This picture was taken on the Oregon coast in 2011. My firstborn was six months old. The healthy feelings about life and motherhood were there, but they were fuzzy. I felt grateful for a generous maternity leave, our village of support, an incredible spouse and the miraculous strength of my body. But I was also drowning in anxiety, afraid I was failing miserably on all fronts (including that haircut).
I don't remember my husband taking this picture, but I do remember my son's little red socks and my relief that he was sleeping while my heart beat against his. I remember talking to the ocean and to God, being reminded that I am so small and also that I matter so much. I remember making the sign of the cross on my own forehead and then on my son's while gentle waves covered my toes. I remember giving myself permission to be honest about everything for a minute or two.
Seven years later, I'm still anxious and afraid sometimes. But there's good humor and Zoloft and grace. I still visit the ocean and talk to God when I need to know that I am loved and enough, just as I am. These days, all three of my children are old enough to ask the same big questions I'm asking, seeking courage in the face of anxiety and fear, making the sign of the cross on our foreheads (...and on the oven door while they're waiting for pizza...and on toys I let them carry around the store but do not buy...)
I am a
freelance hot mess human being.
But underneath all that stuff
I am a beloved child of God tangled up in grace.
And so are you.