I Am A Princess!