There have been many things over the course of my life that have served to define who I was. Some came into play organically because they were part of who I am and others I worked at because I wanted to be seen as a certain something. I think in my younger years it was derived mostly by stuff. What I had, how I dressed and what music I listened to defined who I was as a person. As I’ve gotten older, that’s shifted. But let’s start with the old school, ridiculous and utterly embarrassing ones.
Let’s see, there was my first car which I loved (!!) but partly (mostly) because it was like Drew Barrymore’s. Not just cause I decided to love it all on my own.
There were my first pair of Vans. Oh man. My big brother drove me all the way to Bellis Fair when I was in grade 8. It’s the shoes all the grade 12’s were wearing. I never felt more cool….
There was pearl jam and nirvana and sonic youth. Which I truly like! But they definitely set you apart from the Boys 2 Men and Salt n’ Peppa crowd.
As I meandered more into my early 20’s I became defined by a slightly different genre. I lived in Kitsilano. I shopped at Club Monaco. All of the products in my bathroom were Aveda. I liked that.
Fast forward a couple more years and the definition of me was mommy. I poured a lot into this one and it led into being the maker of all things home made. Halloween costumes, birthday cakes, buns for school lunches, cookies, banana bread, the list goes on.
What I’ve noticed along the way that in each of these situations the things that define me are the things I take pride in. And I mean pride in the not so good sense of the word. I wanted to be ‘that mom’ whose children had the healthiest home made lunches and pity the child who just gets Oreo’s. And it is so obvious that I love my children more because I sewed their costumes and didn’t just pick up that $15 dollar mask from Superstore.
More importantly, I’ve realized upon looking back that God is working away at me. He is stripping me of all the things I feel define me. Or I feel I need to define me.
As a now working mom I don’t have time to bake buns each week or always have homemade treats in my kids lunches. Today they got a little bag of chips. I still cringe at the thought. I also don’t have perfectly balanced meals on the table every single night complete with homemade salad dressing and candied almonds. Now I buy the bag at Costco. (I know!!)
God has taken away many of these things that I think have made up who I am. I am no longer a photographer. A title I quite liked. People were so much more interested in what I had to say when we first met and they asked what I did. Now, I’m slightly embarrassed to tell them what I do. Which is probably really good for me.
The funny thing is that I’m so thankful to Him for taking things from me. For humbling me. For stripping away the worldly things that I feel I need to be someone. But oh, do I have a long way to go. At this very moment I like that I do hot yoga, have an iphone, and own a diane von furstenburg dress (even if it was bought at VV!)
But I like to think that God, in His mercy, is going to continue pulling these things out of my hands so that my life becomes less about me and more about Him. At least I hope he does – until all that defines me is follower of Christ. (and stylish dresser!)