the other night we had pudding. or rather, it had us, all covered and sticky and delicious, and we wondered about insisting on spoons. but then we remembered that sometimes grace feels like fingers covered in dessert.

and i’m learning this for myself, as a mother. not to just buy the shampoo that’s on special, but the one that i want, because i’m worth more than a coupon. not to go three days without a shower because there’s no time, but to make time, each day, even if it’s just for five minutes, to feel the hot water on my tired muscles.

i’m learning that i need to make space for me after the kids pile into beds into sheets into teddy bears, before i can make space for my husband, that i need to do something other than the dishes, like take a shower or paint my nails or read my book or play the guitar, before i spend time with trenton because otherwise i’ll begrudge the marriage rather than marveling over it. and i don’t want to treat him like a mother, i want to treat him like a lover, but unless i remember the woman who’s playing all of these roles, i’ll revert to the voice that nags versus nourishes.

let’s not forget the girl that lives inside us. let’s not forget to open that cage and set her free, to sing. let’s forgive ourselves our daily transgressions and trust God to provide our daily bread while we let down our hair and dance awhile. talk on the phone with a good friend, or make a latte, or even have a good cry and a bath. perhaps a glass of wine, or two.

it’s not a sin, to love yourself. your children, your husband, they need you to. to speak kindly into the mirror. to slather lotion on your legs. to let yourself make mistakes.

so eat that pudding with your fingers, feel the grace that covers skin and makes you laugh, one of those deep-throated laughs, and taste what it feels like to be loved.

“I am so beautiful, sometimes people weep when they see me. And it has nothing to do with what I look like really, it is just that I gave myself the power to say that I am beautiful, and if I could do that, maybe there is hope for them too. And the great divide between the beautiful and the ugly will cease to be. Because we are all what we choose.” ― Margaret Cho

*sharing this with these beautiful ladies: laura, michelle, heather and jen

(please forgive me, friends… i haven’t been able to visit your blogs like i’ve wanted to, as i’ve been gone to the National Eating Disorder Associations conference. thank you, to all who prayed. it was an amazing experience, but so good to be home. bless you.)