|photograph by Lindsey White (who was then, Lindsey Kannen, since we're on the subject)|
Pretty quickly after moving to GA, I realized, or felt like, it was a big mistake. We really wanted to get away from everything we knew, even though we loved it, and establish our family unit away from pretty much everything- For just a few years- and then we could move back! We could, you know, buy a house, have a cool experience exploring the region, and then sell the house, make a profit and move back to the Midwest when we were ready to have a family. My plan would have worked so well had we not had this pesky recession and a beautiful surprise package from a stork!!
6 years later, here we are. In our townhouse, a 4 year old and 2 year old en tow. It's a beautiful thing, I keep reminding myself, but it was definitely not my plan to be stuck in a starter house, busting at the seems with a bustling family, trying to make do in my tiny kitchen while being a personal chef and cooking every meal! All my counters are full of things stewing, brewing, culturing- or just fresh in a bowl. It's a wild thing, even though it has its element of charm. I get a lot of the southern go-to phrase, "Bless your heart, Anna." The piles, jars and dishes are endless, and sometimes I get so confined I feel like screaming, "Why did I EVER move here? Why did I EVER buy this house? Why did I EVER leave Indiana? Why didn't we move to Minnesota so we'd at least be by family? Why did I think this was a good idea? Why did life have to happen like THIS?"
But. God's been teaching me a wise, gentle lesson lately.
Instead of battling with a self-loathing rolling boil about every brilliant-decision-gone-bad that I've made, God wants me to take a gentler approach with myself. For one thing, I've noticed how gentle HE has been with me. Then, He showed me that I need to honor who I was in different parts of my life. I don't need to judge myself and wish I had made different decisions to the point of regret. After all, I do think out my decisions, even though they don't always work out for the best, or the way I'd hoped. BUT, I did truly make the choices I thought were best at the time, so why not honor myself for who I was- naive, young, and frankly- just as I am today- unaware of what tomorrow holds?
I am free from living from regret if I know that the decisions I am making are the best, thought-out decisions I can make with the knowledge and experience I have. I can look at myself at different points of my life and say, "there, there, silly girl. I care about you, and I am honoring you for who you were- just as you ought to have been, I suppose." But, I'm glad I've learned something, too. I'm glad I've grown and changed, and I know i'll keep growing because I am open to it. I seek it out. And I am sure in 10 years I'll look back at my 29-year-old self today and say, "There, there, little one. You thought you had it figured out, and look what I'm dealing with now!!! But, even still, I am rubbing your back, whispering in your ear that I know you did the best you could that day. That month. That year. You really did. Even though today could have been different if you would have made a different decision, it's OK. You really did the best you could."
|My family as we are today! Photo taken by Lindsey White|
How amazing when you take on even a glimmer of the view of yourself that God has- his gentleness astounds my being. His careful grace is beyond my comprehension. Can you give yourself some care today- to view your soul the way God does? To honor yourself today, and have grace for yourself yesterday? A freedom to live with no regret. A true freedom to live in Grace!