The other day I said something about the evolution of society and Brynna stopped me and said, "Mom, we don't believe in evolution." I tried to explain to her that although we don't believe in the biological evolution of man, we were not once an ape, evolving is something we should eagerly desire for ourselves. I'm not sure what changed the subject; whether it was a fussy child, a song on the radio she would rather listen to, or her wandering off, but there it ended. I didn't think much more of the talk until today. You see today is my birthday, and I'm sure like many of you, it is a time of reflection of who we were and who we are now. Okay, seriously my reflection normally consists of me thinking, "How did I get so old?” and “When did my legs begin to look like those of an elderly women?", but today it was deeper and the conversation with Brynna resonated with me. I began to see my own evolution; physically, domestically, emotionally and spiritually. The definition of evolution is as follows: a gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form.
The physical evolution is hard for me to grasp, at least in the aspect of evolving into a better form. I miss the once thin tan body adorned with small perky breasts that has now been replaced with a pregnant belly, three months bigger than it should be; varicose veins on my legs so large I can't even shave over them without fearing nicking one and dying from massive blood loss; and miniature breasts that belong on a tribeswoman on the pages of National Geographic. The truth of the matter is, I struggle with the belief that I have evolved into something better than I once was, especially after glancing through a magazine or watching the TV, but I try to focus on the positive. I give it my best shot to look at my deflated breasts with admiration for the five, soon-to-be six, babies they have nourished. I size up the overinflated basket ball belly that houses a baby that is proportionate to a tomato and am grateful for the spacious abode it provides. I try to adjust my gaze from what I wish I looked like to why I look like I do; it makes acceptance much easier and the “better form” because a bit more clear.
When first married, Brian and I had Hamburger Helper four times a week for dinner. Even though I had a dishwasher, the dishes would pile up in my sink until we ran out and I was forced to wash some. My laundry room floor was covered with dirty clothes and I completed a load of laundry possibly once a week. Once washed and dried, the laundry would sit on the guest bed unfolded until we wore it – most likely wrinkled. The only thing ever ironed was Brian’s military uniforms and that was because they had to be. I think the only time I even thought of cleaning our house was if people were coming over. Now, I meal plan two weeks in advance, but I always keep frozen pizza and cereal on hand for when I can’t pull it together. I actually utilize my dishwasher daily. Laundry is kept in hampers and is done several times a week and now the clothes sit folded in baskets in the laundry room until I am motivated to put them away. I now think about keeping a rigorous cleaning schedule, but I still only really clean before people come over. There is still much to learn about keeping house and motivation to do so, but when I look at where I was and how far I have come I am grateful for evolution, but even more so is Brian. (He has banned Hamburger Helper from even crossing our threshold of our home.)
My emotional and spiritual evolution goes hand-in-hand. Immature, would best describe my then. Not that I am claiming maturity now, but I do strive for it, even though I often fail. Looking back to my earlier days, I was faddish in my causes. A bandwagon jumper. Passionate without knowledge. I admit that at times I still fall into that rut. I equate just with right, and then find out that sometimes they are not one in the same. I now try to look for a little more information before diving headlong into a movement. During my evolution thus far, I have heard my father’s wise words, the same words I believed to be the babble in my youth, resonate with truth in my adult life. I have learned that just knowing who Christ is, being raised in a Christian home, and confessing him as Savior does not commensurate real relationship with Him. Rather I have found real relationship; in speaking to Him, in hearing Him speak to me, His discipline, the times he has allowed me to suffer consequences of my own actions, the times He has rescued me when I least deserved it. More importantly I have discovered His love for me. I have learned that any relationship whether holy or less than, requires effort, honesty, and communication. I have learned that a gradual process is not what I desire. I would like to expedite the changes and reach my best form as soon as possible, but I am grateful for changes no matter how small or how long they have taken because they mean I am progressing. Progressing towards being a better wife, a better mom, a better friend, a better daughter, a better disciple, a better Erica.