Monday, October 26, 2015

My Sexy Halloween Post

Halloween's coming up.  As a Christian, I'm not into the gory scary evil side of things, but as a Christian, I'm definitely into the neighbourly friendly candy side of things! It's the neighbourliest night of the year - a chance to open our door to the people we live with, chat with parents and kids, give generously, and get to know each other.

(I understand people who don't want to participate at all due to the way Halloween can be a celebration of evil, and I totally respect that for them.  I just choose to see it as one more way to love my neighbour.)

But I think Halloween is really interesting, culturally.  It uncovers the pretense, the facade, the stories our culture tells itself about what we value and who we want to be.  And nothing does this more obviously, in my opinion, than the Sexy Nurse (or Sexy Fireman, or Sexy Stewardess, or Sexy Anything etc.) costume.  

It isn't that society really believes a nurse should wear a miniskirt or modify her uniform to reveal a plunging neckline.  But in a deeper, constraining sense, we believe -

No matter what I do, I would be better if I were sexy.  

Halloween just puts it all out there - shows us that, as a culture, we believe in a religion of works, where sexiness is our god and goal.  We really think that the skinniest, perky-boobsiest, whitest-toothed people are the happiest and most likely to be in sexually fulfilling relationships.  

Be a nurse who saves lives, eases pain, delivers joy, softens loss, yes ... but make sure you lose weight, cover your grey hairs, hide your wrinkles, get breast implants, whiten your teeth, and eliminate your thigh gap.  

And it sounds, well, shallow, at best, when it's all written out like that. But still somehow I find myself feeling inadequate because I'm not a "sexy" mom, or a "sexy" blogger, or a "sexy" anything.

But when I sit alone with God and read the truth, I rest.

Isn't it enough, to do my job well, to serve others, to build a home with my husband and kids and joyously worship God with thanks? Isn't it enough for one life?

I know it, deep down in the quiet places of my heart.  It's enough.  I'm enough.  I don't need to strive for someone else's standard of sexiness to be happy, or to be appealing to my spouse.

You, me - we're already enough.

Because sexiness isn't actually shape of a body, and it doesn't come in one particular bra or bicep size.  It would be really hard to truly dress up as a sexy anything, because sexy looks different for everyone, and doesn't have a particular look at all.  Sexy (defined by as exciting, glamorous, arousing) is not elusive or expensive or tangible.  It's found deep in the heart of commitment, security, freedom, comfort, and kindness. 

It's the delicious tenderness of sacrificial love, the gluey sort of oneness in the silence after a rich laugh, the spark and flare of intense conversation that keeps you up at night.  

It's found in the ordinary run of an everyday life, and (thank you, Jesus!) is not reserved solely for those svelte few who manage to achieve a thigh gap.  

NB, I'm not at all saying that I think it's wrong to be fit, to strive for any particular shape or to love being beautiful. 

But I am saying that physical shape and size isn't the road to sexy ... because sexy is thankfully reserved for all of us.  

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Headway, Painfully

Dear Little Sister,

I see you, rowing hard.
I see that boat tossing on the waves, see you struggling with stretched arms and stretched courage and stretched patience to stay up and on course.

I see the frayed edges of your heart, the way your hope is rubbed raw.

You are beautiful and brave,
With that hard knot of persistence clenched in your belly.

I see you.

You are not alone.

You are never, never alone.

Mark 6:48 - And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Vava, almost 3

"I love God," she sighed, climbing into bed.  "I'm going to draw him a picture.  And He will grab it and hold it up and say 'what a precious pink unicorn.'"  And then I will ask Him if I can pet His white horse with a pink tail."

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Among Wishes Wished

And if you should find yourself graced with a glorious October day, I hope you step out of all your obligations onto a beach.  Laugh free in sweet air, take your fill of joyous sunshine, eat something simple while wind whips hair into your mouth. Let your kids strip down and feel sand against their skin for the last time in a long time.
Revel in the last generous glimpse of summer, and hold your grateful cup high.
This is a good, good day.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Dear Pregnant Mama

Ohh, there you are, friend.
Prisoner of hope.
Waiting, inevitably.
Waiting for that inside, outside change.
And you -

Well, you will change.

You will change

You will change
Diapers, and more
Diapers, and even more
Diapers - maybe six daily, for maybe three years ... or more.

You will change
Into a sleep-walker
Into a cheerleader
Into a five-minute-expert on dinosaurs and space and unicorns.

You will change
Your mind again and again on the same topic
More pairs of sheets in a night than you ever thought possible
Outfits three times before leaving the house.

You will change
The number of souls on this planet
And the bent of those souls to hate or to love
And for them, you will change

Oh my brave friend:
You're about to change
The world.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Dear Little Labelles

Dear Sam & Vava & Kachi,

My darling darlings, you are growing up so quickly.  I feel like every time I turn around, you're hitting new milestones and leaving me baffled.  

Vava, you potty-trained yourself.  On Sam's first day of school, you decided you wanted to wear underpants and you haven't looked back.  I don't even know what to say.  After the absolute agony of getting Sam out of diapers, I was resigned to a real stand-off.  I was ready to bribe, cajole, entreat, and threaten our way from pampers to potty.  I was not expecting your calm capability.  You have made yourself some adorable little rituals, and you are just so quietly happy, going about your big-girl business.  I am so proud of you.

Kachi, you decided to walk.  You took a few wobbly steps in August, but in September you really ramped up the effort.  You spent a few weeks determinedly practicing, staggering from the front of the house to the back, plopping down on your bum every few moments.  And now ... you're so steady.  You can even reach down, pick up your toys, and keep on trucking.  I am so proud of you.

And Sam.  You valiant trooper.  You have the unenviable task of trying every thing first.  Stepping onto the schoolbus first, learning classroom routines first, being away from home all day first ... and you are doing great.  You can write so many letters, you have learned songs and poems and silly dances.  You are a learning machine. And I love sharing a picnic on the front step when you get off the bus.  I love sitting with you while you wolf down a snack and all your leftover lunch.  I love when you tell me about helping kids in your class, talking with your teacher, playing in the schoolyard.  I love reconnecting after a whole lonely day without you.  (I love that you give me a kissing hand in the morning, to keep close while you're away).  I am so proud of you.

Little Labelles, I love you.  Thank you for being you <3 .="" div="">