17 Sep 2013

There are no cool kids (or cool moms as the case may be)

I’m packing my suitcase and I wish I could also pack in three extra months of cutting out carbs and sugar and bread – which basically means giving up all my favorite foods.

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I’m packing the jeans that aren’t the size I wish they were and the boots that have shredded lining but that feel right on my feet. And when your knees are knocking and you’re headed into meetings, retreats, speeches, community that makes you nervous it’s about right to have them old boots on your feet.

They remind you where you’ve come from and that your life is scuff-marked, pock-marked and imperfect and that you should be sure not to pretend otherwise.

You should remember when you board that plane that you are mom to two boys and a potty training girl and no matter how long your sons have been through the process they still can’t seem to aim a salt’s lick worth for all their fascination with cowboys, pistols and the marines.

When you stand in line to shipping off to places where people only know you by the parts of yourself you share on your blog it’s good to remind yourself that there’s still a ring around the pink, yes, pink bath tub and that you had to sniff the clothes in your laundry piles because they’d all toppled over and you couldn’t remember which was clean and which, well, not.

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It’s fine and fun and well to enjoy your hair that someone else washed and blow dried because really, is there any greater luxury than a scalp massage?  As long as you don’t forget that underneath those lovely, long waves you’re the same woman who forgot she’d pinned back her bangs with her daughter’s orange flower clip yesterday. And sleeps in the same sweat pants every single night.

Because you can wear the boots and worry over the not-so-skinny jeans and whether or not your eyeliner looks trendy-messy or just plain messy when what you’re really looking to apply is a big, bold, red stamp of approval.

But here’s the thing: you already are.

You actually already are pre-approved.

No matter how you look or what you say or whether or not you figured out the right necklace to wear with that black top, you’ve been perfectly picked by the God who makes no mistakes. Pre-approved, as my friend Jennifer reminds me.

You with the tired eyes and up-all-night baby.

You with the job that you messed up on this morning or the project assignment that’s got you tied up in knots.

You with the tender bank balance and the kids who won’t mind and the mind that feels like it’s about to explode.

You with the worry or the regret or the love squandered or lists forgotten.

You with the aging parents or lost mother or forgotten father.

You with the family infighting or too long commute or too late to school to be there in time to meet him for lunch like you’d promised.

You with the gray hairs and extra pounds and shy story and lonely eyes.

You, you, you.

Pre-approved every single one.

Beloved not because of your size or status or number of Facebook friends. Chosen not because of your name or your writing ability or parenting prowess. Wanted not because of your social currency or number of credit cards or square footage of your house.

But because God is forever love. Always, infinitely interested in you, His daughter, right down to dirty bath tub rings and painting tiny toenails baby blue.

And I fold that note to self into my suitcase alongside the wedge sandals, the hair dryer and the zip lock bag of toiletries.

And fly on His grace.

Comments

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  1. 1

    Love the heart of this so much – living from that sweet place of knowing we are loved, and extending that grace to each other. I love it for conferences and trips and for school pick up and family dinners. So good.

  2. 2

    Amen, sister, amen. {and traveling mercies as you hit the road!}

  3. 3

    Wow, just what I needed this morning. I’m sitting here working on what I’m going to speak to the moms at The Influence Conference about next week, and needed to hear that I’m Pre-Approved. That God sees me, loves me and knows me in every area of my weakness. Thank you!!!

  4. 4

    I absolutely LOVED this gentle reminder of the supernatural, unconditional love of Daddy-God! And you are right, when it really comes down to it, the only pre-approval that matters in this life is the approval that we gain from God. Thank you for effortlessly unpacking ordinary life with our extraordinary God! I pray His protection and peace for you on your travels.

  5. 5

    Your writing encourages this Mama, so much. Thank you for ministering to me, this morning, and so many other days!

  6. 6

    Thank you so much for reminding us that we are doing fine even if we never finish the list. I’m not getting ready to travel, just getting ready for work but still can’t get all done. You always make me feel, not just better, but empowered!

  7. 7

    Oh, you have no idea how desperately I needed this today. Thank you!

  8. 8

    This right here:
    “Beloved not because of your size or status or number of Facebook friends. Chosen not because of your name or your writing ability or parenting prowess. Wanted not because of your social currency or number of credit cards or square footage of your house.”

    Speaks volumes to me. Loved all of this post! <3 You have definitely impacted my life since I started following your blog nearly a year ago. I am so thankful that I somehow bumped into your blog!

  9. 9

    PRE- APPROVED! In all the wonderful ways that a credit card offer is not :-)
    Thank you for this cup of grace, this morning. Melktert for the soul, I’m tellin’ ya!

  10. 10

    LOL – it’s always, “one of the other brothers missed” – never them – until they marry and their wife points it out!

    Oh – yes – pre-approved like in Psalm 139 – He knows, doesn’t He – all our imperfections, all our fears – the inside, outside and frayed parts of us – and He so loves us, makes us believe we can shine because of who He is:) Beautiful – and blessings to you on your journey:)

  11. 11

    wow… such real wonderful words. Great encouragement.

  12. 12

    Pre-approved. Welcome words…grace words… to this Mama this morning Lisa Jo.

  13. 13
    Sarah Ochoa says:

    Beautiful. Thank you.

  14. 14

    I have to share through my tear-filled eyes, that you kissed my heart with your post today.

    My youngest started Kindergarten, and her heart is aching with growing pains of being away from me for so long. It’s been a painful morning, as she clung to me and couldn’t stop crying. It was all I could do to not burst into my own tears and bring her home. Last night, she told me she wished she was her cousin. Her cousin whose Mommy home schools, and is part of a wealthy family with a house on a lake and a house in a historic mansion in the city. She wants to live in the big house and be home all day with her Mommy.

    I cannot give her the houses, or toys and we made a family decision for public school. No matter how much I work as a free-lancer, I will never be able to give her the big house or second home on a lake.

    Someday I hope she understands. And I thank you for reminding me this morning that all I can give her is this life God has given us.

  15. 15

    Thank you…

  16. 16
    Debi Schuhow says:

    Beautiful!

  17. 17

    AMENYou with the tender bank balance and the kids who won’t mind and the mind that feels like it’s about to explode. –
    “You with the tender bank balance and the kids who won’t mind and the mind that feels like it’s about to explode – ”
    That was almost EXACTLY my prayer time this morning….in the exact same order. And I have been thinking lord help me with these (3).
    hugs and enjoy your boots!

  18. 18

    Thank you from another woman with a pink tub and a big need for grace today. Thank you for reminding me I’m already covered in it.

  19. 19

    Thank you for this. Comparison steals so much joy from lives, especially mine. We live in a small home, finances are tight, our one and only bathroom definitely has a tub ring. I need to reread this post often!

  20. 20

    I think if it makes me cry, then that means I really needed to hear it. Thank you.

  21. 21
    Debra Defreyn says:

    You, a woman I do not even know, bring me such joy when I read your blog. Thank you. Sincerely, thank you.

  22. 22

    You, have a wonderful way of writing and a great outlook on life and whats important. I love your blog. thanks for sharing yourself with us.

  23. 23

    I only know you by the parts of yourself you share on your blog but you are a blessing to me with every new post. You speak to the heart of all those little things we don’t speak about but God speaks to in us. Thank you! From the first time mom of a 20 month old little boy, I need this – and as much as half of them won’t admit it – my friends need it too! Thank you!

  24. 24
    linda rodriguez says:

    “Family infighting,long commute”!!!! Yep that’s me. Thank you SO MUCH for your words.They are the espresso in my day,that push to just go on.

  25. 25

    Love this because it is something we so desperately need to remember!!! How I long sometimes to hear people say they approve and yet I know that their approval is not necessary. But often I lose sight of this precious truth. His approval is all I really need.

  26. 26

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful talent with the world. We are all blessed to have your healing words. We are all different, but God shaped each one of us. And because we are priceless in His eyes, we are priceless. Pre-approved. I love that.

  27. 27

    Oh I needed this, and I didn’t even know it.

  28. 28
    mom2beauties says:

    Oh Lisa-Jo, I love it when you talk to me, and reminde me that I am pre-approved….. I just wish there was a way for me to KNOW all of this in times (constant) of wonder…. And, I just wish we could have coffee and chat over our kids in real life… You are a true inspiriation!!!!!! Love this, and love you…. safe travels, fun journey’s and can’t wait to have you back from wherever you are going!!!

    “You with the tender bank balance and the kids who won’t mind and the mind that feels like it’s about to explode”

  29. 29

    Thank you for this. You have no idea how many places I saw myself.

  30. 30

    Awe. Lovely, Lisa-Jo. Thank you.

  31. 31

    This is — in just one word: BEAUTIFUL.

    In every way.

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