Judging Fish Behind the Curtain

by - March 12, 2012

So, I have a birthday coming up this week. It will be the 36th one.  I know some people don't like to share their age, but I would rather just be frank.  Here is the question I am pondering as this birthday approaches: Am I winding down or am I just beginning? It takes me a minute to think through that. I could tell you that because of my relationship with the Lord I am 100% confident and and at peace with both the number three, and the number six being required to write out my age. But, if you are one of the handful of those I let behind the curtain closest to my heart…you know that isn’t always the case. There are circumstances in my life that, on certain days, leave me feeling like I am more on the winding down end of things than feeling like things are just beginning. A 36th birthday could be one of those days. If I’m not honest about that, I may as well hush. I probably won’t write about those things in my blog though. As I’ve said before…some things should probably stay behind the curtain.

(Pausing to gently pull back the curtain: Things you may see might be different, but you may still be able to relate - Sometimes when I look to the right or to the left and I see friends with homes and kids and husbands, pictures from their family vacation, or their babies first birthdays, I can find it a little more difficult to breathe. I can get a little panicky. 36? I’m left behind! I did something wrong! I’m winding down and I missed it. What if…? I should have….? I shouldn’t have….? If only I would have….? I know from talking with others this can happen whether you are married or not. When I look for the value of my life only in how my circumstances measure up to my expectations…36 can feel old. Especially if my expectations of life are limited to being a wife, mother, or President of the United States (I haven't even run for a county office yet). So it makes sense that if that is what I think life is all about, and that is not my life, I get nervous. Think about it kind of like the following Einstein quote which I had heard before, but saw again this week on a friend’s facebook: “Everyone is a genius. But, if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” My life has purpose, but if I judge my life based only on "my ability to climb a tree"… Get it? Ok, gently close the curtain back.)

So, I am left with things just beginning…36 feels like a good time to just begin some things, and a few things are brewing as God continually surprises me.  Wherever He leads... Although, things are always just beginning no matter which birthday we are celebrating.  Ask my Grandma who last week sold the house she has lived in for over 40 years.  She's just beginning what God has planned for her next.  Beginnings happen every day.  Jeremiah 29: 11-14. The last few years me and God have been working through tearing some things down. Ending some things. Some idols. Some expectations. Some things that separated me from Him. I’m not trying to imply that there is nothing left to tear down, but it is time to start rebuilding. To everything there is a season. He has led me to step out in faith away from things for a long time…and now He seems to be leading me to step toward some things in faith. I let go, now I can lay hold.

Last Friday, two of my best friends, Tiffany (friend since 1st grade) and Sara (friend since college) came to spend the weekend with me. We booked a $39 a night hotel room at the Double Tree through Priceline. Score. We were in our pajamas by 9:30, but were hours away from sleep. S
aturday morning we drove to the new neighborhood where I am hoping to move in the next few months. It may only be a 13 month lease I’m signing, but it is another start of a root here in Texas. One of my professors in Fort Worth once told me he moved to Texas for three years…20 years ago. That might be me, too. I'm ok with it.  I even like it.  If God moves me tomorrow though, I'm ok with that, too.  I'll put the roots down, and I will let Him dig them up as necessary.

We began with breakfast at Dixie’s Barn and Grill in Old Downtown Plano. The eggs were cold, but the atmosphere on a rainy Saturday was just what I needed for this weekend. Exposed brick walls, coffee, couples, friends and families talking over breakfast. We shopped the cute stores, we dug through some antiques, we laughed, we talked about the things we will only talk about with each other (some curtains are sewn shut), and we took deep breaths. I am such a fan of deep breathing. I guess that is because I have taken a lot of shallow breaths in my time. I took my camera along. I can't buy everything I like to look at. I hope there is never a law that you buy what you photograph
Here are some glimpses into our day:

Einstein, again.

After having discussed our confusion over the young people who stand in front of a bathroom mirror and take pictures of themselves to share on Facebook...we tried to take a picture of ourselves in a mirror.  Maybe we don't take pictures of ourselves in the bathroom, because we don't know how.  This was our first try.  Fail.

Second try.  We still can't do it.

Wow. That way.

In between shops, smiles and calling for the score of Seth's first soccer game of the year.  Seth and his sister Kallie will be getting a new baby brother or sister this year who is being born in Ethiopia.  

Hope is worth nine points.

A little smart mouthing in a pretty frame.

Dusty. Old. Wood. Brick. I can smell this picture, and I like it.
This was a good beginning to a birthday week.  We ended Saturday with an evening painting class after pizza at Urban Crust.  Sunday was lunch, then a couple of hours sitting on the floor reading books in an aisle at Barnes & Noble trying to use our inside voices. This weekend the three of us discovered again that year after year there are no curtains between us. Over training can cause shin splints.  Laughing is easy to initiate.  Chicken poop makes a garden grow.  It's good to pause.  Fish don't have to climb trees, and some can't paint either. 

A parting picture from our antiquing adventure:

I love the old friends with whom we can always share our new beginnings.

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