I’m packing my suitcase and I wish I could also pack in three extra months of cutting out carbs and sugar and bread – which basically means giving up all my favorite foods.



I’m packing the jeans that aren’t the size I wish they were and the boots that have shredded lining but that feel right on my feet. And when your knees are knocking and you’re headed into meetings, retreats, speeches, community that makes you nervous it’s about right to have them old boots on your feet.

They remind you where you’ve come from and that your life is scuff-marked, pock-marked and imperfect and that you should be sure not to pretend otherwise.

You should remember when you board that plane that you are mom to two boys and a potty training girl and no matter how long your sons have been through the process they still can’t seem to aim a salt’s lick worth for all their fascination with cowboys, pistols and the marines.

When you stand in line to shipping off to places where people only know you by the parts of yourself you share on your blog it’s good to remind yourself that there’s still a ring around the pink, yes, pink bath tub and that you had to sniff the clothes in your laundry piles because they’d all toppled over and you couldn’t remember which was clean and which, well, not.



It’s fine and fun and well to enjoy your hair that someone else washed and blow dried because really, is there any greater luxury than a scalp massage?  As long as you don’t forget that underneath those lovely, long waves you’re the same woman who forgot she’d pinned back her bangs with her daughter’s orange flower clip yesterday. And sleeps in the same sweat pants every single night.

Because you can wear the boots and worry over the not-so-skinny jeans and whether or not your eyeliner looks trendy-messy or just plain messy when what you’re really looking to apply is a big, bold, red stamp of approval.

But here’s the thing: you already are.

You actually already are pre-approved.

No matter how you look or what you say or whether or not you figured out the right necklace to wear with that black top, you’ve been perfectly picked by the God who makes no mistakes. Pre-approved, as my friend Jennifer reminds me.

You with the tired eyes and up-all-night baby.

You with the job that you messed up on this morning or the project assignment that’s got you tied up in knots.

You with the tender bank balance and the kids who won’t mind and the mind that feels like it’s about to explode.

You with the worry or the regret or the love squandered or lists forgotten.

You with the aging parents or lost mother or forgotten father.

You with the family infighting or too long commute or too late to school to be there in time to meet him for lunch like you’d promised.

You with the gray hairs and extra pounds and shy story and lonely eyes.

You, you, you.

Pre-approved every single one.

Beloved not because of your size or status or number of Facebook friends. Chosen not because of your name or your writing ability or parenting prowess. Wanted not because of your social currency or number of credit cards or square footage of your house.

But because God is forever love. Always, infinitely interested in you, His daughter, right down to dirty bath tub rings and painting tiny toenails baby blue.

And I fold that note to self into my suitcase alongside the wedge sandals, the hair dryer and the zip lock bag of toiletries.

And fly on His grace.