smooth me out, soften me up.

I'm more crass than I am graceful and I wish there was a way to smooth me out around the edges to make me less like a cheese grater. Sometimes, I feel like I'm in need of an Extreme Makeover: Personality Edition. Or maybe just reinvent the whole damn wheel in its entirety. My friend Kyle preached about community this spring, and how we're all in it together and how we're called into the long suffering with one another. That we will suffer others and others will surely suffer us, too. I giggled along with everyone else sitting in the theater seats. But, all of a sudden, my skin caught on fire and I shifted awkwardly in my chair.

When it comes to me, I fear that people do more suffering than enjoying.

I don't mince words or make things sound sweeter than they are. I like talking about politics, even though it's not polite, because I like talking about ideas and how philosophies and policies affect people. I find it important and I won't apologize for that.

Four-letter words don't make me flinch and I definitely let them fly... often.

I'm not really great at parenting. I should probably put the kebosh on my kid doing front flips off the couch, but he does it with such a smile that I lose all my faculties and cheer him on, instead... because seriously? A two year old doing full flips off the couch? That's pretty awesome. I'm not consistent with discipline, I don't try to force him to read books every day, let alone the picture Bible on his bookshelf and Lord knows I don't do crafts. I let him run like a feral child outside with no clothes on and bare feet, and he's allowed to take his giant John Deer tractor into the grocery store with him because why the hell not? I imagine there will be a time when I need to be intentional about how he spends his days, but I don't want him to worry about anything right now except being a two-year-old little boy.

I wish I could write inspirational, grace-filled stuff that's chock full of sound spiritual advice, but I'm a perpetual mess that can't seem to figure anything out on her own, so, who am I tell you how to be a better believer?

I wish I liked Christian music more than I liked the Jay-Z and Kanye album. I'd rather get lost at Hogwarts than study Walter Brueggemann.

I think about all these things embedded into my fibers and I wonder how I can change them... should I change them?

I think about all these things and I remember my husband who still looks at me like I'm a Victoria's Secret model & who, for some reason, loves to hear me talk. He loves my rough edges and the softer ones around my hips and the way I'll whisper, "That's what she said" under my breath while listening to friends talk over dinner. I remember that he loves my tattooed skin, even when I'm uncomfortable wearing it and he wouldn't change one thing about me at all.

I think about all these things and I remember my child who spontaneously runs to me for hugs throughout the day, who sits at the counter and babbles over his breakfast like he's having a deep philosophical conversation. I remember his megawatt smile when I walk into the house after being gone for an hour or two. I remember that he knows that he is loved to the moon and back times infinity by his mother and that's all that matters.

I think about all these things and I'm starting to understand that I'm just fine. I hope that as I grow older and the streaks of grey in my hair grow thicker, I'll mature and change and Lord willing, be a little more like the character of Christ than I am today. Maybe that means softening up. Maybe that means I'll smooth out. But, maybe it doesn't. 

I wonder how often we bend under the pressures of, "not good enough," and instead of being authentic, we seek to make ourselves a carbon-copy of someone else. The thought is devastating & I can't do much about it.

But I suppose I can start with me... and just let myself be me.

Even if I do look a little bit like a cheese grater.