This month I was one of the featured alumni in my alma mater’s Home Bulletin.
Yes – my alma mater is a high school…never did the college thing.
Anyway, I had to submit a picture…which I took with my phone, and expected to be just a wee little rectangle next to the survey I filled out.
It turned out to be bigger than I envisioned…and less attractive. To add to that, one of my answers was edited in a way that this word snob/grammar nazi would never have written. “Mrs. Libolt’s third grade Bible class; it was a favorite…”
If you seek humility, you will find it…Usually first, in the form of humiliation.
It reminds me of the time that we were scheduled for Church Directory pictures. The Farmer got the bright idea to go skiing that day, and I exhorted him to be back on time. He, of course, took “on time” to mean “in time” – and he was, but barely.
Meanwhile, I had to ready (and keep tidy) a 4 year old, 3 year old and 1 year old until we flew out the door.
When the picture came back, my kids looked adorable, my husband – handsome, and I looked like a clown had done my hair. Unruly poufs of permed blonde hair were sticking out of the sides of my head just in front of my ears.
Considering what had gone before, I should have been thankful that I was appropriately clothed, and smiling. But I wasn’t. Of course, this lovely portrait was going to be distributed to every member of our church family. They would all have a copy in their home…because everyone’s phone number was in that pictorial directory, and it would be used regularly.
That picture wasn’t small enough either.
When I read the Home Bulletin yesterday, I felt like Mary Richards in that Mary Tyler Moore episode where she has a hair bump that won’t go away; her dress gets wrecked at the cleaners and she has to borrow Rhoda’s too short one; she has a cold, and of course, this is the time she actually wins an award at the fancy dinner for broadcasters.
Her acceptance speech consists of one phrase: “I usually look so much better than this!”
Which is what I wanted to say when I saw the Home Bulletin yesterday…
But, let’s face it, I don’t…on the outside. Inside my head, I think I do. And I pride myself on using good grammar, and I didn’t make this mistake – but sometimes I do.
IYAM what IYAM…and often, not what I want to be.
But it’s not a bad thing to be reminded of this, and it’s a good thing to be humble – even if sometimes you must be shoved into it.
I’m working on it…accepting that who I am, is different than who I think I should be. It takes time and reflection to identify my expectations, evaluate what is realistic and proper – and then jettison the rest. It takes the Big Gulp of humility to let your reality show and not apologize for it…
It’s going to take this proud Dutch girl a while…
A motivating side benefit is that your expectations of others soften. As you learn to extend grace to yourself, it’s easier to do so for others as well.
We are what we are…we need grace; we give grace; we accept grace…
The accepting thing is the hardest part for me…Hopefully, the next time my reality is on display, I will not try to declare “I usually look so much better than this”.
Even better, I hope the next time I detect a grammatical mistake, I will not be compelled to point it out…
Unless it’s in the paper…if the pros do it -- fair game!
I think I just heard God sigh…
As I said, I’m working on it.