I remember gazing in the dressing-room mirror of the J.C. Penneys while Mom shoved argyle vests and corduroy pants through the crack in the curtain.
I slipped on cable-knit sweaters and stirrup pants, and Mom asked if I was ever coming out of there.
“Not yet, Mom,” I told her. Because the clothes were too itchy, or too bright, or too baggy, or too tight … or too not-me.
But then, I would slip something over top of my head, and I would look back at the girl in the mirror, and I would twirl and I would know the way that you know.
This one. Yes … this one. This is me …
And then, at last, I would open the curtain and clap my hands together and tell Mom I’d found something that fit just right. And she’d smile, and I knew that she it knew, too.
I’ve been spending some time in the dressing room this week, and at last now, I peel back the curtains. Because I think, maybe, this one fits?
I started blogging back in July 2008. The talented Weis duo from Tekeme Studios designed my first blog. And they gave me the exact look that I asked for, with the smiling Jesus because I wanted all joy. But a writer can’t help but write her way into the voice that’s really hers. It’s still joy, and it’s still Jesus here, but sometimes the stirrup pants just don’t fit anymore.
So like my mama, the Weis duo went shopping with me. They slipped new clothes through the dressing-room curtain. And I tried a few things. Almost right away, we found the one that fit. And I really know it fits, the way that you just know. Well … I think so anyhow. (You know how I am.)
I asked the designers for warmth and light and roots, because we’re putting down roots — roots that give us strength. Our roots here on the Lee Farm are in family, crops, a legacy of generations, words rooted in the Word … Root of David.
Roots hold us steady, keep us grounded.
And I wanted you, dear friend, to really know what I mean when I talk about “Getting Down With Jesus.”
I’m still the same ol’ Jennifer Dukes Lee — the girl whose spiritual journey looks more like a stumble than a faith walk. I still limp down this path. I’m still the one with toilet paper stuck to her shoe. And I am being changed, day by day.
I’ve wrestled with God. And now, I walk with a spiritual limp.
The only way I know how to find my life, is to lay it all down. To Get Down With Jesus. Because the Only Way Up is Down.
Along the journey, it has been a joy — pure JOY! — to walk with you. Have I told you lately that I am so glad you’re here? You make me a better me.
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Photos of my hand-crafted cross, a Studio JRU original.