It started out so nice. I was completely human at the beginning, tired, but human, standing at the microphone and being smiley and bubbly because I was talking to the deacons about my favorite thing ever: elementary aged kids and how they teach us about God. Then something unfortunate happened. My mouth dried up to such a violent extent that I became a five foot seven goldfish that somebody dropped on the floor, flopping around, calling out for water with fish lips stuck to themselves, sounding like Mushmouth from Fat Albert. And as I stood there watching the people in the audience, all I could think of was, “Well, isn’t this a revolting development.”
Welcome to The Embarrassing Evening in Which I Was Taught My Own Lesson.
Wasn’t I just blogging about Lugging Rocks? How we need to rid ourselves of ways of thinking that keep us from closeness to God, like my own personal favorite rock, I Can Do It All By Myself?
Would somebody please make me pay attention to myself?
I should have told the folks, “Sorry, but I’m exhausted. I’ll talk another time.” I’d seen the signs. We’d been at a WONDERFUL church retreat all weekend and though it was super fun and I can’t wait to do it again next year, my introvert alarm was buzzing by noon on Saturday. Did I do the sensible thing and find a half hour of quiet to recharge? No. I kept working because remember? I Can Do It All By Myself!
When several people who love me told me I should take Monday off after working all weekend and the week before, I said no, because why? Because I Can Do It By Myself. (And because I decided they were bossing me around and I’m in charge of my own self, so there.) Then someone reminded me that I should go easy after losing a dear friend last week. And aren’t you still feeling sad about losing sweet doggy Tanner the week before? “I’m fine,” I said. I Can Do It By Myself.
Of course I can. This was just a little talk, mostly to people I know and love. I know how to talk to groups. When French By Heart came out, I spoke at universities and churches and community centers and book clubs all over creation. I’ve done thirty minute live interviews on the radio. This was nothing! After all. I Can Do It By Myself.
Clearly I can’t. At least not always.
So there I stood, flopping, lips stuck together. Kristy ran and got me a bottle of water and I drank it as everyone watched. Then as I started to get back to business, my throat decided to made a loud inhuman gurgling noise, just to make my joy complete. How nice. I’m sure everyone enjoyed it.
So I guess this is a speech to you and to me to be kinder to your own sweet self. Put down the rock before it becomes a boulder and plows right over you. Then be God’s copy cat and give yourself some grace. Embrace the gurgling and the flopping. See, I can laugh about it now.
Love and saliva to you all!