You could say I've always been a little wild. Passionate. Excitable. I have this image of myself in the truest form, and it involves a little girl with crazy blond hair riding her horse a little too fast. She cares nothing of dirty hands, a dirty face or mussed up hair. She cares only about that moment--that fleeting moment of freedom and unpredictability.
As a young girl, I lived for the time of day when I could put away my schoolbooks, change in to my favorite torn pair of jeans and my worn green sweatshirt, jam my hair into a pony tail and fly out the back door. We lived in this little cape on the top of a hill, surrounded by miles of woods that begged for exploration. I would spend hours out there, completely released. Sometimes I would lose myself in make believe. Other times I would lay on the gnarled branches of the apple trees looking up at the sky and dreaming about my own life--who I would become.
As time went on, I lost so much of that girl. I'd like to say she's still alive and well inside my being, and in some ways I suppose she is. But in so many ways, I've forgotten how to feel pure joy simply by letting the wind course through my hair. I've forgotten how to dance wildly and run freely. I've lost the art of day dreaming and wild flower picking. And even as I read back through this blog of mine, I realize that I've lost my love of writing, somewhere in the daily grind of it all.
That little girl grew up so quickly. At eighteen I became a wife and responsibility took over carefree spontaneity. Becoming pregnant at nineteen meant that the maturity of motherhood must take the helm rather than the reckless desire to chase the sunset.
I suppose the last traces of that little girl longed to be revived when we found ourselves bound for South Africa. One of my day dreams in that orchard not so many years before had been going to distant lands, carrying the wild hope of the Gospel with radical love and barefoot obedience. But when reality fizzled even that final dream, I found myself floundering. Who was I, if not that fancy free little blond girl? Who was I if not the wild, unpredictable free spirit than everyone knew me to be? I now found myself, a tired and weary brunette mother of two. Hardly an evidence of what was, remained.
I used to feel so deeply. I used to love so passionately. I used to dream so limitlessly.
I want to find myself again.
It sounds so cliche to say that as mothers we often lose ourselves, but this morning as I sit here thinking over days gone by, I realize that it's begun.
But I am resolved. It is not without reversal.
I see so much of that wild little girl every time I look at Peyton. She is vivacious, passionate, joyful, energetic, strong...she is everything I was. Even down to the wild blond hair and light filled blue eyes. Little Britany is sweetness, pure sensitivity and love. She is gentleness, but she is also strength. My daughters each reflect what I hope to be. Peyton reminds me to let loose, to dance, to run. Britany makes me long for the gentle and quiet spirit that is so precious to God. (I Pet. 3:4)
Through my children, God will restore to me what has been lost. What life has threatened to strip from me--my very being--God will restore and reshape. He will return unto me the joy of my salvation. He will renew a right spirit within me.
I have to find that little girl again. I need her to help me teach my daughters to day dream. I need her to remind me how to run barefoot and dig in the dirt. I need her to help me teach my children to climb trees and go fishing. I need her to help me show them how to wade in the water, how to catch fireflies, and how to run with the wind in your hair. I need her to help me dream again. To lose resignation and rekindle passion. I'm ready to live fully again. To chase life with fervor. To forget about the things which really never mattered all that much, and remember what it is to breathe life in my lungs. I will remember.