the princess and the tomboy...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

lyla is a glorious combination of tomboy and girly-girl. she loves to be outside with her daddy and dig in the dirt or kick a ball around or dog pile on him when he lays back in the grass to relax. she doesn't mind getting dirty.

she also loves to follow me into the bathroom, climb up on the potty and sit with her chin in her hands and ask *whatcha doin', mama?" as i brush on a bit of this and dab on a bit of that to my face. she giggles with glee as i open up my iridescent pot of purple (a very grave shopping mistake...) and swipe some colour across her eyelids. she's even been known to borrow my very expensive make-up brushes and hide them in her treasure chest. (a.k.a: the *just her size* potty she is terrified of using)

so when she brought this book over to me the other day to read, i wasn't all that surprised.

it has all the elements of suspense (for a 2 year old) and rescuing that most little girls dream of. as she studies each picture and absorbs each word, she doesn't move for fear, i'm sure, of discovering that the ending changes...that the princess doesn't get rescued in the end. (i'm sorry if i ruined it for you...)

last night i cried as i read it to her for the 20th time. as she snuggled up in my arms, the truth of the story struck me. a princess decided she didn't want to be a princess...left the safety of her Father's castle in disguise and got covered in mud as she tried to be just like the street children. discovering that she did indeed long to be a princess, she hurried back to the castle only to discover that the secret entrance she had left through was now locked. that meant she would have to go through the front entrance.

the very public, very pristine front entrance.

which would now be covered from the mud caked onto her shoes.

which would now be witnessed by whomever happened to be wandering by, or working near.

and who answered the door? the very person she had run away from - her Daddy.

and who welcomed her in, cleaned her up and tucked her into bed? her Daddy.

and who assured her, after her fervent promises to never stray again, that while she would stray, He would always welcome her back? her Daddy.

lyla loves that part. she always tenderly strokes the King's face on the last page and studies Him for a moment before she asks me to read it again.

and i do, because the message needs to sink into my heart a bit deeper.

someone wise said to me today that it might be time for me to take a break from blogging about the loss of my reputation from foolish mistakes made so long ago - because that isn't who i am anymore.

and how i long to lay claim to that promise and live in that freedom.

but i haven't.

because my eyes have been glued to the mud on my shoes instead focused on the One who has cleaned me off and tucked me into the safety of His arms.

focused on the words, the shunning, the looks from those in town who refuse to release me from the trappings of who i was.

wondering how i could ever live in the freedom of being a new creation when my mistakes were so public and still on the lips of so many.

and the burden becomes heavier, my steps a bit slower, my eyes a bit more downcast once again.

but today, after that simple comment made in love, i realized two things on my way home:

~i am not the first to have made a mistake. jeremiah described Israel's repentance when he said:
"...' i have been disciplined. restore me and i will return, because you are the Lord my God. after i strayed, i repented; after i came to understand, i beat my breast. i was ashamed and humiliated because i bore the disgrace of my youth'."

and God in His mercy replied:
"...'My heart yearns for him, i have great compassion for him,' declares the Lord. 'set up road signs; put up guideposts. take note of the highway, the road that you take. return o virgin Israel, return to your towns. how long will you wander, o unfaithful daughter?'". (jer 31:18b-19, 20b-21a)

and while i'm not the first to make a mistake, i have made plenty of them. but in the making of the mistakes, in the repenting and disciplining, i also have a call to use my mistakes as guideposts, warnings if you will, to keep my so easily distracted eyes turned firmly onto my Savior. because it is only through Him that i can find my restoration.

and what is the second of the two things you may ask? (if you've made it this far...) while it's important to have guideposts set up, it's dangerous to just stand there and focus on them. why? my Father said it so plainly through the prophet isaiah:
"forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. see, i am doing a new thing! now it springs up; do you not perceive it? i am making a new way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." (isa. 43:18-19)

if there is any beauty, any springs of refreshment coming out of my wasted years, i don't want to miss it by standing still, focusing on the mirage of *what-if''s* and *if-only's*. i want to dive head first into the cleansing pool of the oasis He has provided through my pain and emerge new, changed...completely and fully His.

so it is here that i'm choosing to step forward in the promise that i am a new creation in Him (2 cor5:17), allowing my mistakes, even the hurtful whispers around me, to be guideposts, reminders of where i've been and where i never want to go again.

it's time to glance down once more, find that the mud has been lovingly removed from my shoes, and focus on my Father's face.

and i promise that the next post will be lighter...and full of pictures - we had our family photos taken today:).