41 years to get here…comfortable in my skin

I wouldn’t trade the growth and maturity I’ve gained over time for the gift of youth with all it has to offer. I was tempted to come in from outside to write last night, to share these wandering thoughts, but simply couldn’t pull myself away from the moment to do so.

I’ve come to adore my time spent alone in the front porch swing. I almost always take a book with me to read, but find my eyes lifting from the page to linger on the lush greens that blanket and canopy the yard mixed in with the pinks and reds of blooming flowers I’ve dug holes for and planted with my own hands. The tricycle is often there on the porch where one little boy or another has left it and I dare not move it because of the thoughts seeing it provokes in my mind along with the picture memories it elicits.

I was thinking while there last night in my favorite spot at the best time of all, late evening, watching the shadows fall as the sun drops ever so slowly, yet predictably, behind the hillls…41 and I’m finally comfortable in my own skin, what a gift,wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve made peace with storms long since passed and released my hold on so many things I cannot change. I’ve learned to live today and let all of my yesterdays fade into a darkness that need not see the light of these my new days full of hope and promise.

For anyone who has always been comfortable in their own skin, these words of mine must seem awfully strange and unfamiliar, but to those who know the agony of wanting to disappear, dissolve, and never have been, well you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s not meant to be that way. If you are alive and walking around, you’ve been created by the hands of a loving God who has a purpose and plan just for you, if only you can see beyond those who have convinced you of your unworthiness to the One who loves you completely, then and only then can you begin to settle in with peace to the body that houses your soul for the rest of this earthly journey.

I continue to think, in my wonderful evenings in my swing, how kind of God to give me this lovely home, this time to enjoy life, these moments of peace, this knowing that all is well for me in the grand scheme of all eternity. I welcome the delightful laughter that spills out of the house from the voice of my son as he joyfully plays with his Dad after a long day with me. The Summer sounds of nature soothe me as I recall for as far back as my memory allows those same echoing songs of katydids, frogs, crickets, and others who join together to do exactly what they were created to do. How lovely that all of this remains after so much has faded with the years. Good things…good things persist and all else fades away.

This life God has given to me suits me so well. No pretense, no extravagance, yet a richness that is deep and strong and true…I wouldn’t ask for it to be any other way.

How blessed I am to be given the opportunity to touch young lives, to become part of sweet memories of safety, gentleness, and love to these little ones who for a time land on my lap and are wrapped in my arms if for no other purpose other than to learn what it feels like to be cherished completely, unselfishly, and with unwavering affection.

Time, experience and maturity can deepen and strengthen the heart, making it a place that endures much and continues to beat with strong and steady love, ever expanding to make room for another life in need of care. I’m thankful for that. May this day be one we recognize as a fleeting gift and choose to honor it by loving those in our midst.

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