Monday, July 2, 2012


"We take the stars from heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity, representing our liberty."  
~ George Washington

I need a strong cup of coffee and my best girlfriends for this post. Can we talk swimsuits for a minute? Here are five of my fears: (5) Margaret Atwood novels (but I still love reading them). (4) Cooking. (3) Becoming Alice. (2) Karaoke. (1) Swimsuits. I can avoid three of these fears, but cooking and swimsuits are non-negotiable for this mommy. Trust me, I've tried. How can five ounces of fabric make me want to hyperventilate? Actually, I know why. I can't hide. The swimsuit brings all of my physical flaws to light, and instead of courageously running towards freedom (exercise, dieting), I have hid in the house. All this hiding is time consuming. Hiding means I'm not seeking. Shame can perpetuate hiding, which in turn prevents a seeking of freedom. For me, hiding has become a self-imposed bondage. 

So I did something bold, and bought a striped swimsuit at smoochie Old Navy. This revolutionary courage came after reading to the children on the history of our American Flag. I found George Washington's quote above, and joy stirred inside my heart. George is saying up there that we separated from our "mother country" (at the time, the mother country represented bondage) - and here comes the curvy revelation for me: we came from bondage. As a Christian, I immediately took comfort in this fact. The human stain of bondage is something we were born into. Jesus separates us from that sin, even though we still see it, feel it, live it daily. At least, that's the way it is for me. God didn't hide our humanity - he healed it with the stripes of Jesus. When I wear this suit, my humanness wants to focus on my flaws, but God wants me to see his freedomThe shame of humanity hides. The stripes of Jesus heal.

My sin, my humanity, is revealed when I put on this suit, but the white stripes have become a personal symbol of liberty. My flaws are showing, but rather than hiding I'm actively seeking freedom. Truthfully, I'm terrified. I need courage. I need lots of prayer. Battles, even the internal ones, need lots of courage and prayer. 

The Father Of Our Country could have thumbed his nose at King George and covered the red fabric, a symbol of England, with a swatch of solid white, but he didn't. I believe George understood the importance of relationships. He was a courageous, honorable, yet deeply flawed man. But he knew a truth: Stripes don't hide, they heal. 

There's no doubt this revelation was specifically for me and my personal stuggle, but I wanted to share it because it might be for you, too. 

Do you know who really rocks at sharing? The library. I hope you will visit them today. Arielle and I are singing revolution songs with Paul and John and George and Ringo, and knitting in circles (oddly enough, our attempts should be called knitting in geometric figures). I haven't cooked from Robuchon, but am enjoying it as a great read while snacking on carottes and Rouefort.

Thank you, dear family, friends, and readers, for following my passion of living and learning at the library with your encouraging comments and emails. And your prayers. I really need them. 

Spend less. Share more. Library.

xoxo Michele