How I realized that a relationship is more important than a dress

Ellis and I were both excited! This was the day we had set aside to shop for her special dress to wear to the annual daddy/daughter dance.

Last year I shopped alone and found a sparkly, tulle, PINK dress. In my mind it was perfection.


So here we were a year later and it was time to get this girls’ day started!

We headed to the same department store where I found her perfect princess dress the previous year and began our search. I’m just going to say it. They weren’t pretty. We did find one “maybe”, but it happened to be blue. This was a problem. Pink is our favorite color! Since we needed to keep this dress as an option in case we came up empty handed at the other stores, I casually mentioned how this blue dress could be her Cinderella dress. That was all she wrote. From that moment on, our search was no longer to find “the perfect dress”, but instead to find “the perfect Cinderella dress”.

We entered another department store and I became hopeful as I immediately saw sparkles and ruffles and most importantly, pink! Ellis found a few pretty options, but then we discovered an adorable bubble gum pink dress with a frilly skirt filled with soft, billowing petal-like layers.

I had found my dress! We were headed in the direction of the dressing room when at the last second we saw another rack full of pretty princess dresses. There hanging in all of its’ sparkly, blue, glory was a true Cinderella dress. And by true, I mean there was a picture of Cinderella on the hanger. Of course I was instructed to grab it and I added it to our growing number of floofy dresses.

It was love at first try on. Ellis knew that this was her Cinderella dress. She did her “twirl” test to make sure that the skirt would be just right for dancing. Her mind was made up and she was ready to go.


But, we hadn’t tried on my pink dress! I convinced her to take off the twirly, blue dress and she slipped into my choice. Oh, how adorable!


But, there were two problems.

#1. It wasn’t blue.


#2 The skirt didn’t have enough twirl.

She quickly ran over to her Cinderella dress and told me that this was the one.

I may have asked her about 17 times if she was sure that this was her dress, and as she repeatedly assured me it was, it hit me… “relationship over dress”.

It was important to affirm her decision, to hop on the Cinderella dress train and to be as excited as she was that we had finally found her special dress! She needed to know that I was on her side.

This is something I recently have come to consider more often. Am I willing to choose relationship over BLANK? There are many words I could use to fill in this blank.

I want a friend to feel free to stop by if they’re in the neighborhood because I want to choose Relationship over a clean house.

I want my kids to know that we can take a break from their school work when they need to re-group because I want to choose Relationship over checking off all of our assignments for the day.

I want Andy to know that I support him and am on his side so instead of pointing out his mistakes I want to choose Relationship over being right.

I want my kids to know I value time with them because I want to choose Relationship over distractions. (I’m not using this as an excuse not to clean. REALLY!!!) 🙂

I want to prioritize time with the Lord because I want to choose Relationship over my to-do list.

As Ellis and I made our way to the cash register I delighted in the knowledge that on this day I had chosen Relationship over my perfect dress.

This was her perfect dress!


The night of her special date with her daddy she walked down the stairs to greet her Prince Charming and she was filled with joy over the way he delighted over her beautiful, blue Cinderella dress.


Will you choose today to put relationship over BLANK? I may not know what your blank is, but the joy that comes in knowing you put another’s desires and needs above your own is one the greatest gifts you can give and receive. Let’s all choose to grow and deepen relationships together as we choose relationship over ______.


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