Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wonder Woman Wanna-Be

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

As a kindergartner, my top-two Saturday Morning Cartoons were the Smurfs (who could resist frolicking little blue people in white, fluffy hats?) and the undisputed kings of cool (well, I suppose you could argue with me, but I WILL win!), The Super Friends! No matter how many smurf mugs, figurines and pajamas I owned, Super Friends was the show! Why? It all came down to Wonder Woman!

You see, Smurfette was just annoying! Always whining, "Oh, Papa Smurf! Papa Smurf!" And making all the blue dudes do her bidding. Ew. Wonder Woman, on the other hand, was a force to be reckoned with! Girlfriend had an invisible plane, bracelets that deflected bullets and hair accessories that knocked bad guys on their keesters! Plus, she had something that every female on the planet (especially mothers) can't help but wish really existed-- the lasso of truth! I never had a Wonder Woman costume, though. As a five-year-old, I saw this as mercilessly unfair. As a mother, I see that some things just can't be explained to small children. I don't blame her for not wanting to add bustiers to that list! ;)

In First Grade, I had found another role-model in Princess Leah! I rocked some serious double hair buns and a spangled ensemble (made modestly a la mom) that Halloween. A chick who had amazing fighting skills, snappy comebacks and won the heart the heart of Han Solo seemed pretty cool to me! :)

Fast forward past my "Jem" phase and a LOT of bad neon fashions to 2004 ...

I was a mother a toddler and an infant. (My infant slept all night, my toddler did not.) I was drowning in a sea of dishes, laundry, nurse-a-thons, potty dancing in the grocery store (always at least 1000 yards from the nearest restroom), doctor's appointments and oh yeah-- there was this guy I passed in the hall. The toddler called him Daddy, I believe ... I felt stretched far beyond my abilities, my energy level and eons past any recollection of romance. Was there a super hero with that kind of life? Enter my very first grown-up super heroine, Elastigirl!

Helen Par to most of the world, her super-powers came in handy on a daily basis at home. She was fighting a lot of the same battles I was! A criminal mastermind isn't nearly as hard to figure out as a baby; at least criminal masterminds can talk! She had three children with very differing personalities, tried to find the middle ground between encouraging her kids without creating little ego-maniacs, struggled to feed a hungry (but picky) brood and attempted to keep the flame lit in her marriage while fighting a truly formidable adversary-- two exhausted people!

While most of us (okay, ALL of us) aren't flexible enough to be able to put away laundry and load the dishwasher at the same time; all women feel "stretched" in their daily lives. There is one woman who seems to have it all together; the infamous "Proverbs 31 Woman." I thought I had an "out" for a while when it came to comparing myself to her, Since she had servants. Then I remembered that I have indoor pluming, electricity, appliances and a car. Drat. Foiled again by that pesky, indisputable "Wife of Noble Character!" She sewed clothes, cooked, bought real estate, planned ahead, her children arose and called her "blessed," her husband praised her at the city gate ... She clearly must be a fictional super-heroin.

I struggled with this woman for quite a while; what does she have (besides the servants, I mean) that I don't? Super-human strength and endurance? Endless patience? A calm outlook at all times? Gee, I wish I could have that! Then I remembered, I do-- it just so happens that this power rests inside of me, but doesn't come from me. Phil. 4:13 says that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Perhaps the Proverbs 31 woman clung to her Heavenly Father, instead of trying to be "super-mom" all by herself. Perhaps she worked out of love for her family, not out of her own need to be seen as "amazing." Perhaps her husband and children praised her so because she owned up to her mistakes and gave the same grace to them! If love keeps no record of wrongs, is it possible that there were times when her kids were brats, her husband was demanding and she was crabby, but they made amends and chose not to "air their dirty laundry" outside their home?

Hmmmmmm ... maybe it's not about being super, but serving and living for a God who is beyond any hero-- real OR imagined!

Lord, help me remember as my week wears on how incredibly SUPER it is being Your child! Through Christ, I have been robed in righteousness- and that's way better than a snazzy outfit or a cape! I don't need super-human strength. The weaker I am, the more you can mold me and the more Your strength flows through me! I can't ask for a greater power source than that! Help me, Father, to release my desire to be "super" alone. Let me shine for you, that my deeds might point to You, not me. And now, by Your strength, must move (and fold) a mountain ...

In Lenten Love and Friendship,


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