I live life trying not to define myself by my gender, who I am married to, the children I raise, what I do for a living, the way I eat, exercise, who I vote for (or who I don't vote for), where I live, who my friends are, the animals I have, or by the hair on my head.
Yet I am a woman and as I grow to understand all that comes with that, feel the blessing along with the curses, I find it really is a blessing to be a woman. The way God speaks to me, the way my husband looks at me, the way my children hold my hands and cling to my neck, the way I relate to friends, the way my heart is shaped to fit all these things in and more. These things outweigh the curses Eve passed down. Women are not perfect after all. It's about time we stop asking perfection of ourselves, accept the fact and live it best we can, don't you think?
I am a wife, and I love my husband. I cling to him not because I am afraid he will leave, but because being near him makes life better. Of course, I love him for his body. And his skills. But mostly for his kind heart and willingness to give. He carries strength I can't understand. His perseverance inspires me. His love for me helps me to see the beauty of being a woman. His manliness, incredibly hot as it is, helps me to see the value I carry to the equation. Together this partnership makes something resembling a unique piece of art. No one really understands it but it's maker, and everyone wants it in their own way. Whether we admit it or not, humans are not made to be alone.
My children are beautiful, I love to watch them grow, try my best to guide them, learn from them. I love how they resemble me in some ways, my husband in others. But mostly I love how uniquely themselves they are. They take it out of me some days, but mostly they bring so much to my life. It's hard to imagine a life without them being a part of it. I don't like thinking about that. The best part is realizing they are God's. Much of their life is out of my hands. What a relief.
I'm not even sure what I "do for a living," but I like living. Except for the times I don't.
I like to eat what makes me feel good. Whether that falls into someone else's category of what's best or not. But sometimes I eat things that make me feel sick. I try to make it worth it.
I like exercise. The kind that takes me places, gives me time to think, pray, and leads me to a goal. I like my body to feel good. Not necessarily "Vogue" or even J-Lo (ahhh if I could have anyone's body that was so far from my own!), but to feel good. The not feeling good most of my life, makes me really love the feeling good parts.
I don't care for politics.
I have lived so many places. Most quite amazing. Some for longer periods than others. But I will never be able to "settle down." Not because I am better than that, or even that there are better places to go. But because God is always moving me. So I enjoy each place while I can. Sometimes complain. Sometimes ask God to move me sooner. But I am always sad to leave and happy to move. Because this (wherever "this" may be at the time) is not my home, and we are all destined to leave at some point.
Friends. I can't say enough about friends, so I won't say much. I have had so many friends in my life. Each touch me deeply and in their own way. I hope I do the same for them.
I have loved every animal I have ever had, and I have had a lot of them. Even when I wanted to kill them and roast them over an open fire (we owned goats at one point, they got through any fence, climbed on my roof, and ate our neighbor's garden). I love my border collie, and know she'll forgive me the times I ignore her while my children are young and my energy limited. Dogs are understanding like that. I find it amusing when people try to make humans out of dogs. I think dogs like being dogs. I used to think I wanted a farm, but I think I'll raise my kids first and see if I have energy left over.
I don't dye my hair, and I rarely do more than wash it regularly. Sometimes I get really bad haircuts. But I like hair and the way it frames a face, or falls down a back, or exposes ears. I find hair beautiful, and do what I feel necessary to make it work for me. Instead of the other way around.
Through all these things God teaches me (yes, even the hair). Not how to be better, or perfect, or some other unattainable goal. But to know Him. Because knowing Him brings meaning to all other aspects of my life. The puzzle pieces that don't always seem to fit, and the frustration that comes with waiting for outcomes. But sometimes, when you can forget all the busy nothingness that sometimes consumes us and just sit near someone you love and work through a seemingly impossible puzzle, it draws you closer. Life can be so complex, unpredictable, and painful. Companionship is beautiful, healing, and always growing towards something better. God wants that with us. He makes it so clear even in all the little things.
Pretty cool, right?