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Matching dresses and Busted Plans…. Perhaps

We took pictures just like everyone else.  For the first time ever I bought us all matching dresses- I know with 8 year olds the time for that is running out- and by golly, we were going to at least get a picture of us all in them for Mother’s Day.  It turned out ok.  Not too shabby.  But the whole thing made me laugh on the inside at the irony.

You see it was totally staged.  Three of my littles had fever when we woke up on Mother’s Day.  I wanted to cancel Mother’s Day all together.   I was so sad we didn’t get to wear those matching dresses to church.  And I was so sad that the day before when we wore them to the mother daughter tea, and my baby was home sick, we didn’t manage to get a picture of at least those who were well enough to go.  I know… poor planning on my part.  So then Sunday afternoon I declared that the sick children were going to dress up and smile for at least a minute in my dining room.  There was push back.  There were tears.  There was pouting.  But we got that picture!

And it’s not at all what it seems like to the eyes.  And neither are we.  Neither are our lives sometimes.  And especially our digital, virtual lives.  But like my dear friend said so well at the mother daughter tea, it is so easy to compare ourselves and all of the real flaws that we see to those virtual lives.  The ones in pictures.  The ones that don’t show everything.  The ones that hide the blemishes and the tears and the fights and the struggles.  We compare ourselves to THAT.  And it matters if we get to wear those matching dresses to church.  Even to me.

But I hear another voice whispering for us to look His way.  It’s the voice of One who does not look at the outward appearance, but He looks at the heart.  And He doesn’t run away or hide his face or cover up the blemishes with makeup.  He makes us brand new.  And He sees the flaws that still remain, and for some mind blowing reason those are the very things He delights to use.  Our strengths?  Those are great, but it’s those weaknesses (not sin, just flaws) that He tells us He will shine through.

And it turned out to be a fabulous Mother’s Day!  Thankfully my mom was already there before all the kids got sick, and she stayed.  They watched Netflix, and we sat on the porch in our pj’s drinking coffee and watching the rain.   Soaking up the closeness that comes from being in that place where you are tucked away from the world.  Not seen.  Except by those closest to you.

And He wants to be that to us.  Every day.  The one we soak up in secret.  Where no one sees our matching dresses.  And He sees all of us.  And little by little we begin to see more of HIm.  It’s in the finding.  And the chasing.  Him after us and us after Him.  That’s where the real peace comes.  And the real joy.   And the real wholeness for our brokenness.  It’s not in hiding, but in being found.

"But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature... For[b] the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  
1 Samuel 16:7


Pretty please...

This is how they really felt!

Oh well... back to the couches and nebulizers!


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