Brave · Glory · Worth

“this is my face”

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Nervous face, recording a radio show for work.

My kids are acutely observant, both of them. ¬†I think it’s because they are curious receivers of environments, each of them collecting different details. ¬†Let’s just say if they were ever called upon to create a police drawing of a bad guy on the scene of a crime they each witnessed, together their descriptions would be, like,¬†3D. ¬†So it made me laugh over the holidays when one of them remarked on how often she is told that she should wear make up. ¬†Because she ought to look more like other people. ¬†Right. ¬†In response to all the well-meaning fixers, she says, “This is my face.” ¬†Love that. ¬†It’s been bouncing around inside me for months.

This is my face. ¬†In other words, I am not you – I’m me. ¬†I’m good with it. ¬†This take-me-as-I-am swagger¬†is incredibly appealing to me. ¬†I’m apprenticing¬†to be that girl. ¬†Still have the training wheels on, but, this year I’m fixing to graduate to a 2-wheeler.

The problem is I have a lot of faces. ¬†Last night my husband and I were talking about a friend’s new profile picture, which, we agreed, seemed strange to us. ¬†It didn’t look like her. ¬†I said, I always wonder about pictures that I like of myself. ¬†Is that what¬†I look like? ¬†And, in a conversation you can only have with someone who loves you for life, we picked on our pictures.

Me: Yes, this one is what you look like.  But sometimes you look like that one!

Him: This is my favorite picture of you because this is what you look like when you’re happy.

We all have a person. ¬†We get to. ¬†Your person is your gift to the world but it’s also your gift from God to you. ¬†Being you is a pleasure. ¬†Recently a friend of mine described where she used to live as, “Where I was most me.”

Where are you most you? ¬†Isn’t it wonderful? ¬†Your shoulders drop, your lungs stop seizing¬†with shallow breath, and you forget yourself. ¬†I think that’s the gift of being at home in our skin;¬†in moments like that¬†I have nothing to hide so I can be all about you. ¬†I disappear – not because of a wave of humility but because the honest truth that I have nothing to prop up as my face for you makes me totally free to advocate for your youness.

I am writing in a coffee shop where a gentleman is packing up the portable table he brought to use for his computer. ¬†I had not noticed it although we are sitting near one another; the table is black and the legs retract like a folding umbrella and he pops it¬†right¬†into his bag. ¬†He knows what works. ¬†He has the chair he likes best and it doesn’t have a table in front of it, so guess what, he’s got one to use. ¬†Me? I travel with ¬†my favorite beach chair and a wool blanket (that has been to Africa) in the trunk so that anytime I need some ocean, I am ready to make myself at home. ¬†The ocean is one of the places where I feel most me. ¬†Here are some others:

  • in my family (in the cluster of the four of us¬†sharing space)
  • by myself
  • in the dark part of morning
  • by a fire
  • out to breakfast with a friend
  • holding yarn
  • in my husband’s arms
  • talking about the Word or the Church or glory.
  • talking to Jesus, after I stop stalling and playing at prayer and I really get there.

And, here.  In this room called a blog Рthis space where words color the walls, plump the cushions, and warm the coffee, and where all I am trying to do is write stones across a river and take another step.

It’s like this path between two small islands¬†in Lake Kivu, Rwanda. ¬†These islands are separated by a nearly submerged path. ¬†Crossing it is not like crossing a mountain brook, where falling means just getting your butt wet.¬†You have to trust that you are stepping on a stone sometimes.

Peace Island, Rwanda 2010
Amahoro Island (Island of Peace), Rwanda

 

Stopping to breathe.
Stopping to celebrate not falling in!

I was wearing a dress that day, fisting it up in one hand to walk Рcompletely comfortable.  Completely me. But in all fairness, before I went over I watched at least 10 others go.  The actual danger was minimal except I had never done it before, and me and my person are clumsy.  I took the first picture to remember feeling a bit brave, and someone else took the shot of me moments later Рdancing and squealing over the waters. When who we are is secure, nothing else is perilous.

Yesterday in church the worship pastor led my favorite song – Good Good Father – and my chin hit my chest¬†as the familiar intro lifted off his guitar. ¬†Before the first lyric, my body already felt the truth I’ve come to live from.

You’re a good good father, it’s who you are. ¬†It’s who you are. ¬†It’s who you are.

And I’m loved by you; it’s who I am. ¬†It’s who I am. ¬†It’s who I am.

Because of who Jesus is, and who I am to him, I can live at ease in this skin, in this family, in this job, ¬†in this world. ¬†I am known and loved and shameless. ¬†And I have this to give – so whatever else I do, I do that. ¬†Clumsily. ¬†Directly and indirectly – because that is the always way. Whether my face is nervous or brave, freaked out or elated, who I am doesn’t change. ¬†There I am. ¬†Still me. ¬†Loved irreversibly.

But this is my face, too, much less excited :j
Hi :j

I think I finally get it. ¬†I’m closer now than ever.

This is my face.

 

13 thoughts on ““this is my face”

  1. God bless you Lynne!
    1. You have an amazing face.
    2. You are a really good writer!
    3. I am book-marking your blog.
    4. I wish we could go out to breakfast.
    5. I love you.

  2. Ooh I just love this post! Love the way you share about the silly things and the trial and error of trying to be you cause I live there. Such good words! Thank you for sharing this! – Maggie from hope writers ūüôā

  3. I love what you cull out of life’s moments and how you can articulate meaning from them. I will be incorporating “It’s my face” into my heart from this point on.

  4. Whenever I leave the house with no makeup it’s inevitable that no less than 3 three people will ask me if I’m sick, or “what’s wrong? Are you ok?” It makes me self conscious about my face. I need to get better about not caring what other people think about my face. It’s my face.

  5. Since I’ve banished mirrors, I don’t know what my face looks like anymore. But sometimes, I see an extremely beautiful woman aging gracefully when I walk past a plate glass window. I don’t really know who she is‚Ķ

  6. Hi, Lynne, this is Wendy, your new friend from Hope*Writers! I love this post! Something about it got to me and I think I need to go sit with Jesus about just. being. me. Bless you!

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