by Annette Bridges. ©2010. All rights reserved.

Since my trip to Italy, my husband and I have enjoyed a delicious breakfast routine that often includes French toast, fresh fruit and a yummy cup of cappuccino.

Breakfast has become not only good-tasting but a lovely beginning for each new day.

In Italy, food was delicious and a beautiful picture served on a plate. Since my return — especially at breakfast time — I get immense pleasure in arranging the food on our plates in some exquisite way. It’s amazing how taking the time to do this simple yet thoughtful gesture makes us enjoy our meal all the more, as well as sets the tone for a happy and satisfying day.

Today was one of the mornings when my husband takes his dad to have breakfast with some of his friends. And I thought to myself, “Why shouldn’t I fix myself a good breakfast?” So I did. I found myself taking the time to make my plate as lovely as I do when I’m serving both of us.

As I sat down to eat alone, I observed what I had done. My napkin and silverware were neatly in place on the table, and the arrangement of food on my plate and cappuccino served in an elegant cup and saucer were picture perfect. I thought to myself, “What a special breakfast I’m about to treat myself to.” I couldn’t help but also think, “And why not?”

Because I’m “precious in His sight” were the words that came to my mind!

And this, my friends, is also the reason you should do the same. You, too, are precious in His sight! In other words, you are somebody special!

Believing in our innate value and treating ourselves with care is imperative. If we don’t, we might be tempted to think we don’t matter, that our life doesn’t make a difference or is insignificant. These lies would fool us into believing we are not worthy, not good enough, not skinny enough or not capable enough. None of which is true, by the way!

You are special because you’re you! It is because we are different from one another that makes each of us special. We all have unique gifts and talents. So we can be what God meant us to be — ourselves!

Being special — or being ourselves — means we are exceptional, important, significant, unique, unusual, extraordinary, memorable and uncommon. We have a quality, character and identity that is distinguishable from everyone else. And I believe that each of us has been especially designed for a particular purpose. So my friends, each of us matters.

Many years ago I read a quote by Mother Teresa, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if that drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

This quote has often reminded me that my life does matter and is important in my world. And this thought has inspired and encouraged me all the more to want to reach whatever is my ultimate potential in this life.

Give your special self permission to be yourself. Don’t allow yourself, or anyone else, to limit your possibilities by saying what you should or should not do or what you can or cannot do. You must be “you” and whatever that entails!

Do what you love! If you love to write – write! If you love to sing – sing! If you love to farm – farm! If you love to teach – teach! There is a way to be whoever we have been especially created to be.

Being ourselves can require some nurturing and tender, loving care. So, I have found it important to be sure I’m investing in my physical, emotional and spiritual self each day. This includes blocking out time to ponder what is important to me and to consider how precious I am in God’s eyes.

Enjoying your own company by fixing yourself a fabulous meal and serving yourself with elegant stemware is another way to treat yourself with tender and loving care. Why should you do this? Because you are somebody special!