Friday, August 3, 2012

To Be Redheaded. To Be Free.

This week, I learned and unlearned that redheads are in danger of becoming extinct in 100 years. (They're really not!) I also learned that--in order to produce Charleigh--both my beloved and I had to pass on a recessive trait: more specifically, a mutated version of the MC1R gene (source). I find that kind of sexy. Don't get me wrong: I know that every child is the genetic product of his or her parents. But I can't tell you how many times people have looked at Charleigh and asked me: "Where did she get that red hair?"

I've always shrugged and said we don't really know; Jim and I both have redheaded cousins, and my great-great-grandmother had red hair. I've joked around, on occasion, and said how comforted Jim is by the fact that Charleigh has his nose. But, honestly? We never in a million years expected to have a redheaded child. And I'm in love with the idea that--from now on--I can say: Jim and I have in common the same, hidden gene, and, together, we produced a fireball...

Speaking of whom...this week, I learned that our little Charleigh is slightly less likely to scream: "NO!" and more likely to do what I ask if I follow up my request with: "Yes, Ma'am? High five?"

(It frightens me a little, lately, to know that Charleigh will be the one to take care of me when I'm old. Her not-quite-two-year-old self really isn't very nice, sometimes.)

Photo by Rachel Huff

Anyway. The most important thing I learned (or relearned) this week has nothing to do with Charleigh and everything to do with me.

It's simply this: I am free.

I'm responsible for submitting to the Lord and my husband, but, otherwise, I get to make my own decisions. The world presses in on me, sometimes, and I'm more sensitive to its voices than I'd like to admit. I start to feel bombarded, confused, and--worst of all--pressured to be something I'm not or behave in a way that's not me.

But you know what? If I feel cornered like a rat, that's on me.

People might just judge me every day of the week and twice on Sunday. If I concern myself with the judgment (real or imagined) of other people, that's on me.

And here's the thing: other people are free, too.  They don't have to be like I am. They don't have to think like I think. They don't have to behave like I behave. If I allow other people to get to me, that's on me.

I am free, and so is everyone else. I'm going to trust the Lord to judge who's right and who's wrong, and I'm going to focus on tucking myself just as tightly against Him as I possibly can. And if I allow myself to become distracted by so much noise? That's on me.

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