Is It Really You?

My dear husband had a monumental birthday. One of those that requires great fuss and bother.

And embarrassment.

I wanted to have all six of our kids surprise him. John is rarely surprised by anything. He’s a tad bit suspicious, and I’ve never been truly successful at pulling off something astonishing.

Three of our children live at quite a distance from Orlando. Our son and his wife were already coming down for a wedding, and John was aware they’d be here, so he anticipated spending time with them.

Melody lives in Washington DC and Courtney in Denver. They would be the surprise.

It was the weekend of Isley’s big performance. Melody would arrive too late to attend, but Courtney would be here in plenty of time. The dilemma was how to pull off the surprise if we were waiting till we returned home for the grand reveal.

Melody came up with the idea of Courtney wearing a wig. Cover her blonde hair with a dark look.She added a hat for panache to complete her image.

John can be oblivious at times.

We arrived at the play, found our seats, and perused the program for pictures of Isley.

Courtney sat several rows in front of us, to the side, and John never once noticed her.

On the way home, we had the three oldest grands, who had been told to stall. They insisted on stopping for drinks before we got home–I thought John would figure that one out.

He’s sometimes unaware.

When we finally arrived at the house, the kids were all there, they’d decorated with balloons and streamers in black and silver, and the surprise was impressive. When Courtney popped up where she’d been hiding, she ripped off her wig and hat to the delight of all.

Often John misses those small details.

We’re all unobservant at times. We target what we feel is important, urgency drives our focus, and it’s easy to miss what’s right in front of us.

Or who is in front of us.

During our current reality, where distancing is still necessary, masks are needed, and hugging is prohibited, it’s easy to stay hidden. I can be that girl behind the mask until I’m alone, and the mask comes off.

Truly not me. But I question who I really am in the midst of our current circumstances.

I’m less tolerant of small talk and more desirous of deep and honest conversations. Limited interactions with people mean these moments with others have to count. I’m learning not to take everything said to me personally–everyone is in a disruptive time, and I can’t be aware of what’s happened or what they’re feeling in the moment.

I don’t want to ignore the people I care about because I’m tired or overwhelmed.

God is at work on my attitude and character–not things I’m always willing to work on. Masking–hiding behind an image–can be easy and convenient.

But is it right?

“Oh, people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

We choose. Hiding or doing the right thing.

It’s really a no-brainer.

8 responses to “Is It Really You?”

  1. I can’t imagine how many cogs were turning in everybody elses head to keep the surprise going 🙂


    1. So many people, so many cogs. Every one of my kids thinks differently–it’s a hoot to be around them. But in trying to agree we’re like a family of rabbit trails trying to find the main road.


  2. So love everything about this! Glad the old man was caught off guard for once. I love you guys.


    1. It happens so very rarely. This may be the first total surprise. Court for sure got him good. He might have expected something in a week, but doing it early was amazing. Love you, too, sweet friend. How long is the countdown to Durango?


      1. Close on that place May 13; putting our house in the market May 4or 5.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a fun surprise! Well done, all!
    On the topic of hiding, I understand your many tensions exacerbated by our recent circumstances, although real at any time. Being our “real” selves in front of others, not hiding in our distance anonymity, taking advantage of precious time together to “go deep”… or doing none of the prior on a bad day. May Jesus help us to be fully knowable by others as we are by HIm. 🤍


    1. That, my dear friend, was an erudite dissertation on the truth of this pandemic. I love how you put things. Our distance anonymity is a burden we’re all bearing–even more now. And you’re so right–only Jesus can help us find comfort in being knowable and acceptable–if to no one else but Him.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pen, I’m so excited for you all. Will anyone be moving with you?


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