bare white

bare white


Realizing I am not a Mom and She's not a Dancer

Performance week is here in full glittery, hair-spray fume-force at our house. Most of April is full of dancing and perfecting their dancing and costume fittings and rehearsals and lots of laughter, and joy, and amazing-ness and some tears and maybe a bloody toe or two, but always with stories to tell. And then when the lights go out on the stage, it is done. Not just partially done. Completely done, for a long and needed break. A break not just for the dancers in our house but also the chauffeurs and waiters-of-the car. A break for our gas tank, a break for the broken pointe shoes and a break for each of the toes that are hanging onto their nails by a thin thread.

The other day as we were on the 20 minute hike to the studio, my oldest dancer and I were talking about how frustrated she was that she could not nail her steps and combinations no matter how many tireless months she's has been working on them. I encouraged her through her frustrated tears, tried to make a joke and ended by reminding her,

"You know you aren't a dancer right?"

This is something I have told her the last couple of years and started telling my athletes and fashion gurus and scaredy-cats and myself.

She looked at me knowing where I was going and graciously listened to my fumbling words again.
It is the same thing I started telling myself a couple of years ago and maybe just now is starting to really make sense and flow through my veins and stoke a fire that has been wanting to come out but didn't have the words or the know-how.

You see...
I am not a wife or mom. I am not a daughter to my parents, sister or friend to anyone.
I am a daughter of a King.
Of a King who is not moved by this world because He is King of this world. A King who never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever and His feelings toward me never falter or grow or fade because He loves me always and ever the matter what. A King who never improves because He just is. He, completely and perfectly, is.
And He says I am His.
This is the only place my identity is found. Everything else He has called me to do, but I only am who He says I am, and that is His Beloved.
Here, as His daughter, this is where I have felt and experienced true FREEDOM in Him. Freedom from performing, freedom from seeking acceptance, freedom from fear of messing up or my kids messing up or just anything messy, freedom to stand on His Word - Truth, freedom to love...truly love, and freedom to forgive because I live in His forgiveness and mercy and grace and they are new every morning.
And I am His.

Because here's the deal - I will mess up, every day. I will throw words around I don't really mean or sometimes I do but they are ugly and fiery. I will slam a door and begrudgingly wash unending loads of laundry. I will get flustered and frustrated and fuming all just because things didn't go how I thought or wanted or expected.

My kids will mess up every day. They will do the same things I do and let their guard down when it should be up, and keep it up when it should be down. They will throw fiery darts that will pierce each other to their core. They might even hit or howl or not choose to hear the words they need to.

But we can't, we won't stay here, because we have grace here and His grace covers us completely so our identity isn't found here.
Even when I try to fit Him in my perfectly crafted boxes and lines, and take back the control from the King of the world, He says...You are mine. I've got this...just stop striving and BE still.
Be still.
BE still.
I don't always know how to do that.

Just His whisper can calm the seas of life.
He can speak a storm to raise up and be still.
He brings light to the shadows of our life and break bands and chains that shackle us to anything other than Him.
He can stop the fiery darts.
He can bring a healing balm.
HE can make worlds and people collide.
He is the King of the world, and I am His.
This is who I am.

"So, my Esther-girl, you are not a dancer, you are a daughter of the King who has called you to dance. And sometimes it is about dancing, but sometimes it is about so much more. And I know you know what I mean." 

And then in that beast-of-a-van rumbling back the 20 minute drive that we know far too well by heart, my King gently reminds me of the same, "You know you aren't a wife or mom or friend or picture-taker or word-writer, Meg? You are My Daughter and I have called you to do those things for a time, but they do not define you. I define you and you are mine. And I am steady. And my grace is enough."

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV)


What They Don't Tell You When You Have a Baby and A Holy Interruption

No one told me, when he was still sticky from the white vernix covering his soft skin just moments after he came (they don't call it baby soft for nothing) and she placed him in my arms that I would weep.  Every time, times 7, I wept. It never grows old. Never.
I couldn't stop smelling his head and taking his hat off to stare at every single feature. I whispered, "I love you!" over and over again. I became brave that day. But I didn't know it then, and I still don't fully know it now, what it means to be brave as a woman.

No one told me I would be gloriously wrecked, feeling a love so deep I would lay my life down for them right then, right there. They never told me I would feel feelings of protection like a beast and when someone tries to mess with my babies (no matter their age) I would become that beast. They never told me my insides will literally be ripped out and ripped apart and I might just do it over and over again. No one told me that. But if they did, I am not sure I would have listened.

No one told me on the first day of kindergarten I would weep when I left her. It was only half day, but how could she be ready at 5 (she was my first)?  How would she survive without me to cut up her lunch?  Or truthfully, how would I survive? She came home, after day one, loving every second, asking how long until she could go back. I may have died a little that day, she was growing up. I was growing up. And it hurt. At 14, she recently told me she was so embarrassed on the first day of her school-life when Mrs. Sleep had to console me telling me it happens to most parents. I think she lied though because I was the only one that grabbed a box of tissues as I walked out the door and was crying hard enough to be heard. They never told me that I would grow a lot and die a little on that day, and over that year and for the rest of my life. But if they did, I am not sure if I would have believed them.

No one told me I would be interrupted at least 1000 times before lunch and quite possibly contemplate sneaking out the back door during dinner prep to avoid the catastrophe of words and emotions and actions that inevitably happens during that ungodly hour. But if they did, I didn't hear them.  (Maybe shout that one louder to the next woman in line to become a mom by birth or by adoption or by just being a woman with hungry kids around at dinner time.)

No one told me I would spend a college tuition or two or three on diapers and food and formula and dentist appointments, and McDonalds drive through. And I would loose my hair and my temper and I would buy a lock for my pantry door and have a secret stash of chocolate and my kids would interfere with my holiness every stickin' day of their lives and even as I write this, in a hidden place, I have been found and asked another 500 questions. But if they did tell me, I would have thought, no not me or my kids.

No one told my I would want to give up and yet never stop; I would have anger and yet so much love at the same time. Every day I love them to the point of my heart bursting, but not every day do I like them. What a paradox to try to understand and an emotional woman!

Here's the rub, My kids do get in the way of my holiness every day. But they ARE the tool God is using to make me holy. They are what is making me brave. They are the loves of my life and my passion. They are the reason I laugh and cry and feel and love so deeply. They are the reasons I face my fears to try, by the power of God alone, to be Valorous. They are making me a better version of me and they are worth every ripping pain, every penny spent, every precious-lost hair, every temper flared, every chocolate piece eaten and pound gained. And you know what, I really believe God intended it to be this way. They are are my beautyFULL, Holy Interruption that I desperately needed and didn't even know.