It’s Friday!! Which means it’s also “Five Minute Friday” with Lisa Jo Baker!
And today’s word is SHE. Well, good grief… where do I go with that?
“She’s a mess of gorgeous chaos, and you can see it in her eyes…”
Sometimes when she looks in the mirror above the toothpaste smeared bathroom sink, she looks into her eyes, really looks into the blue depths.
These eyes have seen a lot… seen enough, been around enough, to be considered “middle-aged” eyes by now.
Is that a wrinkle at the corner? she asks herself. We’ll call it a laugh line, she decides.
Because even though she cries, she really, really likes to laugh.
Her husband knows it, so he makes her laugh a lot. And she laughs like a crazy girl with her sister.
She may be a wife and a mother, but, first, she’s just a girl.
There are very few people who really know, really get, this girl, but he’s one of them. And she’s okay with that.
And, when she looks in that mirror, the girl’s eyes stare back. Unflinching. Unwavering. Knowing.
She’s not laughing this time.
She’s not quite the woman she’d thought she’d be by now, and she can see the truth of it lurking in her eyes.
So she looks away.
She’s so, so, so not that infamous Proverbs 31 woman, but she wants to be.
Does that count? she wonders. Does that matter?
She bites her nails, then lets them grow out, and then bites them again. It’s a bad habit she tries to break over and over again because she knows he likes pretty fingernails. So she tries.
Just like some weeks she’s really good with the whole menu-planning, grocery-shopping, cooking-meals thing. And other weeks, she’s not.
Just like the diet and exercise thing. And the house-cleaning thing. And the laundry-thing.
She knows she’s more than all that stuff anyway.
But she still tries.
Sometimes, she dances across the kitchen and giggles with her children. And, sometimes, she just plods slowly along.
She has big plans and schemes which sometimes work out and, many times, fizzle out. But she has some really good intentions.
She’s shy, a bit of introvert really, which comes across as all wrong to people, and she worries that she doesn’t measure up and will never be good enough.
So she pretends.
She’s a dreamer, a romantic, a reader, a writer, but she really can’t stand math or politics or technological things.
She loves the poetry of the ocean. And she stands at the edge of the shore and lets herself sink as the waves come in and out and out and in. Sometimes, she grabs her boogy board, catches a wave just right, and laughs as she rides its crest, her fear of sharks be darned.
She likes fried green tomatoes and hates mayonnaise. She loves music and movie nights and road trips.
She drives a mini-van. But, in her mind, she’s decided it’s as cool as her dream BMW. And sometimes she drives with the windows down and the music up and with the wind blowing freely through hair that could really use a good trip to the salon.
She reads romance novels and plays a really good Scattergories game. She appreciates a good pair of heels as much as the next girl, and she adores date nights.
She wants to be noticed, wants to be heard, but not all the time.
She’s smarter than she looks. Her signature color is blue. And she wears her sunglasses on top of her head, even at night.
She’s anxious a lot and is sometimes prone to panic attacks. But she still loves adventure.
She has a habit of overdoing things, but she does it well and with style. She can be practical and impractical at the same time.
She can organize a closet like nobody’s business while completely ignoring the dog hair on the carpet. And planning her family’s outfits so they all coordinate and match thrills her.
She’ll run barefoot through the summer’s evening with her kids catching lightning bugs.
Sometimes, she thinks she would have liked to have been a secret CIA agent or a famous author or a relief worker in a far-off country, but, at night, when she tucks her children into bed, she’s happy just being their momma.
She’s so proud of these three children; they’re the very best of him and her together.
She loves her children so much it scares her. But she really doesn’t think she’s that good of a mother.
She loves her husband too and all the ways he loves her back. And, at night, when the lights are off and he kisses her, the extra pounds don’t matter ‘cause he makes her feel beautiful.
She doesn’t deserve how well he loves her, but she’s proud to be his wife.
Sometimes she hides in the shower. But, sometimes, she sings.
She’s a worrier. She’s a procrastinator. And a little bit lazy. But she can also be fun and a little bit silly.
She cares too much and sometimes not enough. She thinks too much and overthinks often. She sometimes doesn’t know what to say, or how to say it, or, when she says it, it comes out wrong. The evening news and a good Hallmark commercial can make her cry. So can the missionary at church.
She cares. And she wants to do more, give more, be more.
She very often doesn’t hold it all together, but she holds it all close in her heart.
And that matters.
She messes up frequently, but she gets back up. She’s never once not gotten back up.
And that counts.
She’s old enough now to know that life gets messy, but she’s also old enough to finally see the beauty in the chaos.
She takes a deep breath and looks back at the girl in the mirror.
She’s right there… right there in the gorgeous chaos.
She tells herself firmly, It counts. It matters.
And the girl in the mirror with the knowing eyes nods back at the truth she sees.