One Sunday I wore a robe to church.
No, it wasn’t one of those nightmares where you find yourself wearing only your underwear in a room full of clothed people.
And no, it wasn’t the Christmas pageant and I wasn’t playing the part of Mary.
You see, I had heard about how the “wrap” dress was all the rage and how easy they were to just throw on and go! How they glide over your hips and show off your waist and are an absolute essential to your wardrobe. And, well, when you tell me something is essential you can better believe I’m going to listen!
While perusing the racks of clothing at TJ Maxx I struck gold! The PERFECT wrap dress! Charcoal grey and oh so soft. There were the ties at the waist which I just knew would do all the right accentuating. It was simple, yet elegant and also seemed vaguely familiar which I took to mean it was definitely meant to be mine. With a long necklace, black leggings and my black riding boots this definitely fit the essential qualification.
Sunday arrived and as always I was eager to trade my everyday wardrobe of sweats and a pony-tail for something a little bit fancier. I always tell my kids that God really doesn’t care what we wear to church but Mommy wants Sundays to just feel a little bit different from the rest of the week.
I cut the tags off my new dress and marveled at how this had to be the easiest wrap dress ever. Some I’ve tried on had me feeling like I was wearing a straight jacket as I attempted to make sense of which ties went which direction and wound up wrapped in all the wrong ways!
I slid my feet into my black leather riding boots, zipped them up and added a long, gold necklace which just popped against the charcoal gray of the dress.
I was ready.
I walked through the lobby of our church just knowing that this wrap dress was ticking off all the boxes.
Accentuating the positives? Yes!
Yes! Yes! Yes! I’m pretty sure we sang the hallelujah chorus that morning during worship.
Or maybe I just sang it to myself. Either way this wrap dress was a home-run!
I was still riding high on my wrap dress success after we got home and the sweats were re-attached to my body. As I went to hang my new dress in the closet something caught my eye.
It was so similar in color to my new wrap dress. It was also similar in texture. It had sort of bell-shaped sleeves and long ties around the waist and was oh so soft and the hem hit right above my knee…and…
It was MY ROBE!!
My soft charcoal gray robe with ties that accentuate my waist and “wrap” around me just perfectly.
My robe I wear every.single.day
My robe that has a hem which hits just above my knee.
No wonder I liked my new wrap dress so much!
No wonder it seemed so familiar!
No wonder no one complimented me on my cute new wrap dress! Oh nooooooooo! It wasn’t a dress!
I WORE A ROBE TO CHURCH!!!
Holding up those two charcoal gray articles of “clothing” next to each other only confirmed it.
After the shock wore off and I vowed to never tell a single soul about this I tucked my new “wrap dress/robe” in the back of the closet where it belonged. Among the other “shamed” clothing items. I began retracing my steps and wondering how this could have happened. I mean, that wrap dress was hanging in the clothing section of the store not the undergarment/pajama/robe section.
Then it dawned on me. It had simply been hung up in the wrong part of the store.
I had perceived that it was a wrap dress because it was hanging among other dresses.
I can assure you that if it had been hanging among the robes I would never have thought to wear it to church!
But it wasn’t hanging among the robes and so I assumed, I perceived, that it was a dress.
I wanted it to be a wrap dress so it WAS a wrap dress.
Aren’t we like that?
So easily drawn to a perceived reality? Which, of course, isn’t reality at all!
In our minds we make something the truth even if it isn’t. Whether it’s about ourselves or about someone else.
We see beautiful homes in magazines and on blogs and our perception is that everything in those people’s lives must be beautiful. My sister shared about her experience with this on Monday when she talked about a different kind of makeover happening in her life.
We scroll through our feed on Facebook and perceive things about each post.
“They sure do have it all together!”
“They eat at the nicest restaurants so they must be doing well!”
“That mom is always doing so many amazing crafts with her kids. I’m sure she never wants to go hide from them in the bathroom.”
“That couple looks so happy together. I’m sure they never argue or struggle.”
We don’t look at everything through “rose-colored glasses”, do we?
We look at them through “insecurity-colored glasses” or “judgemental-colored glasses” or “prideful-colored glasses“.
What’s the result? Well, these perceptions change how we look at ourselves.
And that can be a dangerous thing if how we look at ourselves isn’t grounded in truth…in reality.
Yes, perceptions can be dangerous.
They might make you second guess yourself, your parenting, your marriage, your friendships. They might make you feel like you need to redecorate your home even though you are struggling financially. They might make you believe that the fact that you don’t have a weekly meal plan means you have failed as a wife and mother. They might make you think that wanting to hide from your children in the bathroom is a bad thing.
And they might even lead to you wearing a robe to church!
Crazier things have happened, right? 😉
P.S. Oh, and that “wrap dress”? Well it is now being used properly…as my robe!