He was up before his alarm, finished his breakfast without prodding, initiated brushing his teeth without a battle, and had his backpack, lunch, and jacket secured by the time the clock donned 7:53 (mind you, he usually leaves at 8:00).
Seriously, it was one of the smoothest mornings we’ve had since the first week of school, and the parents were loving it.
And because I would absolutely love to have a repeat morning like the one we were having, I found myself racking my mama-brain, trying to figure out what positive triggers led to such a positive start to the morning.
Was it because we picked his clothes out the night before?
Was it because we gave him a banana instead of oranges with “white stringy things on them?”
Was it because his sister didn’t eat breakfast at the same time, serving as a distraction?
Was it because he went to bed right on time the night before?
What were the variables that were contributing to this very-awesome, super-great Monday morning???
Not gonna lie, this mama is prone to liking formulas that go something like this:
Mama does A + Daddy does B= Kid does C with a happy heart, no whining, and little to no drama
The variables were numerous, making the exercise rather futile…but this mama was still on a hunt for any and all insight that could help replicate the “dream morning.”
But as our son tied his new shoes and headed out the door, the hunt came to a screeching halt. All of a sudden it all made sense (and was only further confirmed) when our beaming son said, “I LOVE my new shoes. I’m going to call them my ‘confident shoes’ because they make me feel soooo confident.”
It. was. the. stinkin’. shoes.
The gray high tops with the new laces. The Target $24.99 special. This was the swag that was makin’ our morning smooth.
Had I known this would be the key to our school-morning success, mama would have laid down the $24.99 sooner!
But as our boy literally jumped from the porch onto the sidewalk (remember, these were ‘confidence shoes’ he was wearing!) and made his way to school, I found myself thinking about what he said and why he was feeling the way he was feeling.
For him, putting on those shoes gave him confidence. And though there is absolutely nothing wrong with finding a pair of shoes, a friend, a skirt, a home, a hair cut, or an infinity scarf that brings a pep of confidence to your step, I found myself reaching into the depths of my heart where those ugly idols lie…the parts of me that maybe put a little too much confidence in the things that rust and rot.
And as I pondered, I started asking myself some soul-assessing questions about the things and roles I “put on.”
Do I find my confidence in my ability to help others, my counseling hat?
Do I find my confidence in my children, my mothering hat?
Do I find my confidence in my home, my nesting hat?
Do I find my confidence in my relationships, my friend hat?
Do I find my confidence in my blogging, my writing hat?
Do I find my confidence in the mirror, my appearance hat?
Do I find my confidence in my intellect…my wardrobe…my bank account…or my ability to communicate, multi-task, understand Scripture, or balance the household tasks of cooking, cleaning, and caring for little people?
I didn’t have to think very long or very hard to come up with the simple answer of, “Yes to all.” Because the reality is, I have and I do.
Everyday we are faced with opportunities to “put on” and “have.” Everyday we have a myriad of possessions, roles and responsibilities in front of us that can easily entangle us in webs of distorted beliefs and misguided trust. Everyday we are faced with all kinds of idols that compete for our time, attention, hope, and worship.
Again, I’m not suggesting that it’s wrong to be confident about the gifts we’ve been given, the things we own, the talents bestowed upon us, and the roles asked of us. I’m truly not. But I am suggesting that maybe we go a little too far in finding our identity, our confidence, and our hope in the things that aren’t eternal…that aren’t HIM.
So what would happen if I woke up tomorrow and was no longer a wife? No longer a counselor? No longer a mother? Or no longer had the opportunity to write, the ability to multi-task, and the bank account to pay for the wardrobe I like and the things I have?
Would I still have hope? Would I still have confidence? And if not, why?
And that is where I was yesterday…where I am today—re-arranging, re-prioritizing, and re-penting of some of the things I have and do that have given me more confidence than they should.
Because in all reality, I have some “$24.99 shoe-like things” in my life and maybe you do, too.