“I don’t care how hot my feet are tomorrow, I’m wearing my tennis shoes.” Wouldn’t quite have imagined that as a comment to “How was the first day of school?” Carter and I were processing his first day of middle school as I said prayers with him last night, and he was fairly annoyed about his choice to wear flip flops instead of his tennis shoes. They had told the twins at orientation they could wear flip flops because it was so hot. Both boys were excited (because they aren’t normally allowed in school!) Fast forward 24 hours, and that excitement had DEFINITELY worn off.
Here’s what I discovered – most of the boys had tennis shoes on. Because of that, they were able to do more at recess than the boys were. And Carter did not like being on the sideline:-) And sitting on the edge of his bed, it occurred to me. Even this was society’s way of telling us we have to be just like them.
Flip flops or tennis shoes – well what everyone else is wearing of course. Duh mom!
And so, in that quiet moment, I said a quick prayer and then said this to my little man – Hey Carter – are you just like all of those other kids, or are you different? To which I got what might have been an eye roll – I’m different mom. (Note sarcasm) Not put off by his obvious excitement fore your this conversation I said – “Carter, if Jesus made you to like flip flops when it is hot, and you only want to wear tennis shoes because everyone else is, who are you choosing to serve – man or God? It may seem like such a little thing bud, but it’s all those little things that add up and become big things. Be who God created you to be. It’s ok if that looks different than everyone else. If God created you to wear flip flops, then wear them and know that Jesus is smiling. Remember – he created you in me -(your mothers womb) and you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Make choices in the small things that are honoring to God and it will be easier to do the same in the big things. How might God feel when he knows everything about you, including which shoes you would prefer to wear, and you chose something that is different than how he created you?
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2
We continue to chat for a little bit, but I could almost see a light bulb click for Carter. Through something as simple as flip flops, I was able to help him try to see a truth that we ALL miss. God loves us the way he created us. It’s HIS love that SHOULD be most important to us. But it’s so easy to make small adjustments to please the world.
Any guesses what shoes Carter wore to school this morning? Well, lest you think that I rock at being a mom – he chose tennis shoes. Good news is, Mama put her sermon notes away and just hugged and said, Carter, as long as you are sure those are the shoes that YOU want to wear… (Now I was the one with sarcasm and eye rolling – hmm… wonder where he gets that from?) Gives a whole new meaning to “are you smarter than a fifth grader?” Somehow I have a feeling we are going to have lots of teachable moments in the upcoming school year. How about you? What teachable moments did you encounter during this busy first week of school?