Monday, June 30, 2008

An Excellent Match

Pumpkindoodle has been VBS hopping. After our church’s Vacation Bible School ended, my social girl begged me to find her “new” Bible schools. Last week, she attended a VBS program at a church located in the historic section of our small city. The program was fantastic and I beamed at the sight of the elated smile worn by my four-year-old each day that I picked her up from class.

Yesterday, instead of attending our church, I seated myself in the sanctuary of the latest VBS host church, and watched my daughter sing with her new friends.

Our home church is casual in regard to dress and style. I knew in advance that this sweet church leaned more on the traditional and fancy side. I’ll admit I devoted more time than usual to my morning routine. And, I made sure that the nails on my toes and fingers were coated with shiny polish. Not only did I look extra snazzy, I managed to get myself and two kids out the door on time. I felt good in an “I am Mommy, hear me roar,” sort of way.

Soon after finding my seat, I dropped the pager issued by the nursery team in case Pickle needed my attention. As I bent down to pick it up, I purposefully bit the inside of my cheeks to prevent an outburst of laughter. In my hurry to get to the service in time, I unknowingly slipped on a pair of old brown sandals instead of the cute black wedges I had planned to wear. Had my dress been brown instead of black and white, this would not have been such a fashion blunder.

If this had happened a year ago, I would have stifled tears instead of a giggle. I would have mentally chastised myself for not being more careful. Anger at appearing unkempt and imperfect would have distracted me. But on this day I smiled and silently said, “This is a test, isn’t it Lord? Trust me, I get it. This is so not about me. It’s all about you. This day and every day, It’s all you God.”

I no longer need to appear as though I am completely together to feel secure. My identity is not in how well I dress, parent, clean my bathrooms, or love my husband. Please do not misunderstand me. I still strive to do these things to the very best of my ability, but I no longer grade my worthiness by my achievements and failures. I’ve learned that an invaluable part of striving for excellence is, ironically, accepting that sometimes my good enough is good enough. And that an honest, “I did my best,” is pleasing to God’s ears, while a haughty, “Aren’t I just the best?” disappoints my Savior.

God does not care if my shoes do not match my dress. But, He does care if the knowledge of my heart does not match the truth in His word. And now, more than anything else, so do I. So do I.

So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 1 Peter 1:13-15 New Living Translation.





27 comments:

Monica said...

It is freeing to know and really realize that we don't have to be perfect or live up to expectations in order to be loved by our Creator.

Kelly said...

So well said!

I enjoyed this post and was blessed by your message. Glad you were able to laugh at your shoe mishap:-)

Bethany@MyLifeinBlack&White said...

I like the new blog look!

Thanks for this insightful and encouraging story. We all need to be reminded to put our efforts toward what is important and to laugh off what is not so important.

Jamie said...

Excellent! That is a heart issue that I am continually working on.

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

Isn't it awesome to be able to look back and see how we would have reacted before, and to see GROWTH in how we react now!?! LOVE that!

All to His glory...

Alana said...

I did that this week, accidentally slipped on the wrong pair of flip flops! I also would have let it bother me in the same way in the past. Great post!

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

This was a great post!

Sarah said...

What a good reminder! I so easily forget that I am prone to a perfectionistic performance attitude. Oh,how I pray that in a new church I would not get caught up in rating my appearance and would be caught up in my Savior. A work still in progress.

a Tonggu Momma said...

I love looking back to see growth in my struggle areas. I'm glad you were able to stifle the giggle (instead of trying to stifle tears).

Natalie @ I AM (not) said...

Ha! My mom did that but with one red pump and a pink low heel. Go figure.

Mocha with Linda said...

I don't know if it's just me, but I can't read the post once it bumps into the side column and goes into the brown area. Weird.

Apparently others are reading it fine. . . .

Andrea said...

I'm still learning this one!

Julie said...

My 2nd oldest daughter showed up at church last week all dressed up to find she had on one blue flip flop and one black one. We all got a laugh out of that.

I am glad you were able to see the rest in your soul. I love it when that happens

Hugs,
Julie

Lisa writes... said...

"My identity is not in how well I dress, parent, clean my bathrooms, or love my husband." AMEN to this! How easily we look to externalities to measure our worth, from our weight to our dress size, from the number of comments to the number of hits on the sitemeter--all are meaningless. Only in Jesus do we find meaning and identity! It's HIM!

Trish (wheresthebox) said...

I know where you are with this one. I am much better than I used to be, although I can still allow myself to get out of sorts if I get too self-focused.

Tracy said...

Beautifully said! I love when He graciously gives us opportunities like that, to see how we've changed and matured in our walk. ; ) The longer we walk with Him, the more secure in His love, the less we worry about externals...what a blessing & gift!

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the new look here. Gorgeous.

Beloved MaMa said...

So true! and can't wait to visit tomorrow!

Sandy@ Jesus and Dark Chocolate said...

Great life lesson and a great place to be as a mom. It's so freeing when you truly live for the priorities of a Godly life, not a life based on the demands of this culture.
BTW, I once took red shoes to a wedding 3 hours away, the problem was I was wearing a peach colored dress. I took the shoe box, but never looked inside, and didn't realize the wrong shoes were inside. I looked hideous, but we all had a good laugh about it. :)

LOVE the new blog look!! fun fun fun!

Misty said...

Thank you for visiting my blog.... it's always fun to meet some one new.

Kelsey said...

Awesome reminder thanks!

Sherry said...

Wonderful post! Yes, you do get it, dear one. It is definitely about Him. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Jenny said...

Yes! I have been known to walk out of the house wearing my slippers... ok, honestly. I've done it more times than I can count on both hands. I feel your pain.

I also grew up in So Cal, where, really... anything goes. You can put anything with anything, and if you walk confidently, you can pull it off. So that's what I do. Wear anything and walk confidently (in my Savior!) :) Teehee.

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Job 12:7

Our animals often reflect God's love, they give it totally unconditionally. They don't care how clever we are, what we wear, what car we drive, how much we have in our bank account or even if we smell!

I am sure that God feels the same way, what matters to Him is what is on the inside... Don't think that He was at all woried by the shoes, amused perhaps, but He would, I am sure, have been concerned if the congregation of new Church judged you by them.

Lori said...

isn't it funny how you start to look at thing differently and realize that it is easier to laugh than cry

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

It's a great place to be when we can realize that it's not about us. At all. I can't say I'm there yet...but a work in a progress.

Lisa a.k.a. The Preacher's Wife said...

cracking up! i once went to the grocery store in my black/white checked houseshoes. i was pretty well mortified but not enough to go back home...i just did my shopping and dealt with it! :)

Bahama Shores Mama said...

What a perfect post! Thanks for sharing......

PS: When my older kids were little we VBS hopped and LOVED it!

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