Jeans have been a point of stress the last year or so. There was the whole pregnancy bit where jeans were just really not my friend. Then there was the post-pardum period… Do I really have to explain that? And now… Well now I just really want to break out of my long-held title of Queen Frumpy (long may she reign!) every once and a while and it’s amazing how the right pair of jeans can allow one to do just that.
I finally found a place on earth where there are jeans–fun jeans even–for people my size (and no, I will not be divulging such numeric information…. you think I’m crazy?). The Navy Exchange has just what I want for a price that I’ll consent to pay. So this past weekend, when Husband inadvertantly stranded me there, I picked up a couple of pair that really, really fit. And they are fun jeans, non-frumpy jeans, jeans I even almost feel sexy in. They are the right jeans.
Last night, I wore one of these pairs of aforementioned jeans to a Bible Study group that I hadn’t gone to for over a year. Carolyn’s arrival took me out of commission for a while and then moving to IL for ten months made the leave of absence even longer. Luckily, the women welcomed me back with open arms and I was able to enjoy the pleasure of a kid-free evening–An evening that belonged to ME in relation to other women and out of the context of “family Val.” I savored it. I drove to the meeting with the music cranked in the carseat-free truck and drove tall and happy, this evening was mine.
The focus of this Bible Study group is working to develop spiritual disciplines. To be honest, this was something I hadn’t thought of for the last 18 months or so. It took everything I had just to keep my head above water some days, so I wasn’t real eager to take on the task of ‘being disciplined.’ I felt out of practice as we went around the room talking about the role that the different disciplines have played in our lives as of late, but it made me anxious to jump in again. I was able to confide in the women about my desire to go to seminary and hopefully become a chaplain, and they all offered their encouragement and prayers. We talked about prayer, and worship, and dieting, and stress… we talked about babies, and hobbies, and upcoming events, and it felt right.
At the end of each meeting we hold hands and say “The Lord’s Prayer” together. We stood together praying and I heard our voices raise up. I heard the familiar words come out of each of our mouths and entangle themselves together as they raised up and away from us. I felt the strength of the women around me in the steadiness of their voices, and I felt upheld, steadied, and buoyed.
I left at the end of the meeting, hopped back into the carseat-free truck, cranked the music and sang some more, thinking all the way home that the evening felt as though it fit like the right pair of jeans.
It’s a good feeling.