For once, I have more time than I have things to say here...
I'm sitting in Panera Bread, waiting for my doula client's labor to pick up enough for her to want anybody with her. I guess I could just go home, but that's a long way away if I have to turn around and come back soon. I ended up skipping out on a really fun family dinner at some friends' house tonight because I was told that I would be needed soon... Now I'm wishing I had gone to the dinner, because nothing has happened after all. Oh, well. Such is the wonderful life of anyone who works with pregnant women!
But while I sit here, I'm thinking of the many wonderful ways I've been blessed recently.
As I type, I'm using my "new" laptop. I'd been needing another one for quite awhile since my ancient laptop finally bit the dust and decided to entirely quit working. I really couldn't afford another one. But I really, really needed one. I smiled to myself and thought, "It wouldn't be hard for God to give me one, if He thinks I need it."
But as a few days went by, I wanted to DO something about... let somebody know that I was looking for one... You know, it didn't look like God was busy laptop shopping for me.
But I kept my mouth shut and prayed and waited. And two weeks later, the Lord provided one for me - better than I would have eventually bought myself, all at no cost to me! It seemed as though God was once again grinning and saying, "Prove Me now..."
While I was sitting here, I got into a conversation with a friend on Facebook who was telling me about her sometimes uncomfortable social situation, dating a man from an impressive social circle. "All the other wives have it so together," she said. "Their lives seem so perfect."
It made me think of something another friend of mine said recently after moving to another state. She was lamenting the lack of friends to celebrate her birthday with. "It's not that I don't have friends here. It's that they are all fake." I asked her what she meant by that. She clarified, "Well, they just aren't real. Everybody has it together, and they all lead such fake lives. Maybe they aren't fake, but their lives are so fake." I've thought about what she said... a lot.
We all know that as much as people may look like it at times, they don't have it all together. Beneath the tinsel and glitter and merry laugh and impressive schedule, there are hurts and tears and frustrations and for some of them, the nagging question of why they even exist.
The more I get to know people, the more I realize that people are crying out for someone who is real. Christians and non-Christians. Smart people, simple people, pretty people, ugly people, slender people, fat people, talented people, people that lead boring lives, people that are in-between. Underneath our facades and smiles and "I'm fine's", we all long to just be real sometimes.
I'm learning more and more to value people who are real, even if real isn't impressive in some ways. It's just good and wholesome and lovable when people are honest. And I'm trying to learn to be more real. Sometimes I really can't explain everything in my life to them, but I can be real.
I remember going off to the Capitol so many early mornings when Mom would gently say, "Just be yourself, Mary. Don't try to impress anybody. Just be real. That's so much more valuable than being impressive."
At first, I would think, "Well, of course..." and then hustle on with my busy day. But as I spent more and more time in the world of politics and began to see that it is all one facade of very little substance and very few people who are real or honest, her words began to ring in my ears more and more every day.
I found myself walking down the halls, trying to lobby. But above the din one thought ran incessantly through my head. "Just be real. They are trying impress. You don't have to be fake. Just be your real self..."
It was some of the best advice Mom ever gave me when I was there, and it seems more true than ever today.
Just be real. Fake lives don't help anybody. People are drawn to real people. The truth is, none of us are real impressive. We're most impressive when we tell the truth about ourselves.
I think I'll go home now... and hope I get some sleep before my cell phone rings again. :) Or that the call comes before I get all the way home...