Several years ago, I found an awesome backpack in a Van’s outlet store. I doubt I spent more than twenty bucks on it … because I just don’t buy things new or expensive very often.
When I saw this backpack, I knew it was perfect for me. It was black and white (basic essential colors, right? … that don’t even show dirt!) with a splash of pink to make it girly (I a.d.o.r.e pink).
And it had a bold geometric design on the front (I love stripes, plaid and checkerboard prints).
I had NO idea how sturdy this bag would be.
Joy has gone through one backpack after another …
having one with a zipper that split right open shortly after purchase,
another came unstitched
and yet another did the common “pull-apart-at-the-strap-seam” action.
I don’t think she’s that much more rough on her backpack(s) than I am.
This sweet jewel has made it through a year or two of book-toting at college
and then graduated to become my go-to bag for every kind of adventure.
(LOOK at that fun little camera!! It even flashes when you push the shutter release
AND it makes a “click click” sound! Isn’t that fun??)
When I travel, it’s the bag for my laptop, cameras, chargers, cords, calendar, currently-being-read-book and my Bible. And when we camp, it’s our lunch-box for hiking … always stuffed with snacks, water and cameras, as well.
I’ve always been one to “decorate” things. Naturally, my fav backpack has “ornaments” that declare it is mine.
I adore pins, baubles and trinkets.
Not so long ago, Stone said,
“Ya know, your bag wouldn’t be as heavy if you’d take all that stuff off of it.”
I laughed and took a handful of trinkets
and with a gleam in my eyes said,
“Ah, but the small of burden that these l.i.t.t.l.e t.o.y.s inflict
is FAR OUTWEIGHED by the joy that their presence brings.”
I can tell you with absolute certainty,
he does not get me.
He doesn’t like that my cooking makes more of a mess than his kitchen time does
(calling himself a minimalist in the kitchen … meaning one spoon to stir all pots)
…. BUT, he doesn’t mind that my cooking is “exotic” (his word)
(which just means that I add garnish and sauces and sprinkles to make things special).
See that? One is a pay-off of the work from the other … but he doesn’t see the connection.
But, ya know, it takes all kinds, doesn’t it?
I’m okay that he doesn’t get me.
And I’m really glad that I’ve stopped trying to be someone I’m not.
Some of us travel light and some of us carry a little more of the fanciful.
Some of us are focused and intent on not being distracted,
while others are pleased to stop and notice the sparkle on the wings of a dragonfly
the disheartened look in the eye of an empty soul at the grocery store
or the need to gift a book to a friend who is hurting.
I purchased it and brought it home to be framed.
It sits on my desk now and just makes me smile
(look at those cute little tippy-toe feet on that stool *grins*)
Rather than trying to be someone that I am not,
I am absolutely tickled to be perfectly comfortable in my own skin.
It has taken me years to get to this place of acceptance …
but it feels good to be here.
I can only hope and pray that I can instill in my own children
a fraction of this self-acceptance.
I want to encourage you …
to know that you are created unique and special.
You have traits and tendencies that are unlike any other soul on this planet.
You are beautiful and intricate and wonderfully made.
There IS such a thing as constructive criticism that should be embraced and considered …
don’t let someone else’s standard of “acceptable” and “normal” and “right”
limit your freedoms in being the beautiful person that God created you to be.
If you are a “bauble and trinket” kind of person, then embrace that.
If you’re a “minimalist,” then that’s wonderful!
Just don’t let someone else’s standard
be the one that makes me feel that you’ve been put down or you’re not good enough.
Yes, you, my friend, are beautiful
through and through
just the way that you are.