But lest you be fooled, there is another side of John Paul. A side so shocking and so terrifying, that it cannot be described in words. Rather, this picture will have to suffice:
Meet what we in the McGinley family affectionately call, “The Wild Man.”
Now, in all honesty, there’s really nothing shocking or terrifying about “The Wild Man.” In fact, in addition to wild, this man is also quite cute. But, at the same time, taking “The Wild Man” out of his natural habitat and into the outside world can be a little tricky, and even a little frightening, especially for someone who’d rather not draw a lot of attention to herself around strangers.
This weekend John Paul will be baptized, and we’ll have a wonderful party afterwards to celebrate. I’m so honored and excited that many loving family and friends are coming to celebrate with us. But, needless to say, it’s been a busy couple of days preparing for their arrival . And although I knew it wouldn’t be the easiest thing to do, I faced my fears and carted John Paul around with me today for over five hours of errands. As we darted in and out of store after store, he chewed on books; blew bubbles; spit up on himself, the floor, and clothes I had not yet purchased; kicked like crazy; screamed in delight, just to hear himself do it; peed through his clothes and onto mine; and hit a sweet cooing old lady in the face. Of course in addition to his wild ways he threw in plenty of smiles and giggles. But whether through wildness or cuteness, everywhere we went, he made sure his presence was known.
Now, some people didn’t appreciate John Paul’s loud and crazy ways. There were a few times when a weary glance or exaggerated sigh was cast our way. But, for the most part, John Paul and I were greeted with smiles and laughs. And although I sweated and stubbed my toes on John Paul’s stroller numerous times, for the most part, bringing John Paul with me as I ran my errands made me smile and laugh. For, I realized a great honor I’ve been given in having a son: I have become a bearer of joy. Everywhere I take John Paul, I bring happiness. People who normally wouldn’t look twice at me stop and chat with me about my baby. And the number of people who smile at me, knowingly and genuinely, is more than doubled when I have John Paul in tow.
How little and weak am I, how undeserving, that God would give me such an amazing role. To be able to carry joy with me wherever I go, no matter how crazy or wild the package it comes in, is an honor like none other I’ve ever known. My five-hour errand run with John Paul today taught me to never again be afraid to venture out with my son. For the smiles and happiness he creates far outweigh the weary looks or loud sighs I might receive. And it’s the same with all the gifts God gives us, tangible or not. They are meant to be shared, to bring others joy. For only when they’re shared and brought into the light will they bring glory to God, from whom all good things come.
My prayer for you today is that you might never shy from sharing your gifts, both tangible and intangible. Dare to bring them out into the light, even amidst your fear of them being misunderstood or unappreciated. Trust that these gifts have been given to you by God for a reason, to be used and shared. What beauty sharing them will create!
Thank you for joining me on my 31 day challenge! I apologize for being a little behind on my days…I’ll try to catch up soon!
Day 1: Be Not Afraid
Day 2: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Day 3 Keeping a Faithful Heart in Light of Suffering
Day 4: Facing Fears with Laughter
Day 5: Listening to My Heart
Day 6: Daring to Love Myself in Order to Love Others
Day 7: Opening Up My Idea of a Remarkable Life
Day 8: Giving Voice to My Fears
And click here to read all the other wonderful blogs joining in on this challenge!