So, I came back home late Monday night of last week and fell into a big ol’ heap.
People, talk about EXHAUSTED.
By nature I am somewhat introverted. I love and enjoy my friends and being with family and having things to do and people to see and places to go but after a lot of going, seeing, and doing, I have to find a quiet place and restore some energy before I can regroup and head on out again.
And regroup I did this last week.
To the tune of two or three naps a day.
And my children, you ask?
Taking full advantage of their sleeping mother to raid the pantry and clean me out of Oreos.
I had so many feelings and thoughts and memories swirling in my brain from a most blissfully happy five days that I just didn’t feel like I could do them justice by blogging. I sat down at the computer no less than three times to talk about it and it was as though I’d left my muse in Little Rock.
I just didn’t have the words.
I did had some words last Sunday morning. In an unexpected turn of events, Amy had to leave a little earlier than planned so I had a very free morning to do what I wanted and so I grabbed my laptop and went to the lake and sat among the trees with nothing but the silence and a giant cup of coffee for company and I started writing the random thoughts that came to mind about the weekend and two hours and multiple single-spaced pages later, I finally stopped pouring out my heart to my computer.
Going back to a place that was such a critical component of making me who I am today was incredibly and beautifully cathartic. College was a great time in my life and for those precious four years I lived in that small Arkansas town, good things happened to influence the woman I am today. With the exception of two not-so-fabulous moments (more on those later), my time there was marked by laughter, love, and dear ones with whom I’ve had the privilege to do Life for some twenty years now.
(Yes, Amy’s in all these pictures – we were joined at the hip in college – it wouldn’t seem right that my pictures from this weekend didn’t include her in all of them. It pretty much sums up our entire college experience. And if you’re new to the blog, I’m the Ms. Clairol #9 brunette. Today, anyway.)
It was good to go home.
It was good remembering that not only was I well-loved but I learned to love well.
It was good remembering that the strengths I once had are still with me.
It was good remembering that the weaknesses I once had don’t have such a stronghold in my life any more.
So long, insecurity. And thank you, Beth Moore.
It was good remembering that some things I just needed to let go.
So that’s what I did that peaceful Sunday morning.
I remembered the happy times of late night dates and chocolate chip cookie runs. I remembered the wonder of the promise of tomorrow. I remembered the strength that comes from knowing and being known. I remembered the laughter of shared stories and the tears of shared pain.
But I didn’t want my time by the lake to be just about nostalgia and beautiful feelings and yesteryear because while it would be nice to live in the past, my life simply isn’t there anymore. I have three beautiful, funny boys that love me and a wonderful husband whom I adore and my life is here, today. And while my here and today is a product of my yesterdays, it’s counterproductive to live in the seemingly happy days of yore that are often viewed through rose-tinted shades and tainted by 40-something year old brains that have conveniently forgotten the rotten parts. But I hadn’t forgotten all the rotten parts. I brought forward with me a couple of scarred wounds from my time there that I kept picking at from time to time just to see if they’d still bleed.
And guess what?
But I have wanted and needed to move past those dark places in my life because I know in my heart of hearts that I serve a God who offers new mercies every morning but not only had I had not claimed that sweet gift from Him in those areas but I had also not even offered it to myself.
And so I thought and analyzed and wrote and wrote and thought some more and wrote some more and prayed and took deep breaths and, finally, released those feelings of bitterness and anger that have dogged me for way too long. I had to forgive some 20-year-old kids for acting like 20-year-old kids and I had to extend grace to some folks that I didn’t think really deserved it and I had to extend it most of all to myself.
But isn’t that what grace is all about? Mercy freely given to the one who doesn’t deserve it?
And with that act of letting go and getting rid of things I never needed to keep in the first place, I smiled, closed the laptop, got in the car, and left that place a lighter, happier, more peaceful person than I’ve been in a long time.
And I’ve come home to this place a lighter, happier, more peaceful person than the one that left.
A woman who knows who she is.
To Whom she belongs.
From where she came.
And with a few thoughts about where she’s going.
It’s good to be home.
Have a nice day.