I am not the up and at ’em type.
I am more the lounging around drinking my coffee until OH NO HOW IS IT ALREADY THIS LATE I AM STILL IN MY PAJAMAS!!! kind of girl.
This morning I was roused with a cup of coffee brought to me in bed (my husband rocks) about 15 minutes before we had to be out the door. This usually happens about once a week, and so yoga pants are my friend in the world of preschool drop off. They are totally appropriate to wear in public, right?
Not like pajamas at all!!!
But I hate it. I hate dragging my two kids into the school with my messy bed head hair pulled back and mascara streaks under my eyes from yesterday’s make-up and my grubby t-shirt.
So this morning I cleverly put on my work-out clothes. Proudly sporting my half-marathon running shirt and gym shoes – I totally looked like I had either just had a glorious morning run or was perhaps off to the gym immediately after the drop-off. Genius.
Hey Evie’s teacher, I’m not a lazy slob!
Hey other moms dressed nicely, ready for work, I’m just gonna go work on my fitness!
I came strait from the gym is so much more acceptable in my mind than I just rolled out of bed and didn’t have time to shower.
This might seem small and ridiculous if I didn’t notice this happening in other areas of my life as well.
My parents are coming to visit and so I am trying to get our house in perfect order. I have some unfinished painting from before we moved in that I plan on working on this summer, but I actually had a moment of pure insanity when I considered doing it this weekend. I even found myself scrubbing the baseboards. The house needs to be spotless, organized, perfect.
But really, who I am trying to kid? I lived with my mom for 18 years, the woman knows I don’t make my bed.
It goes deeper still.
I’m attending a sort of soul-care retreat at the end of the month and while I am looking forward to the teaching and prayer part, the portion where I have to be broken and vulnerable in front of a mixed group of strangers and acquaintances makes me want to throw up a little.
So all these “issues” keep coming up in my mind, things I should share, and I feel a sense of panic to resolve them neatly within the next two weeks before this retreat.
Healing come quickly!
Maybe, just maybe, if I can get all my problems and hurts and fears cleaned up and shoved out, I can come into this group all neat and tidy and problem-less. Maybe I could show up as Perfect Kirsten.
But, try as I might, that is just not me.
I am last night’s mascara streaks.
I am unfinished home projects.
I am unresolved issues.
I am not perfect. I can admit this on a cerebral level, sure. But the thought of being observed and known and unapologetic and beloved and used in my imperfection feels too shocking.
But oh how I would LOVE to just own it.
To show up a hot mess to preschool, unashamed.
To let the toys pile up and the half-painted walls remain as they are, welcoming guests in all their lived-in glory.
To walk into a room and say “Hi, my name is Kirsten and I am a fearful, sinful, anxious woman” all AA style. Nice to meet you.
The Perfect Me is a lie.
But you know what? I actually think The Messy Me is a lie as well.
Don’t get me wrong, being vulnerable is valuable. Admitting reality is important. Getting over appearances NEEDS to happen. But leaving the broken, broken, can deceive me just as much as an image of perfection can deceive others.
If the Perfect Me is false and pretend and exhausting, then the Messy Me is depressing and frustrating and, well, messy.
I don’t want either one.
I want the Redeemed Me.
The Redeemed Me is truth. The Redeemed Me is reality. It is not perfect, nor is it messy – it is something altogether new.
The Redeemed Me is the version that doesn’t have to be flawless, nor does it have to stay in the pit. It doesn’t have to impress others, nor does it have to live with open wounds.
The Redeemed Me is beautiful because it is covered in a righteousness not my own.
…but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me…