On a typical, crazy, busy Tuesday morning, I shoved cold, dry, whole wheat toast into my mouth, while switching Riley, our youngest son’s cowboy boots to the correct feet. I had agreed to be a substitute tutor at our Classical Conversations homeschool co-op, adding another level of crazy to our morning schedule. Running late (per usual), I screeched into the church parking lot and pulled into the neat row of suburbans and minivans.
Already sweating off my morning shower, I began unloading bags, backpacks, and lunches out of the back of the car. Herding 2 sleepy teens, and a bouncy tween out of the car, I turn to encourage my boot dragging, reluctant toddler, through gritted teeth. I soon realize he is eating a blue sucker from his carefully rationed Halloween spoils. WHY must it be blue? There is no hiding the shame of this breakfast of champions. His lips will be blue until lunch time.
Spilling coffee, dropping lunch boxes, I sign in and grab my name tag, slipping into our tutor meeting just in time to repeat “amen” as our director prays over our day.
I took a deep breath and tried to pull myself together. As I wiped Riley’s blue sticky mouth with the corner of my sweater. My 11-year-old, Emma leaned over to whisper that we had forgotten her tin whistle for fine arts, again. Her tutor AND our director had only sent 3 friendly reminders this week to put our whistles in our bags.
Again, I settle in my seat, listening to sweet friends giving their family presentation on stage. The presentation is a weekly ritual at CC where families can share about themselves so we all get to know one another, and kids (and parents) get some public speaking experience. The Terry’s were on stage today, beautifully and eloquently telling about a family trip where they camped and kayaked and rode inter-tubes. We said the pledge of allegiance and a prayer and were dismissed to our assigned classes. As I turned to leave to teach little 4 and 5-year-olds about the islands of the Caribbean and absolute monarchs, I quietly sang Latin chants in my head in an effort not to make a complete fool of myself in front of preschoolers…
Shannon Terry walked up to me, in my daze and giggled “are you, Shannon Terry, today?”
She held my name tag hanging loosely on my now blue & sticky sweater. I looked down and read it “Shannon Terry” Sheepishly, I laughed along.
“Er um… hee hee. Uh…yeah, can I be you? I really want to be you! So sorry!”
I quickly unclipped the tag and hugged my friend as I handed it to her.
Lord help me.
I mean…Who wouldn’t want to be Shannon Terry? She is lovely, inside and out, thin, stylish, graceful, her kids are smart and adorable.
But, alas, I am not. I am me. A hot mess, mediocre wife, lazy housekeeper, okayish cook, homeschool teacher (that is bad at math), sleepy mother of four.
Wearing her name tag does not make me her. I cannot have her physique, her cute clothes, her well-behaved kids, her vacation memories.
And NO one expects this of me.
Except maybe me.
What are we calling ourselves today? Are we confessing truth with our mouths? Confession literally means “to agree with”. Who are we agreeing with? The father of lies? Or the one who calls us Daughter?
God has named me. An indelible tag placed on a robe of white. In red sharpie, unwashable, not even with a magic eraser. On my craziest day, in chaos and madness, mistakes and mishaps. I can look there and be assured it will read…
But now thus said the Lord that created me…and he that formed me ….fear not for I have redeemed thee I have called thee by name thou art mine. Isaiah 43:1
Enter His rest,