pieces of me

most days i wear my heart on my sleeve.
i put pieces of myself out there for the world to see.
it's not all of me, not everything.
to most people i am politely, even nicely, guarded.
but there are pieces.
there are clues.

the rings from my husband on the days when he asked me to marry him, and when he made me his wife.
the single pearl earring from the pair he gave me on our first christmas as a married couple. {the other is lost at the bottom of the gulf of mexico courtesy of a face-plant while wakeboarding.}
the ink on my arms and my ankle tells some of my story. they tell about what i've learned from some of those whom i have lost.
the gray hairs poking out here and there show that i'm growing older {and don't have the best genes in that respect}.
the bags under my eyes and my continual frazzled state tell the world i'm a mom. the constant coffee mug in hand assists in this realization too.

i don't have to say much for someone to get a small picture of who i am - if they're looking for it. in my eyes this leads to two separate questions. one: if this is the case for me it's likely the case for most people - not that i know who they are by looking at them, but that i can see pieces of who they are. but am i looking? but not only that - am i looking to attempt kindness, am i looking to attempt to meet them where they are? am i looking with the eyes of Christ? really trying to see who they are, and love them where they are, and as they are?

or am i too caught up in myself? in my plans? in my stuff? or do i look only to judge?

and two: do people see Him when they look at me? not overtly - i don't have a Jesus tattoo or anything, but do they see Him? am i living a life overflowing with grace?

most of the time i'm not. some days, i'm not even truly trying. many days it's just all about me. it's all about me and what i'm doing, and my agenda and to-do list. most of the time i'm too caught up in my plans. i'm too caught up in checking off my boxes. i try to be polite, but i'm not attempting to genuinely care for people. i'm not attempting to see past the veneer that our culture tells us we are to wear.

and i think too often i want to help, but i don't want to be helped. we have this idea that showing any kind of weakness is a terrible thing. but if i am always strong, and never in need it's hard for people to come alongside me because i'm not giving them an opportunity.

vulnerability is hard. really hard. and really frowned upon in most instances in our culture. but vulnerability is necessary if we want to really know people. this isn't to say that we should overshare immediately. relationships are still necessary. and we are desperate for community. we have 500+ friends according to facebook, and still feel isolated and lonely.

it's really hard to open up and put yourself out there first. no one likes to be rejected. but would it make it easier if we realized that this whole world is not about me? that i'm just a small side character in a much bigger story?

just think about that for a minute.


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