The disappearing "country kid", part 2

The SUVs, minivans, cars kept pulling in to the ball field parking lot, and I just kept watching. Brand new, brand new, brand new. I watched the women filing out, straight from work, some of them, others obviously coming from home. Kids in tow: spotless. Outfits: well coordinated, tight, flashy, expensive. I stood in my work clothes, black yoga pants cropped short because they had ripped, a tank top I've owned for at least 6 years. Hadn't had time to change after helping someone move. I sunk a little deeper in my camp chair next to the field. And, like a little pry bar in a tiny crack, the doubt began working that insecurity within.

I don't really want a new car. I do want a car that works. I've never been much for fashion, but I would prefer not to stick out. He tells me without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6) As the days go by, and the trials mount, and there are no tangible rewards in sight...ahhh, there is the rub! Because the truth is, this is probably the faith part, not the reward part. These are days for seeking after Him!

The women walked by, necklaces glinting and bejeweled feet tiptoeing through the sand at the edge of the ball field; I fingered my key chain, an instant reminder of what really matters. The bedrock of my life. I am the Cinderella story, I am the princess wearing a veil of poverty as a disguise. Because my husband and I - despite our somewhat shabby appearance - are heirs together of new life. (I Peter 3:7)

I believe we are working something deep into our children's souls and bones, here in the country. I think it is a gift proffered them to wear whatever clothes function well and are comfortable - "play clothes" - for so many days spent entirely at home. They will look back on these halcyon days someday, when they don't recognize the way of life they observe around them. Call it pioneer spirit, or family pride, but I look back now on my own childhood filled with moments of not fitting in, and it is a source of spiritual and emotional fortitude. I have done this, I can do it now again. I have seen that life turns out, whether you fit in or not. I have seen the treasures of this world rot or otherwise disappear, now that I am older.

So whether country kids have disappeared or not, I will still aim to breathe life into a dying breed. I will wear whatever I want to t-ball, my kids won't be spotless, and yes, they may even be shoeless! I know, deep inside, we hold a treasure greater than any earthly thing, a Holy Spirit who warms us and tethers us forever to our Treasure in heaven.

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. (I Peter 1:7)


Only certain costumes suit Christians. To be otherwise dressed is inappropriate.
"Put on the garments that suit God's chosen people, his own, his beloved: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience" (Col 3:12 NEB).
"Put on the Lord Jesus Christ." (Rom 13:14 RSV)
"You have all put on Christ as a garment." (Gal 3:27 NEB)
"You must put on the new nature of God's creating." (Eph 4:24 NEB)
"You have discarded the old nature with its deeds and have put on the new nature." (Col 3:10 NEB)
"Put on love." (Col 3:14 RSV)
The clothes we wear are what people see. Only God can look on the heart. The outward signs are important. They reveal something of what is inside. If charity is there, it will become visible outwardly, but if you have no charitable feelings, you can still obey the command. Put it on as simply and consciously as you put on a coat. You choose it; you pick it up; you put it on. This is what you want to wear. ~Elisabeth Elliot