Friday, August 20, 2010

My personal adviser

My sister called with effusive congratulation and delight about Matt's engagement. She also subtly began asking seemingly innocuous questions. Somehow, though Holly and I did emerge from the same set of parents, she came out of it knowing all of Emily Post's etiquette as well as how to put on makeup. She knew that while I had safely not sabotaged Matt's engagement thus far, I had only known about it for 24 hours and she was quite certain that a major blunder was sure to spew uncontrollably from my corner.

She is right to be concerned. I was never good at paint by numbers. I almost got expelled from kindergarten for painting the grass blue and my cow purple. Unconventional is my middle name, after Sue.

"Give me some credit!" I told Holly, "For a whole year they were dating and I never once went shopping for a mother of the groom dress." I paused and added, "Mothers of the groom do wear dresses, right? And I assume without matching belly packs?"
"Listen," said Holly, "Your best tactic at this point is just not to say a word. Just nod in their presence."
"I have one big problem I need to discuss with you," I admitted, "How do I sign my emails to her? I mean I don't care what she calls me but I don't want her to feel uncomfortable. Up til now, I just sign them "me".
I think Holly groaned, but then advised that I just let Karissa know that I am happy to have her call me whatever she wants. Mrs.K, Mrs. future mama, Mrs. Foot in Mouth.... whatever.
"And before you make any major statement or purchase, call me," she advised.

Coming from my adult sister, I am not offended. I know my limits. However, when I had asked Karissa to help Asherel find good sandals while shoe shopping last week and I was nearby trying on the ones I liked, Asherel glanced at my choices and whispered to Karissa, "You need to take her shopping...." When the 13 year old realizes her mom is clueless, well, that is just not good.

I know how blessed I am. I have a whole set of advisers. My hairdresser is an invaluable resource. Every time I go for a haircut and plunk down on the chair, she says, "What are we doing today?"
This is such an incomparable kindness as my sisters and even Asherel cover their ears and chant "lalalalalalalala" as loud as they can when I ask what I should do with my hair. But my hairdresser wants to know and wants to help me.
" I am not quite sure. I want something elegant but fun. Classic but quirky. Short but long looking. Not old lady even though I am, but not like an old lady trying to look too young. And while you are at it, I want a look that creates the illusion of competence. And I want it to be no trouble to maintain."
She has only once covered her ears and starting chanting, "Lalalalalalalalala".

As Holly got off the phone, she quelled any concerns with the caveat, "You should be fine. The mother of the groom doesn't do much anyway. When Asherel gets married I will set up a command post in your home."

I love that God recognized our need for counselors and advisers. I understand not everyone is as clueless as me, but still, there are a lot of numbskulls stumbling around out there. I think it is comforting that not only do we have a Heavenly Guidebook, but we have a Guide. A wedding is nothing compared to finding the way to Heaven, though in many ways the latter is much simpler. All I need to do is ask, and the door is opened, and I can enter with bad hair, ugly shoes, and belly pack. I know I can't do that at my son's wedding.

Matthew 22

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
1Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2"The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

4"Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.'

5"But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. 6The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

8"Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.' 10So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11"But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless.

13"Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

14"For many are invited, but few are chosen."


  1. I don't get it. The king has no friends, so he invites in the homeless people and then gets upset that one guy can't find the right toga. Sheesh! No wonder he has no friends....

    Please do not make this same mistake!

  2. ok, let me explain. (PS- this is not perfect in making the point of my blog, but it was too perfect a parable in terms of wedding clothes to pass up.)
    See, the king is God. He wants people to prepare for the most important event of their life, and uses the symbol of a wedding. The "chosen" that he invites reject him. He tempts them with the most wondrous reasons to accept his invitation. They still reject him. So he opens it up to everyone, and hopes that they will understand that something so important as this deserves the minimum effort to prepare and enter with a recognition of the honor and potential for eternal joy being bestowed upon them. Those who recognize they are coming into the presence of God himself (the king) show the proper respect and faith, symbolized by dressing appropriately. Those who don't recognize the value of the invitation are those who dress like slobs. They are kicked out.
    It is a plea from God to His people to understand that He longs for them to enter in, but they must enter in with an understanding of Who it is that they are coming into the presence of, and they should not enter that relationship lightly. It is a call to proper relationship with God. At least that's what I think.