I wonder if they know.
If they know how bruised and battered, scarred and tattered I've become during these 30 forever-short years I've called life.
I wonder if at almost six and almost four they see that the mother who snuggles them to sleep at night also knocks herself over the head daily with guilt.
If they know that the lips I use to smother them with kisses are also the ones I use to beat myself shame.
I wonder if they realize that while I'm soothing their fears, I'm feeding my own with enough fuel to burn a fire long and strong and spreading.
Maybe not yet, I think as I press my feet into the ground and my back into the conference chair.
Maybe they haven't quite figured it out yet.
Dr. Brene Brown is on stage with what feels like a megaphone to my heart, my ears and when she says it I know it's true.
That we can't love someone else more than we love ourselves.
And what does all of this say about how much I love them? About how much I love the man I tethered my heart to and vowed to become one with?
There is brokenness, I know.
And she doesn't say it, but I hear the words clear:
It's nothing He can't fix, smooth out and fill in the gaping holes with the spackle of grace. Jesus has been in the business of cleaning up messes and mending hearts and filling in gaping holes since long before I started smashing things up and letting things smash me.
Can't this be easier? This love thing? This loving myself and loving them? Loving the flesh joined with my flesh and loving the One who created it?
"The rules are simple here," she says. "Be here. Be loved."
And my heart screams an addition:
Be here. *Be you.* Be loved.
I hear this vibrate through my heart and I pray for the courage to do both the loving and the being because those two are so inextricably woven together.
now I'm begining to understand how the loving flows out of the being and out of the showing up.
How when Paul said there is no condemnation in love, he meant not only of how Christ loves us and how we love others but also of how we love ourselves.
I pray for the courage to paint it on my walls, live and wear it on my sleeve. And look at this love -- all messy and imperfectly beautiful and sloppy -- in the eye daily.
In the eyes of my Lord.
In the eyes of my husband and boys and the people around me.
And in the eyes staring back from the reflection in the mirror.
I don't want to leave them wondering,
living in the huge chasm that exists between what we say and what we do.
I don't just want them to know those simple rules.
I want them to live it.
And I'll meet them there in that gap
as we bridge it