Guess how many years I’ve wasted trying to be somebody I'm not, or how many M&M’s I’ve consumed because our papers are chronically out of order, the clutter more conniving than my impractical cleaning schedule, or because the laundry has been washed with a tube of greasy chapstick in my pants pocket…again?
Guess how crabby I get when my idealized self stands just inches out of reach, looking more muscular, organized, and outgoing than this all too human, flabby thighed, mother pressing her nose against the glass dividing heavily marketed pipe dreams from reality? Guess how sore my neck has become from craning over fences for a nice long look at where the grass is always greener, the children better behaved, and where scrapbooks are filled to overflowing with anecdotes and updated photographs? Guess how few people have been blessed by my neurotic desire to be perfect?
I have one, two, three, four kids who are happiest when I am contented, with the idiosyncrasies that make me as irreplaceable as a well worn rag doll adored for her ability to take a lickin’ and keep on givin’ much needed affection, warmth, and security. I have a husband who would like to be heard – the kind of hearing where you put down the broom, the dish rag, or the magazine in order to look at a person, square in the face, with attention. Guess who left my presence shaking their head in disbelief at all the stupid things I said? Nobody, that’s who; we’re all too busy pondering our own deficiencies.
Guess what would happen if I offered my “as is” companionship to a sister who was lonely, if I served my sub par cooking to a brother who was hungry, or if I turned my negative thoughts to God in prayer for someone, anyone, other than myself? I would be free, I tell you, from wasting time and empty calories on a boatload of superficialities. I would be a better example to my daughters, watching closely for cues on how a woman ought to carry herself – with humility (I long to show them), with grace, and with the conviction that there is beauty in every life (including their own) that bears the image of Christ Jesus, lives designed to love without restraint.