Monday, October 19, 2009

I don't want the shirt...

I had a favorite pastor once tell a short story.
It seemed that his wife noticed a car driving by that said "Chaplain" on the back.
She mentioned it to him and asked if he would get something like that for his truck.
He told her (and subsequently us) that the last thing he wanted people to know when he's driving was that he's a pastor.

I feel that way about mommy-ness.

I don't wear a lot of "Christian" tee shirts.
Firstly, I think they're really overrated. I would say cliched - but I don't mind most cliches.

I like the clever ones.
I wish they could all be clever instead of .... well, lame.

Mostly - I don't think I want advertise that I'm-such-a-devout-christian-that-I'll-wear-this-t-shirt-to-prove-it! That's just asking for trouble, in my opinion.

Invariably, one of the kids *WILL* push my button. Or stomp on that already frayed nerve and..

I'll snap.

Talk harshly.
Or swat a bottom.
Or even stomp my foot.
There have been those times when they seemed to gang up on me. ... and decided to ignore everything I said..but the need for the product outweighed the urge to go home and send them to bed.

If I could hand out a flyer to any passerby at my moment of frustration, i think it would say something like "Please forgive this woman. You don't know what they've done. The many loads of laundry caused by the many potty accidents. The many fits thrown in a day. The sibling fist fights. Hissy fits. She's truly trying her best. Please do not think harshly."

There are two types of observers...
The Non-christians who judge me by how they perceive I should act.
And the Religious Pharisees - who thinks I'm not living up to the letter of the law.

It irks me...because if I could tell the non-Christian anything it would be -- "I'm so far from perfect -- but Jesus loves me."

If I could tell the religious person anything they wouldn't hear it.


There is a third observer - the mom, dad or grandmother that's been there and has the scars to prove it. You can never tell if they fit into a category.

One time I got kicked in the nose by one of my own kids, and had to slam the door shut before I really lost my temper. The lady looked at me quickly and looked away quickly. You just know she's a mom.

I don't put things on the back of my van that proclaim my belief in Jesus, cause I know I'll cut someone off in traffic and push them further from the truth.

I won't wear "Jesus Gear" on any normal type of day - because I know I'll mess up.

I'm not perfect. I never claimed to be perfect. I'm a mess.

And that's why even in the midst of the messes - it's not the t-shirt I'm wearing, it's whether or not my light is shining through.

It's whether or not I can take my mess and let God turn it into something amazing for His glory.

That's the hard part of it all.
Knowing that God loves me - even when I mess up - and is willing to take me again back out into the world and give me another shot.

I'm glad he never gives up on me...especially when I do.

That's the hard part.

It would make a good t-shirt.
I'd wear that one.


Classic MaMa said...

:) We have the "I'm the wretch the song refers to" shirt. Actually, we have matching ones...they were a gift from a friend...;)

jugglingpaynes said...

Frankly, I would have liked a shirt that said, "Please forgive this woman. You don't know what they've done." when I was a young mom. :o) It would have looked good for that disapproving woman who snapped at me because Marina (5 at the time) was walking behind me. Chase (2 at the time) was walking in front of me, so I figured he was the one closer to imminent death. I usually trip over myself when I try to walk sideways.

Peace and Laughter,

Mrs Q said...

"I'm glad he never gives up on me... especially when I do." When you make that t-shirt put me down for an order.

Halfmoon Girl said...

I've sometimes wanted a t shirt that said:

"Whatcha lookin' at??? Poor you, are my tired, over wrought children interfering with YOUR nice little grocery shopping experience. Cause you can just TURN down the next aisle and you don't have to see it anymore! I on the other hand, CANNOT WALK AWAY. SO STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT BEFORE I WIPE YOUR ANNOYED EXPRESSION OF YOUR FACE WITH THIS CAN OF PINTO BEANS!"

...or that is what I heard someone else wanted on a t shirt or something...cause I have never thought those things, and my kids have never tipped over a shopping cart or that stand of sun tan lotion at my local store...

In defense of my children, they are pretty good now- whiny in grocery stores at times, but I no longer want to hide.

Great post. I feel the same way!
Great post.

Holly said...

Great post, Amelia. I don't have any Christian or homeschool shirts. My older kids would like the "warning:unsocialized homeschooler" t-shirt, though. :) Holly