September 12, 2016
It doesn’t matter if the calendar agrees or the thermometer obliges, when you have to wake your kids up at a time that begins with a six, summer is over.
When they leave the house with organized backpacks and filled lunchboxes by seven in the morning, the deal is sealed. Kiss the summer goodbye.
Several weeks into a great start to another school year, I’m still not ready. Not ready to embrace the early mornings, the schedule, or the busyness of it all.
I know. I was the one who was begging to stay put where we were last school year and not even move into summer. (Maybe change isn’t my favorite.) But we did summer. A low-key, relaxing summer with minimal accomplishments.
Through some overly simplistic summer stories, lessons emerged.
First, the cat. Maddie Lou, short for Madelyn Lucille, showed up in early summer. We took it for shots and have now bought more than one bag of cat food, so we officially have a pet. The first few weeks of June were filled with talk about “Maddie this, Maddie that.”
A little discovery changed the conversation about our girl cat to our boy cat who all of a sudden needed a new name.
We tried. We really did. But calling him Spike or Max didn’t work.
Maddie had already stuck.
Names do that. They stick. (Raise your hand if you’re still called by a family nickname from 30 years ago. See?)
After much deliberation and effort, Maddie became Matty (short for Matthias).
So the cat issue got resolved. But it got me thinking. What names do we give ourselves that stick? Ones that don’t exactly fit.
Messy? Clumsy? Out of shape? The one who can’t get it together? Unattractive? Underachiever? Outcast? Hopeless? Forgotten? Shamed?
That is not your name.
And no, I’m not talking about some sort of let’s build our self-esteem, positive reinforcement chatter. I’m talking about who we are, not the things we do or don’t do.
There are times when last night’s dinner dishes fill the sink and dust covers most surfaces of my house. Messy? Yes. Am I currently excited about my lack of exercise and my love of ice cream? (Have y’all tried some of those new Blue Bell flavors? Seriously.) No, I’m not. Do I beat myself up about the mere minutes I’ve opened my Bible recently? Yes.
Call it what you may, but those personality traits, character flaws, times of struggle….they are real. But they are not who I am. They are not who you are. Let’s not attach a label to our flaws and declare them to be our names.
Try another name. Forgiven. Redeemed. Worthy. Child of the King.
“But now, this is what the LORD says – He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.’" Isaiah 43:1-2
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
Check back soon for Summer Wrap Up: Part 2!