I rocked cowlicky bangs and thick wire glasses in elementary school. A chronic teacher’s pet, I wrote more than one letter to our senator requesting updated technology in our computer lab. I was quite the catch.
When Valentine’s Day rolled around, I put down my Babysitter’s Club books and was giddy to hand-pick valentines for each student in my class. I methodically picked the ever-so-subtle “BE MINE” for the class charmer and the lackluster “Happy Valentine’s Day” for the mouth-breather that sat behind me. I dotted i’s with hearts, applied coordinating stickers, and affixed mini Snickers with style.
On Thursday nights, I’d shuffle two little boys into their PJs, perform more than one dramatic reading of “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” and whisper goodnight prayers. Then, I’d tuck away under a blanket of my own, grabbing the remote and keeping tissues in sight.
Thursdays were for “Parenthood." The series closed up shop for good, and I’ve been thinking about why I connected with the network drama so much. My husband is unabashed in his claims that the show is terrible. (He also has a knack for hyperbole and likes watching “Flea Market Flip." So, yeah.)
As I fumble for my Coke-bottle glasses and stumble down the hall with a toddler monkey gripping my pajama-clad leg, I find that when I acknowledge that the Creator who set the stars in the sky has brought another sunrise into my life, my heart is better tuned for whatever the day brings.
I pulled packing tape over the last of the boxes and hugged the last of our lingering friends. I shuffled my feet in the dusty doorframe of our first home, listening to the hardwood floors creak for the last time, mentally filing away three years worth of memories as I shut the door.
We were leaving a community of close-knit friends, ready to place our feet on the path God was paving in ministry.
I moved states twice in my middle school and high school years, so transition didn't worry me. Leaving besties didn't worry me. Potentially meeting mean girls didn't even worry me.
But when I stepped foot into that church hall, I felt like I was drowning in a sea of women who all knew each other.
I like to consider myself a bit of a wordsmith. (If not beautifully curated and strung together, at least my words are...plentiful.)
I have words to fill every gap. Every silence. I have something to say about every emotion, situation, problem, and solution.
Until I don't. Sometimes, there are no words.
I looked down over the waters. I listened to the leaves rustle and the wind echo across the lake and I wrestled with God.
Could He really be who He says He is? In the good times it's easy to believe, but in the bad, could I really believe that God is good?
What does it look like to embrace the freedom to live boldly while being rooted in love? How can we trust that God made us for a purpose?
I watched the streets littered with paper confetti, the last bits of celebration swept into piles, destined for giant trash bins. The lingering partiers stumbled home and staff got to work tearing down the barricades. Just an hour before, rosy-cheeked crowds had gathered to sing and kiss and ring in the new year.
The excitement wears off.
I met my husband in a theater arts class in high school. It was a first hour class and I'd stumble into my seat in West High's little theater just before the final warning bell rang. I secretly wished we'd be numbered off in the same group for our cavemen skits because even though he was loud and not my typical bro-type there was something sweet and cute about him. And also he was funny. (Guys, never underestimate humor when it comes to wooing a girl. Trust me on this.)
Drama runs in my veins. My parents noted this when I was young and enrolled me in drama summer camps for their sanity. I belted out show tunes and wrote skits and performed a questionable dance to Everybody Wants to be a Cat.
I want to raise a generation of kids that are free.
I want my children to explore. To be adventurous.
To ask questions, to look at life and wonder why and why not.
I want to raise up a generation that isn't afraid to get dirty.
My beautiful black son hasn't yet experienced the dirt and pain of this world.
Sometimes, I can't write. The crushing burdens of this broken world feel like they're physically pushing down my words.