March 21, 2015
So Emily wanted to play Headbanz. That’s the game where each player puts on a headband that holds a card with a picture saying “I am a…” Since you can’t see your own card on your own head, you ask questions to the other players until you figure out what is on your headband. At the beginning of the game, I decided it would be fun to snap pics of each of us wearing our bands. Emily, Lauren, and Paul each asked broad questions like “am I bigger than a cat,” or “am I in this house,” but for my first question, I asked “am I a skateboard?” And I won. Duh! I had taken a selfie wearing the headband. Think about it.
And I have been thinking lately about all the ways I can fill in the blank. “I am a….” What does my headband say? What questions can I ask to try to figure out just who exactly am I trying to be, what do I want people to think I am, and what do I pretend to be that doesn’t have anything to do with who I was created to be? My life is full and busy and overwhelming sometimes. Am I being too much? Am I not as much as I could be? Am I enough? Am I faking it? Am I who I think I am? Am I spread too thin?
And I thought about social media. Most of my friends are on the Facebook. Don’t we so easily call people “friend” just because that’s the option FB has decided for us? But FB is where I know I can connect with my family, my co-workers, softball buddies, patients, neighbors, church friends, and friends from my past. But is it accurate to give my sister Laura the same label “friend” as someone who sees me twice a year for plaque control and free floss? FB limits the labels, and that’s the label we have to choose. What am I to all these friends? Am I free floss?
But then I thought about Lillie’s Friends. The 5K and family festival is March 28 at BB&T field to raise much needed funds for childhood cancer research. And if I wasn’t FB friends with Lillie’s, mom I wouldn’t have known about the candlelight vigil at Brenner’s Children’s Hospital months ago. And if I wasn’t free floss, I wouldn’t have recognized 2 other people at that vigil who had watched their granddaughter beat cancer twice before starting kindergarten.
And if I didn’t have softball buddies, then Marcey would have just thought I was a ridiculous blubbering idiot when I cried at the ball field on Monday night. But instead she understood why I was crying, and that it had nothing to do with softball. And because I am her friend, when she mentioned a certain something that makes her uncomfortable, I knew exactly what she meant. Friends know that stuff.
If I wasn’t a Reynolda member, then I wouldn’t be washing a load of t-shirts from the children’s ministry. But it needs done and I volunteered to spread myself that thin, and really it’s the smallest load I’ve washed all week, and I’m making Lauren fold it. And I wouldn’t be spending my time sending emails to the Wednesday night Awakenings PM ladies reminding them that The Bridegroom loves them. And I wouldn’t be getting emails back from the ladies asking for prayer about personal stuff and asking if we can help with Joy Prom. Are you signed up to help with Joy Prom? It’s April 11, 2015.
And if I wasn’t Mommie. Can’t. Even. Imagine.
But I am a mommie, so I can only imagine the torment another mom of 3 daughters must have felt when she made the hardest, most selfless decision. And I can only imagine how hard that must have been, through tears, for her to tell me about it when I asked how her youngest was doing. But since she did tell me, I can reach out to her and ask her how she is doing.
And if I wasn’t co-worker (isn’t that about the least personable way to describe who we are at our office?), then who would I hold hands with and dance the tipsy salsa with in Mexico? And who would I turn to when Grace wanted to dye her hair purple? And who would have the right to say “I’m not trying to be nosey, but…”? And who would know what its like to honor Semicolon Day?
And if I wasnt a neighbor, tacky, so tacky, then I wouldn’t feel like I can jokingly invite myself over to dinner knowing that my neighbors are just as tacky and I am, and that they won’t mind me breaking etiquette. And I wouldn’t know that my neighbor likes peanut butter pound cake. And I wouldn’t have anyone to show up at my door with homemade ginger tea when I am dreadfully sick.
And if I wasn’t a blog-reader, I wouldn’t know what’s going on at icantkeepcalmimgettingmarried, or at sixtyminutesanhour, or at mybigjesus. And reading those make me look like I am just staring at my phone not accomplishing anything, but they bless me each time I read them.
And if I wasnt awake answering those late night, very random, FB Messenger messages, I wouldn’t be quite as concerned about someone who is hopefully having a kidney transplant soon. She wants us all to know about Polycystic Kidney Disease. And because of her and her spouse, and some other people I know, I get to see more up close just what same-sex marriage is about. And I won’t make a political statement, and I won’t debate it with you, and I’m not trying to change anyone’s position about it, but I can tell you that there is love there. And we are called to deal with love.
And if I wasn’t Paul’s wife, well, so much of the rest of it would be irrelevant, wouldn’t it. I wouldn’t be spread so thin with cooking for that man or doing his laundry or birthing his kids. Without the hassle of cooking for him, I would have surely burned the house down by now because I always leave the oven on and he always turns it off for me. Without the burden of his laundry, I wouldn’t recognize the scent of him in our closet. If I’d never had our girls, I wouldn’t know the joy that comes from these 3 who wear headbands that say I am Sweet Child of Mine (Grace), I am Hey Soul Sister (Lauren), and I am Girl on Fire (Oh Emily).
And this overwhelming-ness and all the stuff that I am takes a toll and I think I can’t spread myself any thinner than I already am. I had a reminder yesterday about our desire to somehow make a difference in life. Am I too thin to make even a small difference in a couple of areas? I’ve decided that I really don’t have as much control over that as I’d like to think. Even if I do my best and give my all, I can’t make a difference in your life if you don’t allow it, despite my best efforts. But then I realized that all of it is making me different. These places I invest myself, the friendships and teams and small groups, define me. And in some way they show me more clearly what my headband says.
“I am a child of God.”