Becoming

21 02 2005

After the final benediction Sunday morning I remained at the piano, jamming with the band as usual. Then I faced the three guitarists, said, “Always a pleasure, gentlemen,” and headed to the sound booth to gather my lead sheets.

It’s funny. You spend your whole life becoming. Always working toward goals. Always looking ahead to the next thing. Then one day someone taps you on the shoulder . . .

She stopped me outside the booth. “Do you have a minute?”

“Yeah, sure.” I smiled at her eager expression. We’d spoken earlier about her acceptance to college and her plans to audition for the theater department. She radiates talent, confidence, and enthusiasm. I knew she’d encounter bumps along the way, but I also suspected she’d find success in whatever she decides to do.

“I know you’re busy, but would you have time this week to watch me perform my monologues? I’d love to have your critique.”

Of course I would. We arranged a time. Flattered that she valued my opinion, I turned to leave, but caught the eye of another young woman. She shot me a shy smile and stepped closer.

“I’m sorry,” I said, “I didn’t realize you were waiting for me.”

We’ve talked at church a few times, but I don’t know her very well. Her willowy, natural beauty and style belong in the pages of a J. Crew catalog. But, even more than her winsome appearance, I’m drawn to something else. Twenty-something, married, and the mother of a toddler, she strikes me as a gypsy trying to fit the soccer-mom mold. There’s a free spirit about her. When I look at the impish spark dancing in her eye, I wonder how she’s managed to tame it.

She jumped in feet first. “Are you mentoring anyone?”

She explained that her life doesn’t seem to be going anywhere — that she feels like she’s nothing more than a “child care provider.” She wants to make the most of these days, to keep growing, to become wise. And then she said these astounding words. This unbelievable, mind-boggling statement. “I look at you, and I see what I want to be someday.”

What do you say to something like that? I thanked her. Then I prayed. Because I know that what she sees isn’t about me at all. It’s about becoming. Day after day, week after week, year after year, becoming what you were created to be.

She doesn’t want anything formal — she doesn’t handle authority well, she says. (I smiled at that.) Just time. Time to talk about life, about being a wife and a mother. About knowing God. About becoming.

I drove home from church amazed. Honored. Humbled. Excited. We’re going to get together once a week. And I expect I’ll benefit from this relationship at least as much as she will. Because she will allow me to see life through new eyes. Gypsy eyes. Eyes that don’t handle authority well, but eyes that — it’s still so astounding — want to look in the mirror someday and see what they see in me.

It’s funny. You spend your whole life becoming. Always working toward goals. Always looking ahead to the next thing. Then one day you turn around, and someone is following.


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38 responses

22 02 2005
allenb

Wow… that’s quite a compliment! Bodes well for you. 🙂 Good to know that someone sees what you’re doing and says: Yeah, that’s the way to go.

Congrats.

22 02 2005
allenb

Wow… that’s quite a compliment! Bodes well for you. 🙂 Good to know that someone sees what you’re doing and says: Yeah, that’s the way to go.

Congrats.

22 02 2005
Anonymous

your gypsy girl

Hi Jeanne. I subscribed to your blog today. (I meant to do it ages ago – but had trouble finding it.)

Congratulations! What an amazing compliment from the gypsy girl. (She reminds me of ‘Wendy’ who I met years ago and had to capture in a bit of rhyme, beginning: ‘Wendy, long and lovely/with her hair a little wild, beatific smile upon her lips/ and on her hip a child…’)

Now that you’re a mentor, does that mean you have to be good?

violet

22 02 2005
Anonymous

your gypsy girl

Hi Jeanne. I subscribed to your blog today. (I meant to do it ages ago – but had trouble finding it.)

Congratulations! What an amazing compliment from the gypsy girl. (She reminds me of ‘Wendy’ who I met years ago and had to capture in a bit of rhyme, beginning: ‘Wendy, long and lovely/with her hair a little wild, beatific smile upon her lips/ and on her hip a child…’)

Now that you’re a mentor, does that mean you have to be good?

violet

22 02 2005
Anonymous

“just a child care provider”

Sometimes it is very difficult to feel like you are serving God in the capacity that you expect from yourself when you are just a “child care provider”. I have been a stay home mom for several years and have three girls under the age of 5. My daily verse for prayer is Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, do it heartily as unto the Lord and not to men.” Whether I am sweeping up cookie crumbs, wiping noses or trying to keep up with devotions, I try to accept that I am serving God where he wants me to be–Serving my family. There is a need for mentors for young mothers. This most blessed job is an untapped, under rated service for God which should be our highest calling – to be Godly wives and Godly mothers. Thanks for helping to train the younger women.

22 02 2005
Anonymous

“just a child care provider”

Sometimes it is very difficult to feel like you are serving God in the capacity that you expect from yourself when you are just a “child care provider”. I have been a stay home mom for several years and have three girls under the age of 5. My daily verse for prayer is Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, do it heartily as unto the Lord and not to men.” Whether I am sweeping up cookie crumbs, wiping noses or trying to keep up with devotions, I try to accept that I am serving God where he wants me to be–Serving my family. There is a need for mentors for young mothers. This most blessed job is an untapped, under rated service for God which should be our highest calling – to be Godly wives and Godly mothers. Thanks for helping to train the younger women.

22 02 2005
Anonymous

…and she smiled.

As charming as those gypsy eyes are, I bet they are no match for your own impish smile.

This piece totally delighted me on so many levels.

That whole theme of becoming, being changed from glory to glory, coming into the fullness of our uniqueness (and sameness)in Christ. He who has begun a good work in us….

And I can so relate to that gypsy spirit that may not be sure how it all fits together in the grand scheme of being conformed to Christ and His church. But she has chosen well someone who can help guide her into understanding what it is to be a unique daughter of the King. And seeing her calling as having great eternal value.

And wow, the whole mentoring idea, so cool. God’s opportunities for service are so broad. And just think, part of this whole becoming process has been to prepare you to influence a specific gypsy.

You’re love of God and total yielding to Him is always such an inspiration to me. You Go Girl!

Megan

22 02 2005
Anonymous

…and she smiled.

As charming as those gypsy eyes are, I bet they are no match for your own impish smile.

This piece totally delighted me on so many levels.

That whole theme of becoming, being changed from glory to glory, coming into the fullness of our uniqueness (and sameness)in Christ. He who has begun a good work in us….

And I can so relate to that gypsy spirit that may not be sure how it all fits together in the grand scheme of being conformed to Christ and His church. But she has chosen well someone who can help guide her into understanding what it is to be a unique daughter of the King. And seeing her calling as having great eternal value.

And wow, the whole mentoring idea, so cool. God’s opportunities for service are so broad. And just think, part of this whole becoming process has been to prepare you to influence a specific gypsy.

You’re love of God and total yielding to Him is always such an inspiration to me. You Go Girl!

Megan

22 02 2005
Anonymous

P.S.

And as the mother of six I could wax eloquent on the “child care provider” topic, but I don’t have time…. 😉

Megan

22 02 2005
Anonymous

P.S.

And as the mother of six I could wax eloquent on the “child care provider” topic, but I don’t have time…. 😉

Megan

22 02 2005
ilitherian

whoa. thats intense.

love,
luke

22 02 2005
ilitherian

whoa. thats intense.

love,
luke

22 02 2005
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Allen. It’s a wonderful compliment, indeed, but also a sobering one. I know how much I mess up — and most of the time I don’t think about whether anyone is observing my life. It’s good to be reminded that we make impressions even when we don’t know it.

Now I just hope I won’t let her down.

♥ EZ

22 02 2005
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Allen. It’s a wonderful compliment, indeed, but also a sobering one. I know how much I mess up — and most of the time I don’t think about whether anyone is observing my life. It’s good to be reminded that we make impressions even when we don’t know it.

Now I just hope I won’t let her down.

♥ EZ

22 02 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: your gypsy girl

I love your snatch of verse! Your Wendy does sound like my gypsy. I want to read the rest of your poem.

About being good, I hope that being me will be good enough. ;o)

22 02 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: your gypsy girl

I love your snatch of verse! Your Wendy does sound like my gypsy. I want to read the rest of your poem.

About being good, I hope that being me will be good enough. ;o)

22 02 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: “just a child care provider”

You have an awesome attitude. I stayed home with my kids, too, and I still believe it was a priceless investment in eternity.

Thanks for the encouragement. Blessings on you and your three blessings!

22 02 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: “just a child care provider”

You have an awesome attitude. I stayed home with my kids, too, and I still believe it was a priceless investment in eternity.

Thanks for the encouragement. Blessings on you and your three blessings!

22 02 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: …and she smiled.

Thanks, Megan. Your words are always so encouraging! Knowing you in college, I imagine you can relate to the gypsy spirit. And now look at you — an awesome gypsy mom. ;o)

I appreciate you, Megan. Very much.

22 02 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: …and she smiled.

Thanks, Megan. Your words are always so encouraging! Knowing you in college, I imagine you can relate to the gypsy spirit. And now look at you — an awesome gypsy mom. ;o)

I appreciate you, Megan. Very much.

22 02 2005
jeannedamoff

Yeah. I feel the same way.

Love,
Momzy

22 02 2005
jeannedamoff

Yeah. I feel the same way.

Love,
Momzy

23 02 2005
Anonymous

Old Gypsy, Still Untamed

“Becoming” is so much on my heart these days, completely obliterating “acquiring,” and edging out “achieving,” as well. And yet, becoming is so beautifully active and alive, isn’t it? For me, becoming is to “apprehend that for which I have been apprehended by Christ.”

Jeanne, the fact that these women witness you “becoming,” and that they desire the same for themselves, is so inspiring. He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it, indeed.

Many blessings on your becoming! Katy at http://www.fallible.com

23 02 2005
Anonymous

Old Gypsy, Still Untamed

“Becoming” is so much on my heart these days, completely obliterating “acquiring,” and edging out “achieving,” as well. And yet, becoming is so beautifully active and alive, isn’t it? For me, becoming is to “apprehend that for which I have been apprehended by Christ.”

Jeanne, the fact that these women witness you “becoming,” and that they desire the same for themselves, is so inspiring. He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it, indeed.

Many blessings on your becoming! Katy at http://www.fallible.com

23 02 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: Old Gypsy, Still Untamed

Thanks, Katy. Sometimes I feel like I’m “becoming” a prime candidate for life-time citizenship in Loony Land. Then I remember. Like you said, He is faithful.

Old gypsy, still untamed. I like that. :o)

23 02 2005
jeannedamoff

Re: Old Gypsy, Still Untamed

Thanks, Katy. Sometimes I feel like I’m “becoming” a prime candidate for life-time citizenship in Loony Land. Then I remember. Like you said, He is faithful.

Old gypsy, still untamed. I like that. :o)

23 02 2005
Anonymous

You’ll be a wonderful mentor.

23 02 2005
Anonymous

You’ll be a wonderful mentor.

24 02 2005
jeannedamoff

Thanks! I hope so.

24 02 2005
jeannedamoff

Thanks! I hope so.

25 02 2005
emma_furlong

Ummm, there is a life time citizenship in Loony Land? And all this time I thought it was just me.
Congratulations you will do a wonderful job as mentor. Remember you don’t have to be perfect, just ‘good’ at the job
Emma

25 02 2005
emma_furlong

Ummm, there is a life time citizenship in Loony Land? And all this time I thought it was just me.
Congratulations you will do a wonderful job as mentor. Remember you don’t have to be perfect, just ‘good’ at the job
Emma

25 02 2005
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Emma.

Loony Land’s not so bad. There’s never a shortage of people to talk to, even when I’m alone. ;o)

Take care.

25 02 2005
jeannedamoff

Thanks, Emma.

Loony Land’s not so bad. There’s never a shortage of people to talk to, even when I’m alone. ;o)

Take care.

8 03 2005
Anonymous

Thank You

On behalf of other young mothers like myself, thank you so much for doing this for the gypsy girl. We all wish for someone like you.

Very few find a soul like yours willing to sacrifice her time. Very few have the courage to ask.

Lori Seaborg at Keeping the Home : http://www.keepingthehome.blogspot.com

8 03 2005
Anonymous

Thank You

On behalf of other young mothers like myself, thank you so much for doing this for the gypsy girl. We all wish for someone like you.

Very few find a soul like yours willing to sacrifice her time. Very few have the courage to ask.

Lori Seaborg at Keeping the Home : http://www.keepingthehome.blogspot.com

9 03 2005
jeannedamoff

Thank You

Thank YOU, Lori, for your sweet, encouraging comment. I’ve met with my gypsy girl twice so far, and both times I hated to see her go! We decided we’re going to have to limit the length of our visits, because we both get so caught up in the conversation, we lose track of time.

I stopped by your blog. Your words and attitude made me smile. As frustrating and exhausting as mothering young kids can be, you will never regret the choices you’re making. I know what you mean about wishing for the kids to grow up and wishing for them to stay the same all in the same thought. Truth is, one day you turn around and that chubby-faced kid is looking down at you with a stubble of beard.

I’m so thankful I stayed home and experienced every aspect of my kids’ development. I treasure those memories and the fruit I see in their lives today.

Bless you and your sweet family.
Jeanne

9 03 2005
jeannedamoff

Thank You

Thank YOU, Lori, for your sweet, encouraging comment. I’ve met with my gypsy girl twice so far, and both times I hated to see her go! We decided we’re going to have to limit the length of our visits, because we both get so caught up in the conversation, we lose track of time.

I stopped by your blog. Your words and attitude made me smile. As frustrating and exhausting as mothering young kids can be, you will never regret the choices you’re making. I know what you mean about wishing for the kids to grow up and wishing for them to stay the same all in the same thought. Truth is, one day you turn around and that chubby-faced kid is looking down at you with a stubble of beard.

I’m so thankful I stayed home and experienced every aspect of my kids’ development. I treasure those memories and the fruit I see in their lives today.

Bless you and your sweet family.
Jeanne

Your comments are a gift. Please know I read each one with gratitude.

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