The kids are on their way to school. Ellie is quietly sitting in her seat in the car drinking a bottle. I actually have boots on with a heel and my hair is straightened. I’m dressed and I look like a grown woman-instead of my signature gray hoodie and sweats.
My coffee is reheated in my favorite cup. I’m just looking for a cardigan to wear. The teal one. So “Pinterest”, I think. My casserole is warm in a fancy casserole dish carrier. And I think I might even make it on time.
I’m headed to Jayden’s school for a parent meeting. The house, although not perfect, is decent enough to have company over unannounced.
Somewhere long before I actually leave the driveway something usually goes wrong. I usually don’t make it this far, this put together. Ever really. And I am wrestling with the emotion that’s rising up in me. Is it pride or peace?
It’s 9 AM. Ready to go just need to grab the keys. This is what I long to feel. Put together. Organized. Smelling ok. On one hand, I feel peace. When my house is clean and I am on time and looking presentable, I feel calm. But, on the other hand, I feel prideful. There is a small voice inside of me saying, “see, world? See how put together I can be?” If honesty gets the best of me….dare I say…..I want people to see? I want to be praised. THAT piece of it, is pride. I don’t think a put together moment is wrong when it brings a calm, a peace inside of me and my first reaction is to give God a shout out.
I love feeling like I got in the car called “time” and am coasting in it, instead of frantically chasing after it. I love when I can sit and breathe. Or type and have coffee on my back porch. I love weeks like this where I become productive and clean the basements and closets. But, the question, I guess, remains. “Who am I trying to please? Who is getting the praise for this peace?” I always need to shift my focus to an audience of one. I need to talk down off the ledge, my voice of pride. I don’t need people to see how calm I am. I am really fine wearing sweats. I know the reality of moments like this. They stop. And, really, they are impossible to maintain. Somewhere, long before I actually leave the driveway, something goes wrong.
Like, our van showing that the air is low in the back tire. Truth. Luckily, I called my manly husband, Justin, who works next door and told me to just go on over to the shop and he will put some air in it. No problem, I think, just a few minutes late.
Wrong turn. What was I thinking?! I know how to get to Jayden’s school!
Now, 10 minutes late and Ellie just fell asleep so now I have to wake her and hand her to a stranger for child care. She did great, but my casserole didn’t. It continued cooking all the way there and was brown on the bottom. And, common to me but, maybe not to others, this meeting is a parent support group for those of us who have children who have severe to profound disabilities. Not your average PTA meeting! (The parents I met were great and the content was very helpful.)
Sometimes, even in being vulnerable with the not so “put together” things, I struggle with pride. I have generally found peace in this world of special needs….I see the blessings, and have found my seat, and strapped in, so to speak. I think my seat number is B2. Second row, second seat, on the special needs tilt-a-whirl. I want people to see me. To see my children. To cry, “look at me!” “Notice me, help me, love me anyway! Include me!” That too, is pride, just less people would admit that.
Audience of one.
I love Paul’s words in Galatians 1:10, “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” My peace should come from seeking God, not a clean house or cute boots. Not from the “I’m so sorry you have to ride the tilt-a-whirl” comments, either. Peace comes from knowing and trusting Jesus. Period. Everything else is counterfeit peace, I think.
Pride or peace? I don’t know. Hopefully peace.
Col 3:23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.