Thirty-one today, and I still don't know how to see myself.
I sit with Isaiah in the light, and hold the camera towards me. My arm quakes with the effort.
The sun dances on the leaves and my shoulders. Isaiah grins and grasps my finger in his fist. I've watched him discover those fists the last few weeks, bringing them to his mouth and sucking noisily, comforting himself, though never quite finding his thumb. I delight in his discovering his voice and his hands, the way he kicks his feet in excitement and searches for our faces when he hears our voices. He's more excited and less afraid with Caden, more enchanted with Jayci. We widen our hearts to let in the newest parts of him.
I graze my finger along the curve of his rounded cheeks. Tracing the dip of his chin into his chest makes him giggle and we cannot resist nuzzling him there to hear the sound again and again.
The leaves scoop the light and reflect it back, growing brittle as fall heads towards winter. Dark descends quickly, steeping the sky in black only after the sun's gasping breaths of gold. Colors deepen, richer and more tenuous, teetering under their weight before flitting to the ground.
I am resisting the temptation to delete these images, too many wrinkles and strange angles make me cringe. I have trouble seeing myself the way I wish I could. But I'm hoping this thirty-first year might be the one. When I finally settle more deeply into my own skin, and start seeing myself with new eyes.
31 feels old and young, all at once. I wonder what new wrinkles and stretch marks this year will carry, signs of life lived full and deep. I wonder what God will stir in me, what surprises this year will hold. I'm hoping for less fear and more brave, less lies and more truth. For less bondage and more freedom, more laughter but not necessarily less tears. For more grace and less guilt. For more of Jesus and less of myself.