I am now on my third attempt at blogging. Despite my avid love for writing, the idea of creating a "Blog" and actually having people find and follow it, threw me a curve ball I was never familiar with. Not being able to figure something out. The inability to do do what you know you can - because it's too hard. Too many hurdles and hoops.. and for love of html how does this all work? So I cheated. Just a dollop of help from 17th Avenue Designs (thank you Kate) and a healthy dose of Freckled Laundry's (thank you Jami)insightful blogging wisdom. Here I am decked out in my boots and pearls, ready to share with the world a little inspiration from what I call - the suitcase theory.
Everybody has a suitcase. Packed for life's journey with all the gifts, talents, passions, fears, instincts, and abilities. A wardrobe of magnificent potential, or an outfit that doesn't quite fit.
The suitcase analogy evolved for me, as a stay at home mother of two precious little ladies. I had worked hard on my career, after struggling through college trying to figure it all out. So many passions, so many things I wanted to do. So many failed attempts and displaced notions of what I "should" be. I tried teaching, graphic design, art, English, even Nursing. An element in each that I loved and appreciated - but I couldn't wear it, it didn't fit right, it didn't look good. Eventually I pulled out the business suit. Not exactly what I had pictured, but it worked. I wore the suit for 10 years - right through the birth of the girls. Simmering. Knowing there was more in that suitcase I needed to try on. But it wasn't the season. I needed to "be still" and to be content. Young growing babies, needed me, and I them. I needed to find comfort in my suitcase and compromise. Staying at home was an amazing blessing. My best look ever. Then they grew. I stirred. I needed to pull some "bling" from that suitcase to make me sparkle again. All the while KNOWING there was more to come. I would try more on. I could do it. As I began to pull things from my "suitcase" again, I knew I would find something good. I was creative, resourceful, a workhorse. Gifts. I loved writing, typography, decorating, painting, crafts, graphic design - talents and passions packed into my suitcase. I could use them. I could wear them again. I could reconfigure and taylor them just so. In that moment, I realized I didn't have to discard the things that didn't fit or keep them locked up forever. But I would pull them out, try them all on again, mend them, and know that whatever I pulled out - would be spectacular - regardless of the season or style. I would own it, and it would be perfect, and that needed to be enough. And so it was.
So my now 13 year old daughter is trying sports and activities. Starting to pull things from her suitcase to see if they fit and more importantly if everyone else thinks they look good. Running and soccer are her favorites. The stride of a gazelle, but a heart for a soccer ball. But in my mind, I see her suitcase overflowing with choices but I know her gift is her stride. In our conversation, I learn that she likes to run because its easy for her. She doesn't practice, it just comes. With soccer, she has to practice to get better - but she loves it more. Ahhh. The suitcase theory. Gift verses passion. The gifts from YOUR suitcase are those that are effortless. They flow. They are like your favorite jeans and your furry pajamas - familiar and comfortable. Passion is a fierce contender from the suitcase however. It can steal the show and overtake the entire suitcase. It can cause you to throw everything else out, overlooking the gifts and other talents you could try on. To donate everything. Suitcase bankruptcy. Try everything on. Wear it all and keep it all. Everything comes back in style right?
My suitcase? I think at 40, I am finally wearing the perfect outfit for ME. As the co-owner of a retail/boutique, I have learned that YES, God did pack my suitcase with options. But it's up to me to figure it, and to be thankful. I am honored that God picked me to own that suitcase. I found the outfits that combined my gifts and my passions into the most fabulous outfit. I hope I never have to take it off! It fits me. It flatters me, and makes me know that I used everything my suitcase for the journey.
What's in your suitcase? What outfit are you avoiding? Which gift or talent or passion is in there waiting for you to try it on?
Find the courage, pray for the wisdom, and know that no one else in the world has a suitcase like yours.