“Dear Mom, thank you for your love, commitment, sacrifice, wisdom, and goofiness. You’re really great and I love you. Happy Mother’s Day.”
I received the above message from my oldest daughter on Mother’s Day morning via social media. It surprised, but somehow delighted me to see that description “goofiness” listed with the more lofty and important qualities.
I think I inherited the goofiness from my dad, who made silly faces at us kids to make us laugh, and when we were upset, he would point at our bellies and make a huge, dramatic process of warning us that there was a giggle bubbling up – “Watch out! Here is comes!” It never failed. One time he got a guerilla suit from somewhere and galloped all over the house in it, with us squealing and laughing behind him. Another time, when we were on vacation driving along country roads, he honked the horn had us all call out and wave to total strangers sitting on their porches “to give them something to talk about.” His joke telling is legendary.
But I never thought of goofiness as a valuable quality to be listed in the same sentence as love, commitment, sacrifice and wisdom.
“You never know what actions on your part are going to have the most significant impact on the people around you. Something you do that seems utterly mundane could be the thing that completely changes another person’s life. More than that, it could be the thing by which you become known.” — Jonathan Wattsi
Yes, you never know.
Then we went to church and the pastor gave a wonderful message for Mother’s Day on “momma guilt.”ii All moms think that they are ruining or have ruined their kids’ lives because of perceived failures and lack. But he urged us to let go of that lie. He pointed to 1 Corinthians 12:14-31 to show that none of us is everything, but that each of us has a gift given by God.
But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable … 1 Corinthians 12:18-22
I don’t think I got everything he was saying because I was hearing God say, “if all were serious and somber, where would the giggles be? The thoughtful and dignified cannot say to the goofy ones ‘I have no need of you.’ But the parts that seem weaker are indispensable.” We need a good laugh. We need silly faces and silly songs.
And that means my more serious parts can’t say to my goofy part, you are not valuable; you are not significant. I tuned back in just in time to hear the pastor end with this antidote to momma guilt:
- You are gifted
- Embrace God’s gifts
- Thank God for your value
- Receive the grace of God
I laughed and I cried as I thought of goofiness as a gift from God. And that my goofiness gave me value. Because I have had a lot of “momma guilt.” And I have struggled to trust my kids to God, trust that he knows what he is doing. But he has always known.
So, I am embracing my inner goofiness as a gift from God. A grace. And that this mundane goofiness is valuable, it has impact on people’s lives. I’m not exactly sure what that impact might be (ha ha). But I am trusting God for that also, he who has arranged me this way, and whose gifts are good.
i Morning Musing: Mark 6:56 https://the-nexus.blog/2021/02/16/morning-musing-mark-656/
ii Goodbye Momma Guilt, Pastor Troy Gentz https://youtu.be/-PwhzWncwPU?t=1737
Image, photo of me and two of my granddaughters performing a parody of Baby Face (by Harry Akst, with lyrics by Benny Davis) that we called Poopy Butt.