I brushed my teeth today and it wasn't exciting.
In fact, I got ready all by myself this morning and no one even told me "good job". Sometimes I just want to stay in bed all day and let the comforter embrace my coffee-less body until it is socially unacceptable to be in bed anymore. But I didn't. I got up. I showered and put on normal clothes and took care of adult things and all the while I was still daydreaming about being in that bed.
This morning was one of those days.
My family and I have been in a season of the "in between" for some time now and after much deliberation this past weekend we made the leap of faith to live in an RV on a church parking lot in a completely different city that God has led us to help with. Yes, I live in the mobile-est of homes (if you will) with two boys with more energy than there is coffee in the world. Willingly. I willingly did this to myself. Because God said to do it.
And all I could think while I got out of that bed this morning in the freezing cold trailer was that no one would even know if I stayed there a few more hours. No one would know if I left those pajamas on all day. Because the Lord knows how much I wanted to leave them on all day.
I have lost my motivation, my excitement, and I become so painfully aware of it every time I hear my kids on the other side of that thin partition we now call a door at all hours of the morning.
They can't wait to get out of bed.
They can't wait to tackle the day (even if the only thing on the agenda is movies and a pretend preschool for Jake that I am making up as I go). They can't wait to see us and ask us a million questions about things they probably won't even understand after I have spent an hour and a half explaining it to them. They can't wait.
These boys have been getting ready by themselves for years now. Showering, getting clothes on, making breakfast (momentary pause for the heart attack I had when I walked in on my then two year old climbing the counter to put his bowl of oatmeal in the "mockery" because he knew how to make oatmeal at TWO YEARS OLD… and climb counters… Lord, give me strength), brushing teeth, and even packing a lunch. I am not even slightly kidding. They love everything about it. And guess what, I love it too.
I cheer them on when they brush all the build up off of each tooth (sometimes after a few trips to get it all) because I know that it is preventing them from cavities and tooth pain later on. I give high fives when they get themselves food because I know that they will be able to survive college and all the years after without a mom hovering over them to make sure they are fed. And I sometimes laugh with them as they attempt dressing themselves in clothes that don't match or are ill-fitted because they are just so proud of what they are wearing… and because "Nakey Jakey" has finally learned the importance of wearing clothes.
But no one cheers for me. I get no high fives. I don't even get a smile when I am seen out of bed and not in my pajamas.
Now, I don't really want all of that. But on the days it is hard to get out of bed because my joints feel like they are 80 years old again or my brain is foggy from not truly sleeping, a smile or two wouldn't hurt.
No one will though. And I don't blame them. It's silly really. We aren't kids anymore.
But sometimes we expect people to.
Like when I keep my heart right after loads of "build up" but no one is there to cheer me on. Or when I pick up my bible and "feed myself" with the daily bread that I was given, but no one will be waiting there to give me a high five. Or when I decide to clothe myself in "the armor of God" or "with strength and dignity" no one will remark about how well I dressed myself today and with what courage it took to not be defensive or angry or bitter when many have left their clothes at home and become all of those things.
No one will. And we shouldn't expect them to. Because we aren't children anymore.
We should stop looking for the approval of others while doing things that are essential for our spiritual bodies. It is exciting when we are learning to do them, but when we lose motivation and excitement to brush our teeth we don't just stop brushing them.
We know the importance despite the applause.
So we keep on. We do what we know to do because it is beneficial. Because just like with everything else, there will come a day when it is not "fun" anymore. There will come a day when it is painful or lacking in purpose for you but you do it anyway. And when you are in the secret places of life, the back room that no one sees, and you commit your heart and your ways to the Lord through the pain and through the lack of purpose felt, I can assure you that God is smiling.
No one may be checking in, no one may be taking notice, but God is. And He needs you to "show up" today being fully prepared.
And as I look my tired eyes in the face each morning, staring into the very unforgiving mirror, I will remind myself that I am an adult. I am strong and capable and don't need anyone else to tell me to get myself together. I can tell myself to. I can be happy and proud of myself. I can encourage myself. I can remind myself of the Word that may be long forgotten. Surely if David who had no pastor or mentor... or anyone else in his life because he was surrounded by dumb sheep for days on end... encouraged himself in the Lord, I can too. I will have seasons with those people and it will be greatly rewarding.
But I don't need them to follow Jesus. They don't decide my salvation. I know how to learn and grow and find Him on my own.
Because I am an adult. And I don't need to be excited or applauded for brushing my teeth.
2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
2 Peter 1:3-8 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.