I do the stupidest things to make a good impression.
On the week of a dentist’s appointment, I’ll floss diligently, hoping that I can magically make up for months of laziness.
If you’re coming over to my house, I might be inclined to make house-cleaning an Olympic sport, sprinting across the living room, hurdling over the coffee table and high-diving from the stairs before you ring the doorbell.
And this week, when I had a doctor’s appointment, I did what I’ve done before: I scrounged through dresser drawers to find the lightest-weight outfit I owned. Then, when I would step on the doctor’s scale, we might see a more favorable digital reading. I even found a nice pair of light-weight, foam flip-flops in the closet. As if…
Like, I said, I do the dumbest things.
And look. I’d rather not admit it to you. It’s all just a bit embarrassing.
But it’s true: That old nature creeps up from time to time, wanting me to make people think I’m something more (see: skinnier, or prettier, or smarter) than I really am.
When, really, I’m just me.
If I get brave enough, I might hit PUBLISH on this blog post to tell you more about it. But seeing how I’m not altogether comfortable with exposing the yucky parts of me … well, … I’ll have to think about whether I really want you to let you in on things.
If I do hit PUBLISH, you’ll discover that I sometimes stay in my pajamas until noon, frequently forget to floss, sing embarrassingly loud in the car, am way behind on laundry, and haven’t dusted the living-room shelves for weeks.
There are worse things, I know. Because I’ve done them: I’ve coveted; envied; compared; gotten jealous; sinned in thought, word, and deed; and been defensive far more than I should. I say dumb things I regret, don’t apologize enough, too often demand to have the last word, and act like I know what I’m talking about.
I also gained a little too much weight over the summer – which looks ridiculously minor stacked next to that lengthy list of transgressions.
I can get hung up on little things, making them into really big things. Like Monday, when I stepped on the scale, watching that digital number creep higher than it had in months. The nurse inked the number on my chart, then led me to the exam room. I sat on the table, with white paper crinkling under me.
She asked if I had any new allergies – no — any new health problems – again, no – or any unexplained weight loss or weight gain.
“I’ve gained weight,” I told her. “But it’s not ‘unexplained.’”
She smiled a knowing smile. “You’re not the only one who says that.”
I knew the reason. I have lived a sedentary summer, getting up early in the morning, not to exercise, but to write before the girls woke up. Last spring, I had joined a group of Facebook friends, and we encouraged each other as we worked out with Jillian Michael videos. I didn’t have hand-weights, but for weeks, I faithfully used soup cans (duct-taped together) to work out.
But then I got bored or distracted, and stopped.
I could have started again, but didn’t consider that option until this week, in a moment of panic.
The panic was the trigger. That’s when I knew something was wrong. I had panicked, because I wanted to impress. I am joining a friend I haven’t seen in a while at Women of Faith this weekend. We’re hoping we’ll get to hug another friend of ours while we’re there. Both of these ladies look amazing, I tell you.
In that moment of panic, I felt like Yoda.
Thankfully, I recognized that nonsense before it took hold, robbing me of the truth of who I am in Christ: flawed and broken but still worth dying for.
And if the Good Lord put me here on the planet, I ought to take good care of my body so I can do His good work while I’m here – not so I can fit into a smaller size of jeans.
So I got on the treadmill this week, and started to look for a little wholeness and balance again. This body is a temple — one body given by God to do His good work, not to be used as a way to manipulate someone’s opinion of me.
Now, the truth is this: Before I head to Women of Faith, I’ll do my hair, and put on lipstick, and wear jeans that fit me best. And I’ll stand up tall and be who I am, even if there’s a little bit more of me than there was a few months ago.
So be it.
I know that I’m irrevocably loved and cherished anyway – despite the dumb things I do, the goofy thoughts I think, and the half-baked plans that hatch in this quirky mind of mine. I’m smitten with a God who loves me regardless of worldly measurements of worth.
Every day is a new day, a new beginning, a chance to live up to the person God made me to be – not the image I want to see in the mirror. In the whole scheme of things, I am a God-incidence – having been made and created in His image for such a time as this.
I’ve got a mind to act like I believe it.
And the first order of business is this: Click PUBLISH.
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