Affirmation from a Teenager…
When you are searching for affirmation … try someone – like God – instead of your teenage son!
This past weekend I had a wonderful opportunity to speak at a gala in Amarillo, Texas. Just the word “gala” says a lot. The dress was semi-formal and the audience was large (not as individuals but as number of attendees). I was the key note speaker scheduled to give a 30 minute talk. I decided to take my fourteen year old son as “my preferred complimentary guest who would be accompanying me.” My husband Steven was busy as coach of my other son’s baseball team and my daughter had a dance performance. So, my fourteen year old son Rhett was the perfect selection. As I thought about taking him, I realized we use to spend a day playing with his Thomas the Train set, or strolling through the zoo, now I had to work to find things that just he and I can do together. So I decided air travel, good food, and a fine hotel would certainly be the makings for great weekend together … even if I did have to spend some time working.
Just like clockwork, the plane trip, the host organization’s hospitality, and the hotel didn’t miss a beat in our high expectations. We were having a marvelous time. As the evening of the gala drew near, Rhett kicked back watching ESPN on the television in our hotel room as I went over my talk one more time. I try not to speak from notes, only from memory, so I wanted to make sure I was “doing my best to present myself to God as one approved, a workman who needs not be ashamed but correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). So I practice and pray A LOT.
Dressed in our Sunday best, we arrived. The room was enormous with a hundred–foot stage and two “drive-in theater sized” screens on each side of the stage, so the people at the back of the room could see. I was fitted with my Countryman microphone (which always makes me feel like a pop star with the ear piece secured in my ear and the microphone arm situated in front of my mouth). The celebrity feeling was soon swallowed up by growling hunger. The beautiful banquet room with hundreds of tables would sit everyone eating an elaborate meal, but me! I had considered my options. There was the logistical problem of how to squeeze food past the microphone at my lips. Then there was the possibility that every chewy bite might echo across the high ceiling room. Reluctantly, I had decided to fast. Certainly the Lord would honor my two hour sacrifice.
When the Master of Ceremony walked to the stage to introduce me, my son flashed me a smile of confidence and whispered, “Mom you’ll do great don’t worry.” Thirty minutes later, to the sound of applause, I exited. The Lord had honored my preparation. I delivered every word I had prepared to say. It is always amazing to me how God gives a message to a speaker, for people they don’t know, and it is exactly what they need to hear. I felt God was pleased. The peace in my soul was His affirmation. It also appeared the people were pleased. Certainly I hoped my son was pleased.
I guessed he was. He gave me a tight hug right after I whispered, “I’m starving let’s go get something to eat.” Cozy in a booth at a Friday’s restaurant with a platter of buffalo wings in front of us, I said “Rhett tell Mom, how do you think I did?”
He thought for minute searching for just the right words of affirmation. Finally he said, “you know mom, that 15–pound rule is really true.”
“What are “you” talking about?”
He nodded as he spoke. “You know how people look 15 pounds heavier on screen. It’s true.”
Suddenly the drive-in theatre sized screens came to my mind as I watched him nod, communicating that I dare not even try to argue with his findings. I laughed so hard at his innocent truthfulness. Always analytical. Never weight conscious. Soon my laughing sparked his laughter even though he had no idea what we were laughing about. We were having the time of our lives. Finally when I got my composure I said, “Rhett I thought it was ten pounds heavier, not fifteen”?
“No mom trust me. It’s fifteen.”