Superman’s Smile.

Yesterday was a really hard day for our family, I’m not trying to be cryptic, I’ll fill you in when I can. 

There are a lot of things I could be worrying on, freaking out about, angry over. All of them rightly so

But you know where I am fixing my gaze instead? On this picture.

supermanIt seems like I would say “I’m keeping my eyes on God” or “his provision” or “his faithfulness” and I am saying that, but for some reason no verse or quote is saying as much to my weary heart as this picture.

This picture says “everything’s going to be fine” and “God is watching out for us” to me in a way that nothing else can.

It’s not a high quality photo, it won’t look impressive to you in a frame on our wall. It was taken in the dressing room of a Halloween Store under dingy florescent lights.

We stopped in because I knew we needed to. I’d spent the morning paying bills, reducing this line and that on the spreadsheet until it all worked out…. ish.

Writing checks, calling doctors to pay uncollected co-pays with one ear as the other one was filled with the voice of a little boy.

“Mom, instead of numbers, let’s look at superman costumes on your computer! Mom! CAN WE LOOK AT SUPERMAN?!”

No, No, No buddy, please wait, not now… 

And then, you know what? Yes. Before we can’t anymore, let’s go get a superman costume.

We loaded up and parked the van in front of the costume store, the sort that pops up suddenly in September in an abandoned storefront only to disappear with the Arrival of November like it never existed in the first place.

It was slow, we were early in the day and early for October for that matter, because I’m so very on the ball these days…

The salesman seemed genuinely friendly and asked what we were looking for.

A 4T Superman costume? 

He looked my son right in the eye and said “great choice buddy! Although I’m a little biased.”

With that he showed Caedmon the superman tattoo on his arm as my little man shyly disappeared behind my legs.

We found one that would fit, it had abs. Abs on a three year old, shutupalready. You can’t handle the abs.

He led us back to the dressing room where Caedmon tried something on for the first time, ever. All shy about stripping down to his underwear somewhere that wasn’t home. We slipped it on, up over his knees. He wiggled while I pressed together velcro and tied the sash.

He found himself in the mirror and his smile lit up.

“Mom, can I wear it now?”

Sure, why not? I got the “yep that’s fine” nod from the salesman who told him he’d put his Clark Kent clothes in a bag for him as we went up to pay. #Godblessthatguy.

Why superman? I have no idea. We don’t watch superhero cartoons yet.

But that smile guys, that smile is all the perspective I need.

That smile says that no matter where we live or how we pay the bills, it will be alright. Because I’m that boy’s mom, and there will be food for his tummy and love for his soul. We will share love and life, the four almost five of us, in the gracious provision of God.

And that’s all I need.

We will grow, he will tower over me soon enough and one night he will be filling out college applications while I rifle through boxes of photos just like this one.

Memories of a life lived in the light of smiles, his, mine, Kel’s… ours.

Love found, shared, captured and remembered.

A life well-lived, sustained by the love and grace of a God who hasn’t failed us yet, even when things were bleak and unstable. Stability is something we assume we will get in our twenties but I’m learning that no one really has it, it’s not something God promised us. If only.

In that superman smile I see all I need to see to find strength for today. I see a God who gives unspeakably good, rich and surprising gifts. I see a life that can be lived under a myriad of non-ideal circumstances so long as we focus on the good work of loving and living well.

In the end, what do we have for certain?

I have no idea.

But I have this boy, and his sister, and her sister to-be and their Daddy. We were given another day with each other, another plate of scrambled eggs, another 1,000 miles on the old mini van, I hope. Lord, actually can we make that 50k?

Good gifts, more than enough. All found in the light of superman’s smile.

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  • pastordt

    Perfect picture! Beautiful post. Thank you. And praying for good relief from whatever the hard is.

    • Leanne Penny

      Thank you so much friend!

  • Rea

    OK, if the smile didn’t melt me, the post did. Beautiful words. Praying for the hard patches.

    • Leanne Penny

      Thank you love, he does have one of those light up a room smiles. Your prayers are deeply appreciated.

  • Mark Allman

    I’m jealous of those abs! And that smile!

    He may not remember that suit but I am sure his soul will remember your willingness to stop you day and make it his day!! What an awesome mom.

  • Brenda W.

    “Stability is something we assume we will get in our twenties but I’m learning that no one really has it, it’s not something God promised us.” SO TRUE. This is beautiful!