I met with a friend recently who just happens to be a marketing whiz and designed our new logo and she said something to me that stuck.
“It doesn’t matter what you do, it only matters what people think you do.”
It doesn’t matter at this point what’s going on inside our studio….what matters from a marketing point of view is what people think is going on inside our studio.
Today after church, our oldest had been invited to a birthday party. Only it wasn’t a birthday party. And I knew it couldn’t be a birthday party because I happened to know that this little guy had a summer birthday and I thought how strange and I suppose his Mother was just confused about it, because to assume that she wasn’t confused would be to assume that she had deliberately lied for some reason and I would never assume that.
So anyway, we were sending him off to what was essentially a playdate with a birthday card and a gift and his Dad said, “Tell Myra Katherine bye” and I reached in for a hug.
And he didn’t hug me back.
And I burst into tears.
I know. Super mature, right?
He leaned. Which I guess for an 11 year-old boy is something, but he didn’t hug.
And I have such a hard time with overly-high expectations. Ann Voskamp says that expectations kill relationships and I don’t want to kill ours. Mike and I have been married for just over 2 months.
It feels longer. And longer in a good way.
We bought a house.
We blended a family.
We started a business.
We even went to flippin’ Disney. How American-family is that?
It’s only been a few weeks.
Saturday we spent much of the day trying to clean out the backyard. There had been a very large deck that we took out, only to uncover a former kitchen, a former hot-tub, pipes, pipes and more pipes.
Massive amounts of sand. Good sand. Fresh, play-in, fun sand. And gross, someone buried a dog back there sand.
Bones. Teeth. I’m not kidding.
We filled our pick-up truck to overflowing.
And yet today, I looked out and thought.
Dear Lord in Heaven. What have we done? Can someone just come back and re-build the deck and we can just cover all this stuff up again?
We are so good at that. Covering up.
Just build over it. And build over it again. And maybe if we keep covering, we won’t ever have to deal with what’s underneath.
Our backyard is one hot mess.
And we’re not going to fix it in one short weekend.
Relationships are messy.
And we’re not going to “fix” our family in one short weekend.
But this I know. We aren’t covering up anything else.
No walls. No Decks. Just truth.
So as I looked out over the mess that’s still there I remembered my friends words.
It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, it only matters what other people think you are doing.
It doesn’t matter who you are, it only matters who your children think you are.
And if they think you are the reason that Mom and Dad aren’t married or they think that you are the reason they have to go to church or if they think you are the reason that they don’t get to sleep with their Mom anymore—
Then that’s what matters.
That’s where you start.
We have so much left to do.
Many more trips to the local dump.
We aren’t looking for the quick fix. And I shouldn’t have gone for the pushy hug.
We will be pulling weeds and planting seeds for many years to come and I believe that even in this messy life and bless Mike’s heart, I can be such a “messy wife”, yes I believe we will see harvest in our family and we will see the grass begin to grow and smell the sweet fragrance of flowers and we will surely see “the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
I have this one little spot in our house where I love to write. At this very moment, there are dogs barking (shocking, I realize) and there are little girls screaming and they run in and our friend Jenna is holding up her shirt.
“WE FOUND MORE BONES!”
And she was holding them.
In her shirt.
I didn’t bother to get up.
I sent Emma Claire to get trash bags which are underneath the sink which is also where we have a slight mice problem and no, I didn’t even get up.
Life is messy, girls. Dig on in!
p.s. before I could press “publish”, Coulter ran in and in a voice far more horrifying than the “we found bones”, says, “OH MY GOSH! THERE’S A CAT!!!”
So we have 4 children screaming, two dogs barking, one cat, and a lifetime of skeletons. And I just have a sneaking suspicion that Mike is in his home office thinking.
Lord in Heaven. What the HALE have I done?
But don’t let him fool you. That man of mine loves me this whole crazy mess.
pss. Our buddy Joel just ran in screaming “Katherine, Katherine (guessing he forgot the Myra part), Rocky got through the fence and is chasing the cat.
And there’s a police car parked outside.
And you know what? Maybe it’s different in the business world, but when it comes to family, it turns upside down.
It doesn’t matter what everyone thinks is going on, it only matters, inside these walls, what is really going on.
Crazy love. That’s what.
Well, Myra Katherine: You have made this transition into writing about the now in such a wonderful way. I caught up with your musings after the wedding and have waited for you to begin again..trailing your thoughts out on the page and sharing your life. Please keep up with this and keep sharing. We all look forward to a new installment.