I think back on the woman I used to be and I wonder if she would think I've settled or let myself go. Would she see me and think, "She looks like my nightmare"? Maybe.
I'm trying so stinking hard to be inspired. So hard. But that's why I keep hitting my artistic head up against the friggin' wall cause writing as a momma who still has some kiddos at home and some kiddos at school sometimes and some at school full time....it's not the most inspiring season I've ever been in. I hate that, I hate hate hate that. I don't want to be that mom who is the big ole buzz kill. You know-- the mom, the one with the crazy look in her eyes who is just desperate for FIVE MINUTES OF PEACE AND UNINTERRUPTED POTTY BREAKS. I want to be the romantic woman I was before, the one who found magic in long car drives and inspiration over the dirty dishes while dinner simmered on the stove.
Maybe that girl from the past would see me and think she could do it better. Maybe. But I don't need permission or acceptance from her. She doesn't know all the hard things and all the mundane things that have added up over the years to build a more steady soul.
The more I try to get around this season the more frustrated I get. The more I try to go over, under, around or back the more I feel my nerves twist and frazzle.
Through it is.
Instead, I'll dig through and find a different woman. Cause that romantic woman of the past, she also suffered from naivete, arrogance, and romanticism that lead to idealism that led to constant disappointment. She didn't have much grace for a husband who was any less than prince charming. She sucked at getting stuff done at home. She had awesome hair and a flat tummy and ideals and inspiration to spare, but my gosh she had no clue how to take a first step toward any of it. She was lost and unsure of her dreams and her talent and her place in the world.
The woman that sits here today is typing as a three year old whines with the persistence of a redneck republican and a granola democrat in a Facebook debate.* But, there's so much more then just the crazy-eyed-mom-desperate-for-a-moment-to-call-her-own.
She is also:
She is sure of who she is, of her smallness AND of her value. She knows what her dreams are, she knows what she is willing and not willing to do to get them. She knows both the heights and depths that passion carries, and she knows that she's only seen the tip of the iceberg of what she doesn't know.
The romantic woman I used to be was so free and accessible, but she wasn't everything. She wasn't the goal. She was the beginning, a crud clump of clay.
Now she's got some purpose and a little bit of insight. She isn't done. She'll discover new worlds even if those worlds are filled with kindergarten parties and field trips and homework and discipline and joy and cuts and bruises and she will conquer those and move to the next new adventure. She isn't boring and she isn't damaged and she isn't the ball of chaos she sometimes feels like she is. She's strong, not arrogant--she knows her weakness and she depends on God's strength as her sustenance and her launching point. If she looks tired it's because she's working hard. She's conquered so much; she has learned, poured out, and grown.
So while inspiration may be sparse, it may come and go; the grace is not. The grace is the same. The grace gently shows me how flawed that young romantic woman was and how much potential is filled with each mundane moment today. Grace says "It's okay, the inspiration will return. It will wash over you again one day. Just keep your heart focused on the Gift Giver and unwrap each day's grace for what it is, not what you wish it were."
I know I'm more than just that frazzled mom at Target. And deep down I know that even if the world wants to put me in that box: the box without adventure or passion or creativity or intellect or romance, they don't know all of me. I don't even know all of me yet. Both women: the romantic and the uninspired, are here-- multifaceted and ever evolving. And we will go together into the new year and gather more boredom and ecstasy alike; through little lessons, happy milestones, and trials, hopeful that a woman who is still surer awaits.
For 2017, and always, take the grace.
*This footnote led you no where. What? You think I'm really gonna open that can of worms?