Sunday we experienced the latest in our Lenten adventure of selling our house and buying a new one. And this one was a biggie.
We had our house shown for the first time!
Yessiree, we fixed our sweet house up nice, put her on the market, and someone actually liked what they saw on the internet enough to come meet her in person.
Why does this sound vaguely like internet dating?
Since this is the first time we have shown a house in 11 years we were all in a tizzy. The kids, my husband, and I all did our cleaning chores, straightened our rooms, and took a look around.
And then the reality of a stranger coming into our home without us being present hit us and we began to hide things.
Seriously hide things. Like we thought a very easily offended sociopath was coming over.
Looking back on it now the things we hid fell into two categories: things we were ashamed of and things that were so valuable we were afraid for someone else to see them.
My husband hid my squatty potty under the bed. Under the bed, really baby? Is it that embarrassing to you that your wife has embraced the squatty potty revolution?
I hid all my strange sinus irrigation paraphernalia (wow, have I ever mentioned before all the weird health related accessories I have?) and our ratty old dish rack.
Then we walked around with Febreeze to hide any lingering dog odor.
My daughter led off with hiding the valuables by packing up her wallet and ALL her electronic devices in a tote bag which she took with her while we were out.
I grabbed all of our prescription drugs and my husband got the checkbook.
My son was the only one who left his belongings untouched, so I packed up his wallet but left his nighttime books and lovies laying on his pillow because, well because how sweet is that?
After we got back to the house and started putting back all our lesser and greater things, it hit me. This was even more like internet dating than I had previously thought (Disclosure: anything I know of internet dating I get from the movies. I have no idea what it is really like).
So often in life we feel we must hide much of ourselves from others. The shameful parts. The weird parts. The beautiful parts. Our most brilliant selves.
Why do we do this?
I know even as I ask that the answer is we are scared of getting hurt. But at what cost does our safety come? Why do I walk around with the shameful parts of me tucked securely away and all my really amazing parts hidden deep in a tote bag? Doesn’t this get tiresome?
Yes, it is absolutely tiresome to hide parts of myself continually. And it prevents me from having true intimacy to boot.
Not to mention how insulting it is to the God who made me to show only half of myself to others. Nor to mention how insulting it is to the people in my life.
Now even my “take me or leave me” son is a little quiet and standoffish with strangers. But I think I can take a lesson from him in how he acts around anyone he has know for a while and decides is okay.
I am going to quit hiding the shameful parts of myself under the bed. Strike that. I am going to quit thinking of any part of myself as shameful. If I can embrace my love of the squatty potty, I can embrace it all.
And I am going to quit hiding my most brilliant, valuable part of myself as well. Even if I am scared that people will feel threatened by them. Even if I am scared someone will try to misuse them.
It is time to stop being the girl in junior high who faked not being able to play pool so the boys would like me. Or because I was scared they would like me.
Time to take the all the lights out from under the bushel and let them shine.
So as we journey through Lent I’ll ask you to consider what parts of yourself you are hiding and why?
Do you think you too can begin to take off the mask and let the whole of God’s wonderful work that is you shine?