Saturday, March 5, 2016

approaching 40

I looked down and caught a glimpse of my hands and thought, "Who's old lady hands are these?"  When did my hands start to look like this?  I shake my head in disbelief.  But these hands, these hands have held my babies, scooped up the hurt child, bandaged a scraped knee.  These hands have changed thousands of diapers, washed the never ending stream of dishes from the food that nourishes our family.  These hands have hugged my friends, written notes of encouragement, painted walls, worn a ring of commitment for the past 14 years.  I am thankful for these hands.

My belly also looks different than it used to.  But this belly, this belly has stretched to enormous proportions to grow tiny humans and take part in three miracles.  It's skin has gone out and in and out and in and out and in again.  This belly is a soft landing place for my nursing baby, my 4 year old still wanting to sit on my lap to read, and my 6 year old now tall enough to hug me there when we stand together.  These changes, they are war wounds of the best kind.  Road maps for my children of their origin.  I am thankful for this belly.

I glanced up quickly as I washed my hands and saw tired eyes, etched with lines that seemed to appear there overnight.  But these eyes, these eyes have seen places all over the world.  These eyes have seen beauty and they have seen pain and they have seen a whole lifetime of things that I wouldn't trade for anything.  These eyes saw my wedding day and my handsome groom overcome with emotion for glory of that day.  These eyes have seen 8 cities that I've made my home, looked upon a new friend for the first time,  looked enough times upon that friend that a mere glance tells me what they are thinking.  These eyes have seen my babies from the moment they were born, seen their newness and their vulnerability, seen them grow strong in health and personality.  And these lines, they are from smiling.  They are from dancing overcome with joy.  They are from cheering on my daughter as she rides her bike for the first time.  They are from sitting with friends over a glass of wine and laughing until our sides hurt.  These eyes and these lines, they tell the story of my life if you look close enough. I am thankful for these eyes.  

The gray streaks in my hair keep me honest.  I can fool a lot of people about my age, but the gray that is taking over outs me now.  But this hair, this gray hair shows people that I have lived life, with its worries and its joys and its love.  It makes me seem more credible, wiser.  I am not mistaken for a college student anymore, but I'm ok with that.  I have spent nights up with colicky babies and sick children.   I am not afraid to call out areas that need work in my marriage and work on them.  I have given time I didn't have to serve others, and I'd do it all over again.  These things take a toll, but the wisdom I've gained fair surpasses the gray hair that now grows in response.  I am thankful for this hair.

My legs are shaped differently than they used to be.  But these legs, these legs have run a race of life of which I am proud.  These legs have danced for years and years on stages all over this country.  These legs have run 2 half marathons.  These legs have carried 3 babies inside me and 3 babies still wanting to be carried even now even though they are too big.  These legs walk my daughter to school, run with my son, and sway with my baby in spite of weariness.  These legs are strong and mighty.  I am thankful for these legs.

This is my last year in my 30's.  This decade has been the most changing and stretching and challenging of them all.  But it has also been the best and most rewarding.  I have experienced change and growth beyond belief.  I have made lifelong friends.  I have created my family with my own body.  I know more of who I am and who I want to be. 

And despite all these physical changes, I am more comfortable in my skin than ever before.  







2 comments:

  1. You are beautiful, strong and amazing Amy- inside and out!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Jenny! So are you!!!

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