The doors of my closet were not like most. My dad turned mine into giant chalkboards. This seemed to instantly transform my simple bedroom into a classroom. Little chairs lined up in front of the chalkboard held my dolls quietly awaiting the lessons for the day. Starting with writing the date on the top of the board, the day would begin. Of course, there was an area on the board where names were listed of students who had a hard time staying in their seats. Most likely teaching math facts incorrectly, and with words misspelled,  the school day covered all  the subjects I could imagine.

I was a teacher. Even with an education that had not yet completed a year in the first grade, I was a teacher. The magic of pretending spread into an early motherhood as well. I knew that my little baby dolls needed me. I was the confident one who knew how to care for them. With a look from their eyes I knew what they needed and was there with my billowing diaper bag to handle it all. A mother. At the age of six, I was a mother.

Interesting how a bit of confidence, when mixed with pretending, can turn a hope into reality. If we fake it, we can actually make it happen. Now, as a mom of six, and years of teaching them at home, I know that after years of pretending to be what I hoped to become, it became my reality.

I have found the art of pretending to be important in many areas of life. It’s difficult to love rightly, all the time. Sometimes my emotions have become tangled with my resentment so much that it feels like love can’t happen. It comes down to a simple choice. Am I willing to do what I don’t want to do? Can I put away my petty judgments toward someone in my life and love them anyway? Am I even capable of this?

Maybe I don't need to worry if I feel like loving them or not. If I act as though I do, I will. It’s a matter of putting my head before my heart. Could it be that the magic of pretending should not end in childhood? If we let how we feel determine what we do and who we are, we completely limit ourselves. There is no verse in the Bible that ends with the phrase, “If you feel like it.” We must, because we are told to.

Insecure? Pretend confidence. Depressed? Pretend joy. Angry? Pretend happy. I have learned to never underestimate the power of pretending, because it ends in being. Little did I know that years back, as my chalk hit those closet doors, that the biggest lesson would be learned by the teacher, many years later. But I’ll pretend like I always knew.