The title of this blog has its origins in the verse from James that I shared in Monday’s post, but in the hours following the publishing of that first post (and the naming of the blog which actually happened as I was writing the post), it occurred to me that the name is PARTICULARLY ironic when one considers exactly what it is that has catapulted me into the season of rapid change I described in the post: Noonday. Get it? MORNING Fog? Noonday? God has a sense of humor.
See, about three weeks ago I took a step I never in a million years saw myself taking and signed up to be an Ambassador with Noonday Collection. This means I’m going to be selling jewelry and accessories. Well, I mean, it means a whole lot more than that. Noonday is a whole lot more than that, MUCH more than that. But the task at hand is for me to be peddling pretties and I could not have IMAGINED anything I’m more poorly suited for than that and, conversely, anyone more poorly suited for it than me.
Here’s how it came about: A little over two months ago, in mid-June, I traveled to North Carolina to attend the first-ever official conference of an online mommies’ group I’ve been a part of for over three years, you’ll absolutely certainly hear me talk about these ladies often (OFTEN!) as I post more and more here. While I was back there, I got to attend the first-ever trunk show of my dear, DEAR, dear, dear, dear, dear times infinity friend Kristina who had just signed up to be a Noonday Ambassador. Kristina has a heart for social justice and an eye for fashion, so this was PERFECT for her. As I sat in that coffee shop, surrounded by ladies I love, listening to her tell the stories of the women, men, and children around the world whose lives were being changed by the sales from Noonday Collection, I remember thinking, “Oh Lord, thank You that it takes all kinds to make Your kingdom. It’s just so amazing that Kristina can do this and affect people’s lives in this way because somebody needs to and You know that somebody ain’t me. You build us all to serve You in our own ways, dont You?”
I was actually rather smug and slightly self-congratulatory in that moment, so convinced was I that I knew my place and my role and what God had intended me for. I was snugly nestled into my little niche of education and just KNEW that God would use THAT to make an impact on the world around me. I had my thing, I knew my thing, God and me had this all locked down.
“Ha. Ha-ha-ha. Hardy har har.”
Fast forward to two months later when I felt God nudging ME to become a Noonday Ambassador. Say whaaaa? “Surely not, Father,” says I, “This whisper can’t be from you. Surely these thoughts are my own folly. I’m a teacher. I have ALWAYS been a teacher, ever since I was in high school I KNEW I was a teacher, so much so that I have never even worked in retail. All my jobs pretty much ever have been kids. I cannot sell things and have zero business acumen. Also, this is style. STYLE, Lord. I’m not cute and stylish. You didn’t make me to be cute and stylish, You made me to be useful and teacherish. I am a like minivan: useful and helpful and practical and wonderful and great for serving kids and families, but ain’t nobody gonna buy a new paintjob because they’ve seen it on a minvan, God. Nope. Nopenopenope.” But the nudges continued. And they became thumps. And then I talked to Kristina about it. And then I talked to my husband about it.
And then I signed up.
And then the hard work started. If you’ve ever been under spiritual attack, that’s exactly what this felt like. Every little insecurity I’ve ever had, every embarrassing mistake I’ve ever made, everything about my life that could potentially be contradindicative to success in this endeavor were heaped on me. :”You’re not __________ enough, you’ll never succeed in this,” and “You’re too _____________, you’ll never succeed in this” bombarded my thoughts throughout the days that followed. I fought it all off just through reminding myself that this was God choosing my path, not me. I didn’t have to be enough, He equips the called, and He has MORE than shown Himself mighty and faithful in this respect. He has one heck of a track record of making ALL things work for good in my life and of knowing what’s good for me way better than I do, man, I got stories about His grace and goodness and favor with my li’l ol’ hot mess of a self.
But one night, it all came to a head and the threat- nay, the looming INEVITABILITY of failure came crashing down on me. I reached out from the midst of it to a few of my closest friends from The Mommies’ Group who I know get me. And it was ugly and I was saying ugly things about myself…things that as soon as they left my mouth (or my fingers, I was typing) and I heard them out loud (or saw them written down) I knew they couldn’t ACTUALLY be true, and yet I realized in that moment that I had actually believed those things about myself. I hadn’t always believed them, but somehow, as I walked through this broken world, I had come to believe them. Those lies. Those untruths that I had internalized as parts of who I was. And that’s when the chains began breaking.
The next day my starter kit arrived. In that box were necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and liberation. As I pulled them out one by one and put them on, it felt like I was unshackled, loosed from chains that had been holding me down. I put outfits together and they WORKED. I took a few selfies and they TURNED OUT. In that first hour with my Noonday Swag (BAHAHAH) and in the days and weeks that have followed, so many of my wounds have been ministered to with the salve of grace, so many of the lies have begun to melt away…and God is keeping me so close to Him- or at least I’m trying.
There is much work yet to be done, though. What I have walked through so far has only been the tip of the iceburg, I know there are so many other things that God has planned to work me through during this season. And the love notes from God, the reminders that it’s all going to be ok, they’ve been coming through loud and clear. Whispers that I might be successful at this thing yet, that there may be a future for me that will grow from this. The seed was planted that maybe…just maybe, I could be successful at something other than education? Not that being a teacher is any small thing, it’s not. It’s a GREAT thing, something I believed was and IS worthy of building an entire life of purpose on. But the idea that I could do different things? Things I thought only OTHER people did? The idea tickles me!
And yet…then there’s that verse from James. Let’s examine it again, shall we?
13Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” 16But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. 17Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
So, I think it’s safe to say that I’m not supposed to know where this is going. For now, I’m called to the rigorous discipline of following, with my eyes only on the ground currently underneath my feet, resisting the temptation to lift my eyes to the road ahead and gaze at the mist, trying to make out the shapes and shimmers of what is to come. It could be that this is just a season, God is using my time as a Noonday Ambassador to do work in me and He will prune it away shortly once it stops bearing fruit. I’m not to dream of Ambassador trips to Peru and Rwanda or of making our car payment each month with my commissions, I’m just to focus on the present moment, the tasks I’ve been handed, and be open to God working in me. For me, the Pisces, the dreamer, the BIG IDEA person, this is quite the undertaking. It goes against every fiber of my being, but it is sacred and in it there is a security I have never known.
II have booked three trunk shows so far, my first is in a week and a half and so as yet, I have not made a single sale. I’m slowly but surely beefing up my wardrobe and learning to find my own sense of style- I’ve never been very strong in that department and four years of childbearing, with my changing body and my children’s all-consuming needs have buried what little sense of style I had beneath layers of yoga pants, Beaver t-shirts, mashed banana, and spit-up. But God had told me long before this came along that it was His plan for me to work on that anyway- plus, it’s kind of fun work. Because, dress-up. Right? I feel like the little girl who used to love to play dress-up as a kid has gotten to come out and play again. It’s been years, YEAR!
And then there is the gift of being involved in the work that Noonday does and way it speaks to my heart, my family’s heart, and resembles the vision that Jeff and I have for the work we would like to do and the impact we want to have on the world around us- but that’s a topic for another time, MANY other times, as there will be much gushing about Noonday around here.
In the meantime, I’ll just be over here in My Morning Fog, working my way in the light of the Noonday, and trying to work on whatever God has going on in me at the moment.
Hugs, y’all- and bless your heart if you’ve read all of this 🙂
PS Here’s what I’m wearing today, ain’t it glorious?