Through a series of events this week, I have come to realize that I care too much what other people think about me. Interestingly, when it comes to the "big" things, I am bold and courageous. I will defend my faith. I will not compromise my values to fit in. I strive to be who I am in Christ consistently, 24 hours a day, regardless of where I am.
But when it comes to the little things, I too often cave. As reluctant as I am to admit it, I spend too much time concerned by image. I want to be dressed appropriately. I want to behave appropriately. I want to be cool.
I had a real gut check earlier this week at the pool with the children. They are little fish, having made tremendous strides in their swimming abilities this Summer. It is so much fun to watch the games they come up with in the pool. They even invite me to join in. I know it is important to their self esteem and the development of their imagination to join in their games. I truly have fun playing with them.
Yet, this week, I realized that I didn't want to join in now that their games require going underwater, for fear of what the other Moms might think. I don't enjoy parading around in my swimsuit dry and "made-up," much less drenched and red-eyed from chlorine with mascara running down my face. Especially when 90% of the other Moms are dry on the side, looking great and enjoying adult conversation.
I felt God prompt me to surrender my pride and jump in. I am so thankful I did. I even went so far as to play Mommy Monster with them and allow my wet hair to cover my face as I chased them around the shallow end. I heard some of the other Moms laugh. With me or AT me, I am not sure. I cared just a little.
I realized the bottomline is that I am at the pool for my children, not for anyone else. My kids only get one childhood. I want to enjoy it and participate in it...not just watch from the sidelines. Even if it means I am not "cool."