I got a new (to me) car. I intended to go buy a barebones, no bells or whistles, will do for the next five years and will haul 6 kids car. I ended up with a fully loaded, pristine, beyond my dreams, with every button you can think of car. Seriously, it is a nice car. It is so nice, I feel kind of guilty having it. I am seriously outclassed - by an inanimate object. So I already felt a bit like I had to be extra nice to this car, to make up for being owned by a mess like me.
I should have found an older, less shiny, less fancy vehicle.
EVERYONE wants to let me know that this is a nice car, and I had best live up to it. And I have a whole passel of folks who love me, and have decided to take up the plight of this poor, poor car that has no idea what it has just gotten into. They love me and know that there are things that I just don't know about cars and want to help me to keep this car for a long time. But I wrestle with it. I could mention here that I have been kind of depressy lately anyway... it doesn't take much to swing me.
I was telling my friends about my new ride at a dessert gathering, and one of them, a lady who I know loves me very much, and I her, read me the riot act about taking care of this car. She said to me, "You aren't known for taking good care of vehicles." One of the biggest reasons I love her is that she has a gift for speaking truth without being mean about it. And her statement is mostly true. I do have a standing appointment with my friend the tire and oil guy once a month to have the fluids and tires checked. But I don't see the point of keeping them shiny, or fussing too much over them, or anything we own, really. In my mind, it is stuff. I don't want to be owned by my stuff. The furniture is all hand me down, and none of it matches, dust particles are hosting family reunions on my bookshelf, my chair is held together with duct tape, and I am a champion dandelion grower. I am not saying I don't care at all, and don't make an effort, but I am not going to devote my evenings and weekends to making sure that my stuff looks as nice as other people's stuff, and my lawn passes the neighbors' muster. I like dandelions. I like tall grass. (And I think making something grow so someone has to spend an afternoon mowing it back down is stupid.) I want to do other things, be with other people. I want to read and sew and play games with my kids and cook for folks, and-and-and. I am probably just lazy, and justifying it all, but that is how I look at it, at least in my own head.
Her words hit a nerve though, because I did keep regular checkups done on my last few cars. ( I am telling you. I have the kiss of death for anything with a motor.) I had already resolved to keep the car usually washed and vacuumed. And my son might have been teasing me a week or so ago about no one liking me. He doesn't know. I DO know he was yanking my chain, about one issue in particular, but I internalized all the same. And I started thinking about what else I am known for.
I am not known to be kind to motorized objects.
I am not known to have a nice yard.
I am not known as a good housekeeper.
I am not known to be timely.
I am not known to dress well.
I am not known as a beauty.
I AM known to be able to fully dress a teenage boy, chonies out, from the contents they have previously left in my car.
I am not known to be organized.
I am not known to be sweet or obedient.
I am not known to be well liked by everyone.
I am not known to be tolerant of kids who treat my kids poorly.
I am not known to worry about the stuff on the porch.
I am not known to be cautious with my opinions.
I am not known to be handy, or sporty or outdoorsy.
I am not known to know how to do a lot of things that folks who were not raised in the city assume everyone knows.
I am not known to be on the ball, humble or respected.
I could go on. I am not a perfect person. I am not even a slightly good person. I am just me. I am a mess. In my mind, a good mom meets all of these "standard" criteria, and I meet none of them. I had to think hard on this, or throw in the towel and give up on everything, hide in a closet and eat ice cream until I was too big to fit through the doorway and had to be tow trucked out.
God, being the amazing Father He is, spun it for me real quick.
Matthew 16:13 - 16 13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus asked Peter who other people were saying that He was. I am fairly sure that, being God and all, He already knew.The story is in what comes next. He followed that up with BUT, who do YOU say that I am? I think the point is that there is a difference, a sharp difference, in who other people were saying Jesus was, and who we each individually say that He is. God showed me that I could turn this around also. I know who men say that I am. I know every negative trait I have, and which ones are most obvious to the people in my world. The real question, the one that needs to be asked after everyone else's opinions have been acknowledged, is to ask God, "WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?"
He says I am loved.
He says I am forgiven.
He says I am free.
He says I am created to be uniquely me.
He says I am redeemed, I am perfect, because I am seen through the light of Christ's sacrifice.
He says I am enough.
He says I am loveable.
He says I am important.
He says I am useful.
He says I am worthy.
I am not the Christ, but I am Kimberly, the daughter of the living God. And that is enough. And whenever I get all hung up over what "men say that I am" , I am going to try to remember who God says that I am. And if I forget, I will just ask Him.