Have you ever had that experience where, out of the blue, something someone does or says seems to make your planets align and everything just makes sense? My latest revelation, not surprisingly, came from my mother and a missed phone call.
It was a mundane week and work droned on to the same tempo and blurred between spreadsheets and emails; mundane because life had not taken me by surprise, nothing was fighting with me and I had no current adversaries that I had identified. I had not had to pursue anything fervently and the days blended into mediocrity.
It was a Tuesday, and on every Tuesday of every week, I take my sons to school. This detail is usually Daddy’s responsibility, but on Tuesday’s he has a staff meeting, and so I pick up that day. Secretly, I like it, even more so when it is nice outside and I can walk the little men to school and leisurely walk back to my car and continue on my day. I love to follow them down the alley, watch them becoming the men that I know they’ll eventually turn into, but also holding on to them as much as I can. They are, after all, my miracle men.
That Tuesday I had dropped them off at their designated outlet, kissed them goodbye and reminded them to be good and polite men, good role models for the other kids they see at school. They waved their gloved goodbyes and proceeded to race each other to the back door of the school amid construction tape and bare ground.
I drove to work amid the racing folks who were late, and the moms in mini vans who darted to several different schools to accommodate their varying aged children. I hummed to the music that streamed through my car, tapping my fingers on the steering wheel and vaguely watching the world that passed by around me.
I got to the parking lot and started to pile all of the things to come with me into the building; my purse, my workout bag (I walk in the distribution center on my lunch break), my thermos of coffee, my cell phone placed precariously in a side pocket of my jacket and my keys in my hand to lock the car.
My phone began to chime a little salsa beat, quiet and cheerful and for some reason it made me grit my teeth. All I need right now is to try and balance another thing to make this day even longer, I stressed to myself. It will just have to wait, I’ll look at it when I can. This was followed by a few self pitying comments followed by a slap on the wrist for feeling sorry for myself.
For really, what did I have? I had a home, food in the fridge, a loving husband and two beautiful healthy sons, a job that pays the bills, and a way to keep myself warm and comfortable. Sometimes I had to remind myself that I wasn’t off so bad, and it had been a lot worse in our experience. Then, I forced a smile to my face, decided that I would be cheerful today, for there was no real reason not to be.
My phone was tossed in front of the clock at my desk and I arranged everything in between clocking in and checking my work email. Then I remembered that my phone had rung and I sighed as I figured I needed to check it. It could have been Nate or the school, and I needed to be available in the event that something happened.
It was my mom, I saw the words blink at me and I winced at the pang of regret that washed over me. I don’t get to talk with her much, even though she’s my best friend. The only time that we can seem to find to talk with each other is while we drive to work in the mornings. Instantly I accessed my voicemail and smiled that she had left me a message this time.
“Hi there lady!” I heard her familiar voice say, and I could hear the background that assured me she was on her way, driving. “I just wanted to chat with you, I knew you’d be on your way to work this morning. Nothing really to report, nothing special outside of you.” She closed her message, and the phone went black as the time elapsed as I sunk into my head.
Nothing special outside of you, it clung to me and shook me out of the funk I was in. I was special to someone, and it wasn’t the “outside” of me that was special. I missed my mom, then more than ever before. I felt like being the child that was in my heart at the time and lying down on the floor and kicking and screaming “I want my mommy!” because in her eyes, everything about me was special, and none of it was what people saw everyday.
Sometimes we sink into the mediocre, into what we perceive as special and unique. Each piece I see across my desk is special, it is produced to give that individual look, and yet, I sometimes feel drowned in the “special” and the “unique” and I feel my own individuality slipping away. My mom reminded me that I am not special because of the clothes that I wear, where I work, or who I am seen with.
I am special because of what is on the inside…she said nothing was special on the outside. Inside of me is a child of God, one who is seeking His favor, His love. That is the most unique and special element in a Christian’s life. God knows I am special, He knew me before my birth and had set a path before me to create in me exactly what He wanted.
I called my mom back, but not before I wrote her words on a post it note that retains a permanent place at my desk. So when those days come by and say “you’re not special enough”, I have her words to remind me. Not only does she feel that I am special, but she reminded me that God knows I am special, and expects big things from me. I have to be ready.
What do you do to remember?