Friday, January 05, 2007
The Bonnie Complex
A few years back we attended a different church and with us attended another family with kids roughly the same age as daboyz. Only they had girlz, which they would never, ever call dagirlz.
That’s because that mom and dad were much different than the Mr. and myself.
The mom’s name was Bonnie and she is the kind of woman I think I should be. I always feel loud and unspiritual in Bonnie’s presence. She does nothing to make me feel this way; it’s just the light her presence casts on me.
Bonnie has the sweetest face. Calm and serene at all times. Wears no make up and probably cuts her own natural brown hair. She smiles a gentle small smile and if she laughs; it’s a gentle small laugh. Her clothes are outdated and I don’t recall her wearing jewelry besides her wedding ring and maybe small earrings. Bonnie doesn’t spend money on herself; she has higher financial priorities than I do.
She and her husband had three children biologically and then went on to adopt three more through the foster care system. They are obviously gifted stewards because she has never worked outside their home and yet they have built a large house on some acreage out in the country where Bonnie home schools their children.
I look at Bonnie and wonder just how far off the mark I am from what I could have or should have been. I’m certainly more vain than she by miles.
I keep an every-six-week schedule for hair coloring and cuts and good heavens; I actually posted a blog about how I should cut my hair! I order my mascara from Mary Kay and probably pay roughly twice what drug store mascara costs because I like it best. I wear extended wear lip gloss so it won’t fade away and buy my facial soap from a department store, moisturizer again from Mary Kay. I pluck and then pencil in my eye brows into a superior arch. I indulge myself in new clothes for no good reason whatsoever on a regular basis. I have tennis shoes to match my scrubs and when they get grungy they become bum-around shoes and I buy new ones for work. I have jewelry, albeit costume, to match most of my outfits. I still check the jewelry aisles to see if there’s more out there I want. I have even purchased a necklace and then gone hunting for a sweater to go with.
There’s more to it than just my attention to my appearance, which by the way still doesn’t measure up to Bonnie’s natural beauty. There’s my personality as well. If only Mary Kay could fix that.
I laugh way too loud and usually at something entirely inappropriate. Was recently spotted wearing wax lips at the nurse’s station. I am sarcastic and silly and often stupid. Bonnie would never stoop to my low-brow humor.
I lose my temper and snap at people. I use my gift of communication to cut people down if I get ticked off enough. I roll my eyes. I called my husband “Captain Crack Head” this morning.
I don’t want to give up my multiple luxuries to adopt foster care kids and build them a country home. I don’t want to home school anybody, I wanted my kids to go to school and leave me in peace for a few hours.
The thing is, I want to want to be better. But I’m so far away from it, from being like Bonnie.
Bonnie who stands on tiptoe to whisper in her husband’s ear when it’s time to go. Not Sara who yells across the room, “Hey! I’m outta here!”
I don’t think I’ll ever be a Bonnie. For that matter, I’m quite sure I couldn’t if I tried and doubt seriously I was meant to be.
I do, however, think there is more of Sara to lay on an altar. Maybe God doesn’t want me to spend so much money and attention on my hair. Maybe he doesn’t care. My problem is I don’t ask permission if I don’t want to be told “no.” My suspicion is that God would pull me somewhere to the middle ground of Bonnie vs. Sara if I’d bend myself toward him a little more.
It’s not about Bonnie. It’s not about me. It’s about Christ, him crucified and risen and my submission to him.
So yes, I can learn a lot from Bonnie. I can learn to think twice and discipline myself. I can learn to curb my tongue and soften my rough edges. Most of all I need to learn to check with God that I’m what he wants me to be. And to be that with all my heart, a heart that is completely his.
And a fabulous pair of new shoes in which to walk it out.
So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.