Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I Miss Your Skin

So the Ainsley love is on my mind so much these days. Tomorrow she graduates from preschool. Precious lamb that she is. And before I say anything about how dumb I used to think graduations from anything before high school were or the fact that she's going back to repeat the same program next year at the very same school -- I will say this: It all makes my heart full of sweet sentiment for her and her darling little life. And as much as I know that my identity expands beyond the role of mother in many different ways I do know that this role, this job is without question the most important work I will ever do and this little girl is my last baby.

When Ainsley was about three she used to tell me when I wasn't near to her that she missed my skin. When I carried her she'd stroke my arm and say, "I love your skin." Even this morning after she crawled into bed with us she drew nearer and nearer to me saying that she just wanted to touch me on the skin. I may not have found this to be wildly endearing at 4:17am, but I do get it. I do get just wanting to touch the one who loves your very soul. To just reach out and feel the familiar warmth and security of the one who is ever for you, is with you, is in love with you.

And as much as she loves my skin I want to love being in it. To be comfortable in my own skin. As I head closer to the second half of my forties I'm ready to just be there. To feel at ease with me and Whose I am. Some days I'm more there than others. But I do know this--that to get there -- to that place of comfort with myself I need to reach out and touch the One who knows me. Who loves me, is for me, is in love with me. I need a savior. And there's absolutely nothing like knowing that He is for me! With me!

Remember in Jerry Maguire when Tom Cruise (after deciding to leave the security of an established company) to start his own business wants to know who's with him. He says I know you're all worried I'm gonna flip out. But I'm not gonna do that. There is such a thing as manners. And (while pointing to a fish tank) says, "These fish have manners." He goes on to sell the benefits of his new venture and asks boldly, "Who's with me?" And it's after a long and pretty embarrassing silence that little Renee Zellweger says, "I'll go with you!" But that's it. Not a single solitary soul joins them and they really have nowhere to go. No plan that will be a better option than where they were five minutes before.

We all want that encouragement. That camaraderie from someone to say that no matter what (provided we don't flip out) they are with us. But sometimes the crickets are chirping and it feels almost embarrassing to be so alone. Like everyone's watching but no one's coming with you. But as believers in the most High God we are never alone. He is for us! He is with us! His name, Immanuel, actually means that very thing. God with us! He is with us!

Well I don't know about you but this is nectar to my sometimes parched soul. I've spent way too much time trying to keep score on myself. For those who I think are watching and maybe even for my biggest critic - me. Each day starts to look a bit like this:
  • Emie helped a friend in need at school today. Win!
  • She later told Ainsley she did not like her and wanted her to go away. Loss!
  • Ainsley encouraged Emie to follow the rules at home. Win!
  • She later punched her in the stomach outside in front of the neighbors. Loss!
  • The girls ate quinoa sliders and liked them. Win!
  • The girls ate six Rice Krispie treats before nary a vegetable was consumed. Loss!
  • My jeans are loose today. Win!
  • I remember that I've worn them three times already this week and they are just stretched out. Loss!
That's enough of that. The outcome has already been decided. My team wins! God is for me. On my team, ensuring ultimate victory so I'm done keeping score. Let freedom ring! And so with this precious assurance I rest in comfort in my own skin. Combination skin wrought with visible pores and forehead creases so fearfully and wonderfully made. I love the skin I'm in.

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