God led me to write this because one of you needs to read it after reading all the different She Speaks recaps posted all around the internet. I don't know who you are, and it doesn't matter. It may be more than one of you. Whoever you are, this is for you:
Sometimes it's fun to experience grown-up life. To put on big people clothes and wear things like makeup and shoes-that-are-not-my-scratched-up-flip-flops-from-Target. To be around people who tell you that your hair looks good or they like your outfit or other forms of compliments.
Because, as I was quick to tell folks this weekend, that's not real life for me. Real life for me is short people who boss me around and make unrealistic demands and then cry loudly if I don't comply immediately. Real life involves hardly ever being told my hair looks good or my shirt is cute. Usually, if anything, real life involves "helpful" comments from my teens who are just trying to keep me from embarrassing them around their friends. And my real life wardrobe? Think stretchy, soft fabrics-- in a myriad of colors. Think clothes you can wear all day and then climb into bed still wearing. Real life means getting unwittingly sucked into arguments with these same short people who, while small in stature, have negotiation powers to rival the most accomplished business person you could think of. They should be writing books on success in the business world.
So, She Speaks was a nice temporary departure from real life. While I am honored and proud to be a part of the P31 team, I am on the fringe-- hovering on the outer edges while I take care of all this real life stuff at home. I contribute as best I can (and I am so grateful for their patience and understanding in that area)-- but I am also very tethered to the needs and demands of my family. So being at She Speaks is sort of surreal. (After reading about my real life, you might see how that could be.)
But the thing is, I like it that way. By Saturday night this past weekend, I was aching to scoop up my two year old in my arms, longing to have one of our rambling conversations with my husband, needing to see my children's faces. I wouldn't trade my real life for my surreal one. As Curt reminds me, in ten years there will be lots of things I can do that I can't do now. And in the meantime, I am treasuring real life. A very full, very busy, very loud real life. (I said to my kids on Sunday, "I just spent the weekend with 550 women and I don't think all those women put together were as loud as you people!") But I wouldn't trade the noise, the ruckus... the joy I derive from my life with these people.
I just felt led to write all that after posting several times about She Speaks. I know how Satan can take things like She Speaks and make a mom feel like she is not doing anything important or valid or worthwhile "just being a mom." Like she is missing out because she is at home. Especially if you weren't there because finances or time or life prevented you from coming. So I wanted to wrap up all my She Speaks talk by driving that point home-- don't take your eyes off the value of what you have right in front of you. Focus today on letting Jesus give you His perspective of what you are doing in your home, with your family. Let Him fill you with purpose and joy as He points out the flowers along the way.
"Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it." Ralph Waldo Emerson