A Summer of Yes
I’m sitting, face to the sun and taking in the breeze coming off from the lake.
I love the water.
I love the sun.
And I love, love, love the generosity of close friends.
(Read: So totally excited that my friends have a lake house and so totally grateful that they share!)
Back to the sitting.
I look down.
At my toes.
And I need a pedicure, but I can’t get a pedicure because Emma Claire’s out of town.
With her brother.
And her dad.
For ten days. And I’m too sad to write about that.
So I won’t.
The last time I tried to get a pedicure without Emma Claire, I had all the little women totally confused.
(Best Vietnamese accent)
“Wha-at? You no bring Emma Claire? Why you no bring her? We lo-0ve Emma Claire. She so preeety. She love the design on her toes. She no understand that it cost Momma more (insert giggles). I can’t believe you no bring her.”
So, basically this 40 year-old single mom of two who’s trying to rebuild her life and rebuild a career and who needs a pedicure is too scared of the little ladies—
To go alone.
So, I’m looking at my toes and dipping them in the sand. Burying my feet, like I would do to my kiddos if they were here and toes covered, I notice two tiny scars right at my ankles.
Right on top.
And I remember.
And if you’ve been reading for long, you’ll remember too.
In the rain.
Falling up the concrete stairs.
Blood trickling down.
It was an interview. I’m not sure if I wrote about that part. I was interviewing for a job and I ignored the pain and I ignored the blood and when I need to, I’m pretty good at pretending—
To be OK.
And the guy says to me, “Can I please get you a bandaid.”
And it was embarrassing and how fun that I have scars to remember it by. I was actually offered that job. A really cool job.
With, you know, like benefits.
And a salary.
But while they didn’t say no, others said no—
It was a no.
Remembering yesterday’s blog about my running girls and looking at my scars and feeling the sun shine hot, I started to list in my head all of the no’s.
And while listing in my head, I moved past my ankles and up my legs and counted the bruises and scrapes and even more scars and I look over at my friend Jenny’s legs and they are perfect.
And it’s like she never falls down.
And I don’t just mean while running.
I see the scars forming from my spill on Military Road (you know, where I heard the voice of the Lord).
And I see the bruise from running into the trailer hitch on some dude’s truck in the Y parking lot—
And I see the bruise (and a teeny bit of swelling) from turning too quickly and running knee-first in the basketball goal—
And my fingernail is black from slamming it in the door over two months ago—
And I list.
And I list.
And I list.
And the no’s became a part of me and a part of my journey and I sat there, toes still covered, buried in sand and I thought—
Divorce is verb.
And, OK, while that’s probably not gonna show up on pinterest anytime soon, it’s true.
It’s something you do and go through and it changes.
But as I sat there, surrounded by my covenant family and water rippling up onto the beach, it was easy to see that with every no, there was a better yes.
“No” to the 8-5?
“Yes” to Emma Claire.
And “Yes” to Coulter.
And “Yes” to stroller walks with Bitty Baby
And “Yes” to rope swings.
And “Yes” to art time.
And road trips.
And “Yes” to being a mom first. With a job she love’s y’all, but that will always come a distant second to this—to these—
I look again at my scars and I remember a book I just read on grieving. The author likens the scars from his grief to the scars that Jesus bore after being crucified at the cross. After His resurection, He says, see? Look. Here. Touch my scars.
The author learns to live with his grief. He finds joy, but on the course of a new journey, he acknowledges that the scars have become a part of him. They do not go away.
I have a lot of scars. Some come from hits and knocks and pricks. Some come from falls and trips and mis-steps.
And there is a way back to joy, but the scars will always be there. Look. Here. See my scars.
A little tougher. A little stronger.
A little braver.
And little softer.
And ever so grateful for all good gifts that a good God gives.