I have struggled for most of my life comparing my flaws to the perfection of other women. These women seem to have matching shoes and purses. I lug around an overfilled backpack and feel excited just to find my shoes. Other women seem to be neatly dressed with perfectly manicured nails. I cannot leave the house without baby vomit or toddler snot on my shoulder. I once spent an entire day not even realizing my pants were covered in Nutella. I thought I was looking pretty good and I literally looked like I was covered in poop. Poop, snot, and vomit seemed to be my identifying marks. The evil one told me I needed to work harder to be like these other women. They are perfect and glamorous. I need to become them. But the harder I worked the more exhausted and sad I became. I allowed the evil one to steal my  peace and joy because I listened to him teach me how to despise my design. 

“Consider the wildflowers, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.” Luke 12:27

I was praying with this scripture verse and word that stood out to me was wildflowers. Why? What would God want to tell me about wildflowers. I love roses. I love their perfection, their fancy beauty, and even how the thorns surrounding them seem to heighten their glamour. Roses are my thing. If I was a flower, I would want to be rose. I also love St. Therese of Lisieux. I even gave all five of my daughters the middle name of Rose. I love roses.

Mary Jo's daughters, all with middle name Rose

I kept praying with this verse and God showed me this garden in the middle of a field. This garden was filled with beautiful flowers of every kind mixed with weeds. It was stunning and a little messy and it was exactly how He wanted it. He formed each one and He loved each one.

God showed me this droopy purple flower within that garden, and I knew that was me. I was not meant to be a rose. I was meant to be a wildflower. His design of me was perfect . . . perfectly messy.

The very next day I went to see the movie, “The Shack.” I had never even heard of it before. At one point they go into this field and God shows the man the exact field God had shown me in prayer. All the weeds mixed with the beautiful flowers of every kind. I so was deeply moved I almost choked on my popcorn.

However, over time I once again began to allow the evil one to steal my peace and joy through comparison. I kept striving for “Rose-Status Perfection” and failing all over the place. But God never gives up and sometimes He must hit me with a 2 x 4 to remind me of His love.

My 2 x 4 came when my daughter Karena Rose came home with a bunch of seeds. I had been working late and was exhausted. She poured all the packages over our long kitchen table and excitedly began telling me about her newfound love of seeds. She has never planted anything in her life, so at 18 years old, she is suddenly obsessed. I pretend to listen to her ranting about seeds until I notice the package with this droopy purple flower on the front. When I saw the image my soul shook; I just knew. Then I noticed the price. God speaks to me in threes (three is holy because of the Trinity). When I saw the price, I began to cry. My God would create within my child a newfound love of gardening and use a package of seeds from Walmart to make sure I knew His love and the beauty of my own design. I got it, God! I am a droopy purple flower! No more comparison!

This is the actual photo of one of the packages of seeds. Of course, all packages were thrown away.

When I prayed a little more, He started to show me some of the miracles that came from the messiness of my design. One of them was my husband and I training to become foster parents while pregnant with our fifth baby. The “Rose-Perfection” women with fabulous outfits, nails, and coordinating shoes and purses are not doing foster care with their five kids. If my design would have been different, we would never have known our two daughters we adopted out of foster care.

I prayed more and recalled ALL the flowers within the garden. This image was foundational in developing the Kingdom Builders Mission. Every woman is growing within His garden. Each one is beautiful and each one is necessary.

What is your design? Which flower are you? Do you honor and love your own design? Or do you work tirelessly attempting to be another flower?

Kingdom Builders desires every woman to recognize, love, and honor the unique beauty of their design. Our Mission is to build God’s Kingdom within the heart of every woman. Ladies, you are crown jewel of God’s creation. You are the beloved daughter of a Glorious King. Come, build with us.

Yeah, but why a wheelbarrow?