“If you have the boys mow, leave the back yard for me.”
Those words slipped out of my mouth before I could call them back.
I’d just had a moment with God.
Having woken up and glanced in the mirror before my morning shower, I decided to forgo washing my hair and wear it crazy. I mean, sticking-up-in-twelve-directions-and-praising-God-all-on-its-own crazy hair.
New to short hair, I’d been washing it every single day because of this same issue. This day, I am going with it. I run my fingers through it to make it all stand in the same direction and laugh aloud at myself in the bathroom mirror.
And that’s when I feel it. The smile of God. He is laughing with me.
Mowing with Jesus
As I ruminated on that feeling while getting ready for work, I realized the last time I had felt like I was within God’s eye and He was rejoicing in just who I am was when I was mowing the lawn.
You see, on July 4th this year, I got up early (as usual) before the rest of the house and decided, once it was a decent hour, that I would mow the back yard, which, you see … having five sons and a husband, I haven’t done in years. It would be a nice surprise, and I wouldn’t have to hear the “whines of work” on this holiday.
Girlfriend, let me tell you, lawnmowers aren’t what they used to be. I had to figure out how it functioned and remember back to my husband showing me a few years ago how to start it and to hold the handlebar thing down because it is self-propelled.
Within the first five minutes, a piece had come off while I was mowing under the porch swing, the swing that I’d insisted go in the middle of the backyard so I could sit in the sunshine. (No wonder my kids were complaining about that monstrosity.) I laughed a little at myself and proceeded to strut confidently across the yard. I could do this!
And I fell in a ditch.
Grace & Laughter
It was a graceful fall, and I didn’t hurt myself. I laughed and felt a little warm glow–I was working and enjoying it! I proceeded to pick myself up and scowl at that piece of the yard made when we recessed a long-given away swing set.
Thus, I decided to stick to the outside of the yard for a bit, and I hummed while I worked. I talked to God, getting hotter each minute, and burned some calories. Life was good.
I came in to take two breaks, each time smiling widely at my youngest who had awoken and was playing a mindless game on his computer.
“I am loving this!”
He just shook his head at me, his eyes wide at my sweaty red face and panting.
Back to the yard, I was wondering how long this would take me. Was I really enjoying this? Vroom, here we go.
And I fell again into the ditch. That doggone thing is wider than it looks, and you can’t tell the lines very well. Oh, and those stakes my husband had measured out for a garden … Vroom … knocked down like bowling pins.
Just As I Am
I was pretty proud of myself and laughing almost the whole time. I felt it then, God’s smile upon me. He loves me just as I am. Hot mess and all.
It was a profound lesson for me. I didn’t have to gussy myself up or strive yet again for perfection that is just unattainable. Red-faced, hair-in-a-socket, sweaty, graceless figure that I was, God smiled down at me and rejoiced in who I am.
It reminded of me of a scripture. Let’s set the scene, in Ezra 8, we hear how the Law of God was read before the people of Israel. At the opening of the book, they were rejoicing and worshiping. However, they were greatly disturbed and weeping once they understood it.
Perhaps, they saw how deeply they fell short and how far from holiness they were. I know I feel like that sometimes. However, within Ezra we read Nehemiah’s words over the people, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Life is Worth Living
See, despite not measuring up, God wanted them to realize their worth and live their lives.
Even when we don’t feel like we measure up, God wants us to know that life is worth living… We just need to learn to laugh at our mistakes & roll with the punches.
Perfection is never satisfied. It’s never achieved. The grass grows, dishes stack up, we gain weight, lose hair.
I may always be a klutz while I let these silver hairs finally grow in, straight up, mind you, but God is with me in sorrows, laughter, and hard work. His joy over me is my strength. He has perfection in Christ. I’m just to spread His love, messily as I do.
My mother always said my middle name wasn’t Grace and she was right, but that backyard is mine this weekend while I try to avoid the ditches.
What About You?
Have you had a time where you’ve felt God’s loving concern or smile over you? Share with us in the comments.
Books for Related Reading
(Reminder: We use Amazon affiliate links)