Today was a really full day and I'm thankful for that.
I woke up at 8:30AM, cleaned up a bit of the house, did a bit of my Breaking Free Bible study, ate left over pasta for breakfast, drank a chai latte, went for a little bike ride in my red dress, sweated my tail off, watched more Harry Potter, drew, spent some time with someone that is a lot different than I am, had a house full of people, rode my bike to the coffee shop, bought a caramel machiatto, played checkers with a funny friend (and was destroyed), played with two of the most gorgeous little girls I've ever met (besides Aleah and Ariel) helped my mom clean out gutters, and mended my cat up from a severe beating. Yes. This day has been eventful.
I've always loved mornings, no matter how much I groan if I have to wake up early. I treasure my sleep, yes, but I also cherish the beauty of the rising sun, the wispy fog across the mountains, the cooler temperatures, the chirping of the birds. Mornings to me are just a sign of restoration, new beginnings, the chance for reconciliation. There's hope in mornings. I really like them.
There's something so fun about riding your bike in a pretty dress. It just makes me feel so....feminine, yet capable? Ha. I don't know. It's just freeing to ride your bike, not afraid of the stench from perspiration that could ruin your look for that day. If I was feeling honest, I'd say that I find it a bit charming.
There was a time when I refused to wear the same outfit twice and I'm really thankful that I have been freed from that. Though still struggling with the battle of self-centeredness and the pursuit of my self-identity, I've been healed so much in this area. There's hardly anything more exhausting to me than trying to look perfect and trying to constantly impress others with the way that I dress. I used to spend hours in front of a mirror getting ready, so much that it wasn't rare that I'd be late for something because I couldn't find the perfect outfit. Having been through that, it's such an awesome feeling to throw on a dirty, worn out pair of jeans, a raggedy tank top and worn out shoes with holes in them. I'm finally getting to the point where my clothes, my looks, my weight and my hair don't define me anymore. It's been a freeing journey and there's so much peace to be experienced in (gradual) simplicity.
My mom and I moved to a new neighborhood and though I'll be leaving again soon for another year, I'm glad to be meeting the new neighbors and building relationships with them. Today I got to play with some of the most beautiful little girls I've ever seen and I look forward to getting to know them better before I begin Mission Year. They were adorable three and five year old sisters, and had pretty funny things to say, especially when it came to what I look like!
I used to have a bit of a distaste for children, but the closer I grow to the Lord, the more I actually like being around them! Children, though annoying at times, are just so charming. They typically have so much, spunk and I adore that! They're so honest, playful, sweet and just want to talk to you! They're curious, sensitive (which I find pretty beautiful), softened and yet to be touched by the pains that can be found in this world (hopefully). They have so much hope, so much belief, so many dreams and such a great imagination! They're satisfied with so little. Kids are just the best!
But back to Zoe and Zella! They both have such beautiful eyes, the oldest with a pale green and the youngest a honey color. The youngest also had such cute curly hair! I just wanted to pet her!
We chased each other around the yard throwing grass in each other's hair. When they'd finally worm me out, we sat down on the ground and picked at twigs and pulled up bits of grass.
My favorite conversation the three of us had had to do with what I look like. I guess they've never seen a weirdo with dreads, so when Zoe asked me, "Why is your hair like that?" as her younger sister, Zella pulled at one of my dreads, I wasn't offended or surprised. I just thought it was funny and appreciated the honesty in her questions. She also asked me why I had earrings in my nose. She said I looked like an Indian (which I am) and asked me if I play like Indians. She wanted to know if I killed people (because that's what Indians do). When I asked if either of them had killed anyone, Zella nodded her head with a big, goofy grin on her tiny little face.
They were cute and their questions got me thinking about why I actually choose to look the way I do. The only answers I had were, "I don't know. I just like it." I guess that's good enough, right?
My Alaskan Malamute gave my cat a bloody nose and a busted eye tonight and my heart sank and eyes teared up when I saw the damage she had done. I'm sure that God feels this way when we're hurting. All I wanted to do was bandage Shag up, heal his wounds and comfort him through the pain. After my mom and I cleaned him up, I laid on the bathroom floor with him while he cried from the pain. I know that that's exactly what God has been doing for me in the painful time that I've been going through this past month. I love all of the things we learn about God's character and love for us through our pets.
Lately, I'm thankful for continued healing, freedom, God's presence in my world and the satisfaction that my soul has been receiving from Him everyday. For the very first time in my life, I can honestly say that I am enjoying God. I am delighting in who He is and am so excited to spend time with Him. I'll be honest again and admit that I never thought that this would happen. The more I fall in love with Jesus, the healthier I become, the more I love other people and the more I love myself. I'm actually enjoying seeking God's face, getting to know who He is and I'm humbled by the restoration that I'm receiving from Him. He's changing my life all over again. I'm turning more and more into the woman He always intended me to be. So much liberation.