Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Vanity vs. Coveting...

So, if I had a choice of sin between vanity and coveting, I have decided to pick vanity. Of course, sin is sin so this goes nowhere but if I had to choose, of course vanity would be the one.
All of this comes from my toe nails. Toe nails? Yes, dear, toe nails.
You see I have very ugly ones. Now when I was young and cute, having ugly toe nails is no big deal. I had so much more going on that no one would notice...but now I have a wee bit less going on, bi-foculs on the way and some darn ugly toes!
I would find myself in an elevator with some adorable little thing and of course the only polite thing to do in an elevator is to look down: smack at her pretty, painted toes. Her shoes didn't matter, it was all about those pretty toes. Sigh. I would curl up my toes in my tennis shoes. I would try to find solice in being a devoted mother to five beautiful children. Then I would convince myself that I must be somewhat better then she, after all, I am a RN! I am married to a great guy! And I have the best hair! I would all but leave the elevator after two floors with a "HMPH"!
None of this was helped by the fact that my dear friend Amy sends out a "time-to-get-that-summer-time-pedicure-in" email every year, or at least use to... It was just a painful reminder that people are indeed looking at my ugly toes! Even my own daughter, Liz, bought me a box of glue on toe nails for my birthday. Nothing says "I love you mom, but you got some ugly toes", like a box of Lee Press ons!
But alas, my God knew my pain. He did. One hot summer night last July my fabulous friend, Miss Tracy, was at my home. I was busy coveting her perfect french manicured toes when I told her how much I loved them. I will never forget the words of wisdom that came forth from her mouth as long as I live.
"Girl, they are all FAKE! You've just got to glue them on real careful because sometimes when you go to hug somebody, one will fly off. You just pretend you didn't notice and go glue on a new one in the ladies room. You can even get them done, but the ones at Walgreen's are just as good."

Well that crazy birthday gift from my very bestest daughter, Liz, was cracked open the minute Miss Tracy and her girls left! I filed a little, I glued a lot and went on to paint all ten bad boys, fire engine RED! I swear I stood taller then I have since I lost that 3/4 inch in height over the last several child-bearing-years! I am all but convinced that no one will notice the 20 pounds I have gained because they are so busy looking at my ten fabulous toes!

So where does all of this vanity leave me? Well, you know the darn thing is that come winter, those perfect toe nails don't stay on so well in socks and boots. I found myself constantly having to stop to pull a nail out from under my toe, stuck in my boots, during a snow storm. So I went all natural for the winter where only my own family could see the real me toes. Of course for our Christmas party I sent Liz to Walgreen's to pick up a set for me to wear with my open toe'd shoes, but once the guests left, I pealed them off and went back to my bear toes...

Isn't that just so much truth. How often do I peal myself off and let all of my ugliness show to my children and to my husband. How often as Beth Moore put it, do I let my insecurity about something stupid steal my dignity? How many outfits have I tried on when I am feeling fat and PMS and made us late for a party or even worse, church, while my family waited for the queen to emerge from her quarters? How many times, have I behaved more like the gestapo then a mom, getting the kids to clean the house before someone, who makes me feel uncomfortable comes over? How much is my own vanity really just coveting in disguise?

How precious our God is to know us girls so well. When the Proverbs 31 lady showed up in scripture it wasn't just to make us see how poorly we are doing! It was to remind us that beauty really does fade, that charm really is deceitful and that a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

I can take great fun poking at myself as I enter the middle age years. Believe me, I have plenty of ammunition here! But I have every intention of living to a great old age. I will spend more time as an old woman then I did as a young woman. Let's say that I am exactly middle aged right now. That means that I would get to Glory at around the age of one will be carrying on about how pretty I am at that point! No one will be admiring my smooth skin or silky red hair (dyed hair at 84 would look silly, I want the white stuff then) and no one will be carrying on about my fantastic figure...not at 84! There is a chance that there won't be anyone around to remember what a hottie I was 24 anyway. No, I will only be considered and called beautiful if I allow Christ to remake me into His image. Only if the beauty of Christ shines through me, will anyone be attracted to me. Sounds like that is what needs to be worked on, not what WILL waste/waist away.

But I do plan to have pretty toes right up to the end!

"She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come." Proverbs 31:25


Anonymous said...

Loved it, such a YOU story! I will wear sneakers to your house from now on

Anonymous said...

This is sooo very funny!! I have beautiful feet, but very ugly hands, I have always loved very long sleeves! One day I thought how terrible it would be to not have hands and I have been "over it" ever since.

God is so very good and very creative, in His creating, of His creations....

Much love and friendship,
Your beautifully pedicured, but not manicured, recluse, coffee friend.....

Knitaholictoo said...

so true! and so funny ME! sheila