I did it again.
I had sunblock. I even loaned sunblock to my fellow baseball mom, burning in the sun.
It never once dawned on me that I, too, should apply.
Good grief. How many times does it take to learn the hard lessons?
I think that’s actually how many times we are supposed to forgive a person.
I struggle with that, too.
It feels as though I live my life walking a very thin beam. I fall to the left and I’m too quiet and too reserved and do nothing to speak up for myself.
I fall the right and I can’t shut-up and I can’t turn the other cheek and I have this ridiculous need to keep talking and keep talking and I dig.
The biggest. dang. hole.
The balance of a step-mom is even thinner. It’s like walking a high-wire rope.
With big feet.
And dangit. I’d been doing so well. Like the emoji with zipper lips.
And then I stumbled.
“Let’s remember your place, ” She says.
Yes. And. Well.
I so wanted to say.
Let’s remember yours.
But I didn’t. Instead, I kept a quiet heart.
Coulter and I were having “church” in the car. Car church consists of K-LOVE radio with a few side comments thrown in, in an effort to ease the missing-church-for-a-baseball-game-guilt.
We listen. “Tell me, lest I forget, who I am to you.”
Who I am to You.
I turned the music down and I took Coulter back a night.
We had been driving back from a wedding.
I had the cruise on 65 in a 60.
We came upon a small town and I slowed.
We heard this strange WHOOP sound. Coulter said, “Weird! What was that sound?”
“I don’t know. I think it was a train.”
I turned to him and made a shrugging sign and as I turned back to face forward I noticed that my review mirror was set for my husband.
I lowered it.
And then I saw it.
Flashing lights all over the dang place.
Evidently when cars don’t stop they give you a “WHOOP”.
The deputy had been trying to pull me over for more than a mile and called in another deputy because I wasn’t stopping.
“Tonight in the heartland. A wild mom and son chase broke out in small-town Pender Nebraska.”
I let the lyrics sink in. Then I confessed.
The reason mom didn’t notice the officer last night was because I was angry. I was distracted by that anger and distracted by what my response would be.
He feigned interest and I took that as a green light to continue.
“But what I forgot, Coulter is that we can’t let others tell us who we are.”
And who we aren’t.
We can’t allow others to put us in our place. Or, more to the point, the place they’d like us to be.
My place is on a Rock. Where He keeps my feet secure. Where I can walk the balance beam.
And not fall.
Only God Almighty can tell us our place.
I was raised to be graceful and kind and generous. I was raised to be a magnolia.
But the steel in our family runs super deep and you mess with my family, threaten my lovelies or remind me of “my place” and I’m gonna bless your heart 10 ways to Sunday.
(Dang generational influence of ridiculously loving, opinionated, and strong-willed women.)
But the minute I go there. The minute I remind you of my place and why I’m here and how I got here, well—
It’s like forgetting my sunblock.
I get burned and it’s so.
Not worth it.
In fitness and aging we talk endlessly about core strength.
Last night when I wanted to lash out, I ran to His Word instead. I spoke His Word out loud. Like a mantra to my stubborn head.
A quiet answer turns away wrath.
Do not answer a fool according to his folly.
We are to….speak evil of no-one, avoid quarreling, be gentle and show perfect courtesy to all people.
Perfect flippin’ courtesy? Really, Lord?
And then I think. Yes!
God’s word is core-strength for living the Christian life.
When we don’t know it, don’t read it, don’t spend time in it, our core grows weak and we fall off the beam.
And when we don’t apply sunblock, we get burned.
From Matthew. “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
I’m listening, Lord. Except for the 77X7 times that I forget to listen and even then, I know my place—
Is with You.