I see a girl, a young woman really. She tosses her auburn braid over her shoulder as she throws her shapely leg over her ’50’s style bicycle seat. Her knitted newsboy cap nearly blows off as she glides down the hill beneath amber maples. She giggles with glee and her leather boots pedal even faster to take full advantage of the momentum. The girl’s blue eyes sparkle as she lifts a hand to wave at old ladies knitting on their porches and small children playing in the yards. Her smile is contagious, her laugh, infectious.
She pulls her sueded blazer closer to her and buttons it over her turtleneck, daringly riding no-handed, to ward off the first true chill of the season. She pats her messenger style bag, as if to reassure herself of its contents.
Abruptly, she halts her glide in front of a coffee shop. Leaning her bike haphazardly against a lightpole, she stops short of a true skip, her skirt swirls around her as she blows into a seat. After ordering a sweet hot cuppa, flirting a bit with the barista, she pulls out her laptop and sets to work on her novel.
A few cups later, she strolls outside, stretching, to throw some pebbles off the nearby bridge, thinking of her life. Her husband. Successful. Handsome. Funny. Her cat. Fat. Hungry. Meddlesome. Her house. Rambling. Eclectic. Somewhat deranged. Her Jesus. Loving. Forgiving. Perfect.
It was a life that allowed for plenty of creativity. Plenty of friends. Plenty of time. Spontaneous dinners for twelve around an ancient table, leisurely talks in front of a stone fireplace, game nights lasting far into the night.
It was a life that allowed for plenty of reaching out. Plenty of work. Plenty of travel. Mission trips to child centers in Ecuador, shoulder rides for scruffy dark haired wee ones, praying with their mamas and papas long after the babes had drifted off to sleep.
No where in that life is a girl who is still wearing her15 year old college sweatshirt, now stained with diaper cream’s amazing bleaching power, and a comb and go haircut. No where are little people who talk constantly. No where is a day dictated by meal times and nap times and snack times and potty times. No where is there a constant shoveling against the daily blizzard of books and baby dolls, crayons and crafts, tiny shoes and teeny clothes. No where is the stress of making a meal with a toddler demanding to “help”, have a taste, and “axiwentwee spill dat”, a baby clinging to her legs, making moving about the kitchen impossible, a child begging for a morsel or an attentive–non-distacted, responsive– ear to the never ending saga of “How to Build an Oompa Loompa House” or “How I Found My Rock”.
No where is a girl who would rather dress her little ones adorably than herself. No where is a girl would rather buy markers and modeling clay than mascara. No where is a day full of laughter and discoveries and firsts and snuggles. No where are little hands that pull her face down to their level asking for a “Smoocharooni”. No where is a woman who learns how to be closer to her Jesus because of the sacrifices she makes for her family. No where is a place to set aside her selfishness.
No where in that life is a girl who’s heart is so completely full, tears flow freely as a way to make more room. A girl who thanks Jesus long into the night for this life, this life she loves.