My husband said he felt silly. I felt silly too. But our kids felt excited and empowered.
Today was our first day of practicing a new morning routine for school. Practicing getting up early. Practicing getting ready. Practicing walking to the school. Practicing praying together at her campus. And practicing walking home.
It has been a very big and prayerful process to decide what kind of schooling would be a good fit for our first-born this year. There are so many fantastic options. Each with pros and cons. This past week, I felt the Holy Spirit speak something very specific to me about His plans and vision for our child this year. And we’ve landed on a choice we feel good about. And so I’m looking at the year ahead with a beautiful peace and comfort.
What I don’t feel peaceful about is the dramatic change to our mornings. We’ll be getting up an hour earlier than our much-loved, no-alarm, let-the-sun-gently-wake-you mornings. And thankfully we had foresight and decided it would be smart to change our morning routine in advance. And so, this morning was our first practice morning.
Our little family walked alone. Down a very busy street. A little backpack on. Towards a student-less school. Into a parking lot where a handful of teachers were arriving to work in their empty classrooms.
Next week the sidewalks will be teeming with hundreds of walking families. But today we looked like a big mistake. Like we’d gotten our days mixed. Like we were stupid. It was embarrassing.
We know it’s the right thing to do. She needs these practice days. These mornings are empowering her for what’s ahead. We are going to put aside our comfort (and public image) to invest in their growth. Embarrassment or not, we are committed to these practice days.
That said, I’m squirming about the rest of this week. I’m not looking forward to looking stupid in public over and over. And that makes me ask… what’s going on in my heart? Why do I feel this way? And that makes me consider… how is my relationship with God impacted by this fear of looking silly? When He asks me to do things I don’t understand… what is my response? Each day as He asks me to walk in Faith… what is my answer?
My responses to the Holy Spirit are tempered by this: I don’t want to look silly. Ever.
I want to look wise and intelligent and confident and gifted and educated and successful and respectable and strong. I want to look like I have no need. Oh. I want to look like I don’t need God. Hello pride.
Oh Holy Spirit. I don’t want to live like that. I want to be like my kids. Excited to practice. Loving to learn. Embracing opportunities. Growing in confidence and empowerment.
I’m thinking about entering His courts with Thanksgiving (Ps 100:4), when our human custom is to give thanks after receiving. I’m thinking about obeying mysterious directions from the Holy Spirit like when Noah built an ark before rain existed (Heb 11:7), when we have no frame of reference for understanding what God is doing in us and through us. And I’m thinking about how many incredible stories of love and rescue I have in my life because I stepped out and trusted Yahweh despite my fear of looking silly. He is good and beautiful and wants to set us free from the fears that hold us back.
I think this week of practicing will be good medicine for my heart.
Give me understanding and I will obey your law; I will put it into practice with all my heart. (Psalm 119:34 NLT)
He replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” (Luke 11:28 NLT)
Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you. (Phil 4:9 NLT)