My Turner Mackenzie has recently turned three. She is, in every way- me. She is into playing in the dirt, and catching grasshoppers, and play-doh. She likes unicorns and glitter, but also turtles and bugs. She sleeps with her bunny and blanket but here recently, also with a rubber toy frog, turtle, and alligator. She plays with babydolls and dresses up in princess gowns so that she can play with her older sister, although these aren’t her favorite things, her sister is… so she can roll with the punches and play well with others. But she is also fiercely stubborn, and loud, and sensitive, and dramatic. She is an all or nothing type of girl. She’s fiercely loyal and loves like no other. Sometimes she is devastated and her little heart just doesn’t know how to handle when something feels unfair or unjust. So she does this mix of mad and sad because she’s still learning how to express herself with words, but even when she does… I have a feeling this will be how she handles things. She will lead with her emotions.
It reminds me of the line in Charlotte’s Web when Fern is trying to save the runt, Wilbur. After being loud and wildly emotional to save Wilbur’s life, her Father replies, (and I’m paraphrasing here) “Fern you will have to learn to control yourself!” She of course replies, “Control myself!? This is a matter of life and death, and you want me to control myself!?” As if it was absurd to think that she wouldn’t be emotional about something that mattered to her. This is her. This is Turner. This is also me.
Do you know those women that you see that just seem lovely? People use words like demure, precious, lovely, and reserved to describe them. This is not me. I’ve tried on and off for years to be this woman. Shockingly, I never succeeded. I never could quite get the hang of quieting my inner voice, (or my outer one either). 😂
I am loud. My inside voice is never at an appropriate decimal, although I try. I never laugh appropriately, or at an appropriate time. I’m the one laughing at funerals, and weddings, and at the very holy moment of the lighting of the “Singing Christmas Tree” that a local church puts on every year. During which time you are suppose to be very quiet and reflect on our Saviors coming, and all of the things Christmas means to us for a total of 3 very long minutes. But alas, someone whispers something, and then I get the giggles and can’t for the life of me stop. I hear the creaking of the pews in front of me as people turn around to stare at the hoodlum ten year old who can’t get it together. This is still me now at nearly thirty. I’m not sure that I ever remember seeing my mama that mad. Except for maybe when me and my childhood best friend took off on our bikes, got lost, and didn’t show back up at home until 6 hours later. Or maybe that one time the principal called her in because I had an “A” in Biology, but unfortunately I had skipped, I don’t know, maybe 100 days of school or something. (I’m exaggerating.) Point is, I’m loud, and talk too much, and write run-on sentences because I can’t shut up.
I do things. I try things. I’m all or nothing. I get into projects fiercely, and when I decide I’m done- I abandon them without reserve. I just believe that if you want to try something, then do. Also, if your doing something that no longer makes you happy, then stop. Some shame-seeking people would use condemning words like, “quitter”. I just believe that this life is too short to not test the limits, or even worse, continue doing something that makes you miserable. There are thousands of different jobs, and thousands of different hobbies, and thousands of different sports. Why not try them all? Or stick with just the one that makes you Happy? This is YOUR life and no one else is going to live it for you.
Some people have the ridiculous notion that since I’m outgoing, and enjoy speaking to people, that I am always confident or an extrovert. Neither of these are true. Actually, my loud mannerisms and social personality can make me quite self conscious. You see, with people who are more shy or demure, it’s easier for them to fall back and become a wall flower of sorts. It’s easier for them to not put themselves out there, because they feel more comfortable letting someone else be “out there.” For those of us who don’t know how to be lovely, or soft spoken… we just show up to the party with a smile, be ourselves, and then have anxiety for the next two days. “Was I too loud? Did I talk too much? Did I say everything in the right tone? Was I too much?”
I’ve been classified as “too much” my entire life. But Jesus says I’m just right. I am not “not enough” nor “too much”, I am just right. I am exactly what God designed me to be. He made some of us soft spoken and lovely, He made the rest of us loud and sociable. He made us this way so that we can better connect with eachother, and lead others to Him. I have to stop looking at myself through the eyes of well, quite frankly, all of you and start seeing myself how Jesus sees me. I am praying everyday, every single day, that my daughters see themselves in this same light too. I am challenging you to do the same. We will pick ourselves and eachother slap apart until we change the way we see. I hope you guys have a happy weekend! Love your neighbor, but more importantly- love yourself. ❤