Friday June 24th, 2011

Dearest Sister of my Heart,

On Monday my secret identity was exposed.  Ha!  Serves me right for wanting to look like something more than I am… like anything less than “me”.

Allow me to set the scene…  

My mom was here for all of last week and she left on Sunday.  So last week was like one big alternate reality in which normal life didn’t exist and the kids and I played and had somebody cook for us and do the dishes when they piled up and went to the beach.  It’s fun and different and great when someone we love is here… but it completely throws me off my game.

So, upon my entre back into reality on Monday, I had completely forgotten that we were supposed to have a “play date” (to use a popular term these days) with another kid from the boys’ school.  My neighbor Michelle and I had been trying to put it together for weeks and finally we’d found a day that worked for all 3 families (us here and the mom of their little friend).  Well, since we hadn’t talked about it for a whole week and it was only discussed verbally and never written down anywhere by either of us… Michelle and I both completely forgot.  Luckily, I remembered on the way to pick up the kiddos at school that this little friend and his mama were supposed to follow me home and hang out for a few hours or I would have left her high and dry waiting for us and wondering what sort of rude people we were (God’s grace saving me from accidental rudeness).

Here’s where it gets a little embarrassing (notice that up until this point I have avoided looking like a complete fool to anyone else)… Michelle had been the touch person for this little get together so we were going to be hanging out at her house the whole time.  I tried to call her to remind her as I was on my way home with the boys but her phone wasn’t ringing.  So I pull in and unload the boys and we file into her house to find her still in the throes of discipleship with a friend of hers.  Her eyes get real big as I watch understanding dawn upon her and realization wash over her face as a strange little boy comes bounding into her living room. Yeah, OOPS!  So, what do I do… of course I invite them all over into my own house so Michelle can finish up her discipleship time in peace.  I open my door and wave everybody in… and I see my house with the eyes of a stranger for the first time in a while… oh NO…

Yeah, it was ugly.  The laundry room was a mess (where our most used door to the house is), the bathroom had dirty cloth diapers piled in it (including one in the hallway that I had changed on my way out the door to do kid pick up!), every surface in the living/dining room was completely covered in stuff (papers, camera, toys, sunscreen, booger sniffer, soap… just STUFF… we often live in clutter these days), the kitchen… oh, the kitchen… the kitchen had two sink-fulls of dirty dishes and some more trailing across the counter and stove as well as piles of banannas-re-usable grocery bags-plastic cups-bowls-tupperware-cookbooks-TOYS-empty baby food jars/formula cans-recycling… Yup, this is the house I invited our new friends into and the kitchen in which I offered them lunch with a smile on my face and a short, sighed, pardon-for-the-mess.

I was exposed, I was undone… and I decided that if that’s the way it’s gonna be then SO BE IT!  If this other mama likes me, my COLOSSALLY messy life and all, then I’m being liked for who I am and it’ll probably be an honest friendship.  ‘Cause, let me tell you, there was no pretense of  “hospitality facade” put forth… it was my honest to goodness life at this moment that I invited her into.

You know what?  She shrugged, and we started talking about how busy life gets and where she’s from and what we do and life as a mom and… well, you get the idea.  And three hours later when they had to leave she said she wanted to invite us all over to her place sometime soon and made sure she had both Michelle’s number and my own.

I am so grateful for the grace of others.  I know that the state my house is in is just a reflection of my crazy family life and the busyness we encounter each day together but I most often have the tendency to believe it is a reflection of my soul.  A reflection of who I am.  And, well, to be totally honest,  maybe it is to some degree… I have never been that put-together, efficient, organized person that everyone thinks is Super Woman.  Why do I want to appear that way?  I am a beautiful mess and my house usually reflects that in some way shape or form.  Wanting others to think something different of me will only lead to disappointment in the end.  So, as I try to contain that disaster area that is my living space these days, I will (attempt to) not portray something I am not just to appear as I think others wish me to be… because when I am exposed, at the end of the day, I really truly just want to be known and loved for me, y’know?

When was the last time you were outed?

Love you!  

The Epistolarian