This metaphor resonated with me. Bear with me while I explain.
I'm doing Beth Moore's Esther study right now (wonderful!) and in our video this past week, she describes how sometimes we (women) can be like a half-cooked pancake. One side all pretty and golden, cooked to perfection. The other side just a goopy, sloppy uncooked mess.
We get really good at showing our "cooked" or pretty side in public. At social gatherings. At church. We are adept at showing the pretty side of our family as well. We dress everyone nicely, threaten our kids through clenched-jaw smiles to remember their manners, prompt (nag) our husbands to do more or be more or just SAY more...
And we go to great lengths to ensure that no one sees the goopy, sloppy uncooked mess.
I have to admit: I ENJOY presenting the pretty side of the pancake. We recently got some family pictures taken at our church for Miss M's upcoming baby dedication. The proofs arrived via email tonight. I pored over them. Clicked through the images a dozen times. Everyone smiling. All the outfits coordinating. Children sitting idyllically in our laps. I want to jump inside that picture and live there forever.
But if I'm ever going to relate to another human being on this earth... particularly another woman or mother, I need to be more willing to let people see the "un"pretty side of my life, too.
I have to admit: I DO NOT ENJOY presenting this side to anyone. It feels very out of control. It's humbling. It requires me to trust another person with my mess. Don't get me wrong, I'll tell you about my messes, but I'd rather do it after they've been neatly resolved.
So, on Wednesday afternoon, about an hour after I listened to Beth Moore describe the pancake predicament on a video, I pulled my dirty, cluttered SUV into our driveway and began unloading the junk of the day. Diaper bags and backpacks spilled out onto the pavement. Drew began riding his bike as Miss M slept soundly in her carseat. Instead of waking her, I opened all the doors to the car and the back hatch, threw my keys onto the back bumper, and began organizing the mess in our garage.
After several minutes, Miss M woke up crying. I rescued her from her carseat and made Drew follow us inside with the promise that we'd only stay inside for a moment. I had to go to the bathroom and change out of my "Bible study clothes" (see above paragraph about presenting the pretty side). And the baby, I surmised by smell, needed a clean diaper.
I was almost into a pair of sweatpants when my phone alerted me to a new text message. This is what I read:
"Your car door is open.
I am in your driveway.
I am stealing your car.
Just letting you know."
It was my dear friend, Jessica (Please tell me you're a fan of hers already. If not, click HERE).
Anyway... Jessica happened to be driving past my house when she noticed my car sitting there with all doors and windows wide open. My personal belongings were still strewn about the perimeter. I was, however, nowhere to be found. And like any good friend would do upon seeing my keys sitting in plain sight, she threatened Grand Theft Auto.
I stood in my closet as I read the words of her message, laughed out loud, threw on the nearest top, and ran out to the driveway. The sight was pitiful.
I'm sure she was probably already worried about my well-being, but I really sealed the deal when I blurted out, "Friend! You're looking at the ugly side of my pancake!!!"
And even as I type this, the lesson is still teaching me. If my house had been tidy with my car parked neatly in the garage with the door shut and my children sitting quietly on my lap inside while I read them fairytales, my friend probably wouldn't have pulled in to check on me.
And I would have missed out on what turned out to be a really fun, spontaneous afternoon playdate with her beautiful little girls and my very excited little boy.
You know, I just might start showing off this side more often.
But I'm still going to wear cute shoes.
Just keeping it real.