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Welcome to BBMI, Ink., where you'll always get a fresh dose of opinion mixed with a little humor and love.

Friday, March 4, 2011

School Lunch

When my kids ask me to come to school and have lunch with them, my initial reaction is always a conversation in my brain that goes something like this:  “Quick, Self!  Think of an excuse that will get you out of this!  You’ve got cleaning to do!  You’ve got the great American novel to write!  Anything!  Think, Woman, Think!”  But the answer that comes out of my mouth is more like:  “Okay, I’ll be there.  What do you want me to pick up?”

My main motivation for saying yes most of the time is quite simple.  I know the day is coming, very quickly I’m sure, when I will no longer be asked.  I don’t think my kids consider me cool now, but I haven’t hit the pariah stage that all parents breach when their kids turn 12 or 13.  You know, the “Drop me off a block away, Mom.  I’ll walk…” stage.

I’ve actually considered that the real reason my boys want me to come to school is not so that I can have lunch with them.  No, I’ve always assumed it was so I could bring lunch to them.  There are a few fast-food places between our house and the school and they get to pick which one shows up with me at school.  And, since we all expect full disclosure here, I really don’t want to eat whatever the school cafeteria is serving up either, so a sandwich from Subway or a burger from Sonic works just great for me, too.

I’d always assumed that was their motivation until today.  As we sat at our special “visitors table” in the lunch room, I noticed the school lunch of the day was pizza with a side of frozen yogurt.  And, honestly, it looked pretty good.  I said to M, “Wow.  You’d rather have Sonic than that?  It looks pretty good to me.”

His answer floored me.  I haven’t been able to think of much else since.  “Yeah, but it’s not you.”  I had him repeat it, because even with these new-fangled hearing aids, I wasn’t sure I was getting it straight.

“That school lunch isn’t you, Mom.  I’d rather have Sonic with you.”

I’ve never had a hamburger and limeade that tasted so good.  Who knew that a mother’s heart could be melted right there in a school lunch room…  Heck, the Wicked Witch of the West has nothing on me.  Don’t mind that steamy puddle of mush.  It’s just me.

The Deodorant Story

I wrote the following for a newsletter I help edit for our church's Women's Ministry.  I decided to share it with a "wider audience" here.  Hope you don't mind the re-run!
I have ten year old boys.  (They are the “M” and “I” of BBMI, Ink, in case you were wondering.)  God uses them almost daily to teach me life lessons and truths about Him.  Such was the case a few weeks ago.  As we stood in line at a church luncheon, my senses went on full alert.  About the time my nose detected the distinct aroma of Old Spice deodorant, my eyes discovered white marks on a boy’s shirt.  (I’ll not tell you which one; he deserves to remain innocently anonymous.)
“Oh, man,” I said to him.  “You got deodorant on your shirt this morning when you pulled it over your head.  Maybe we should try to get that off…”  Then I discovered a shocking fact:  The white mark wasn’t just in a small spot on his shirt.  It ranged from the hem, all the way up the side seam, through the arm pit area, and down to the cuff of the sleeve. 
They were masterful, perfectly drawn lines.  Yes, I say, “they” because he’d accomplished this artistry under both arms!  White stripes on a red shirt.  I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so of course, I asked, “What happened?  Did you do this on purpose?”
His reply makes perfect sense if you are a ten year old boy:  “You told me to put on deodorant before we left.  I already had my shirt on and I was in a hurry so I just put it on the outside.”
It’s hard, but you have to suppress the giggles that often come with motherhood and discipline.  So that not everyone in line would know what was going on, I tried to quietly explain to him that deodorant goes on our skin.  That’s how it works.  The Hubster, much more science-minded than I, began to expound on the chemical reaction that occurs when sweat and deodorant mix and why it’s called “antiperspirant.”  The glazed look we got from the boy led me to interrupt The Hubster’s discourse and say, “Just don’t do that again.  You have to put the stuff where it belongs for it to work.”
Believe it or not, I got a spiritual lesson from the Great Old Spice Debacle.  As I was studying the Bible in the weeks that followed, God said to me:  “Are you just painting this stuff you’re learning down your sleeves and all over the outside of your clothes?  Or, are you putting it where it will really work:  on the inside?”  You see, for God’s Word to make a difference in my life, I have to apply it correctly.  I have to allow it to interact with my soul’s chemistry.  When I allow this to happen, my heart and my mind begin to change. 
What are you doing with the stuff you’re learning these days from God’s Word?  Is it changing you from the inside out?  Or, are you merely painting it on the outside because you don’t have “time” to let it do its chemistry?  Apply it according to the directions: I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”  (Psalm 119:11)