I've always been a dreamer.

As a rowdy child, gymnastics was where I finally found a place to throw my immeasurable energy into.

I just knew I would be in the next Olympics. I could just feel it. I dreamed wildly, lavishly.

Beautiful moments, even the ones mingled with sorrow, captured me. I fell in love with weaving words, trying to communicate things that moved me deeply. Of course, someday I would write a book, I thought. Not just pretty words, but words blended in a way that would breathe fresh air into tired souls, and give courage to young mamas or an exhausted wife.

I dreamed of traveling the world, getting married, and sailing off into the horizon. And I am, only it's a whole lot nittier and grittier than I imagined.

Instead of Pinterest-perfect trips or finished books with the perfect cover, I'm finding the power of LIVING these messy moments. I'm discovering the anointing of God's presence, loving and growing me in the sweatiest of moments.

Instead of "finding who I really am" I'm finding out who GOD is as I do a million mundane chores or put bandaids on skinned toddler knees.

I did marry my best friend and have found marriage to be a sanctuary — safe, holy, and powerful. And yet, I'm discovering in a new way how to listen, grow, and communicate.

I see strands of white blending into my brown hair and new crease marks around my eyes. Somehow I'm realizing I value them, and the lessons and chapters they represent. Suddenly 40 isn't so bad after all.

Maybe someday I will travel the world again or work on a manuscript destined for paper printing, the officially published kind. Maybe... but I cannot get over the stunning reality that right now I'm pushing roots into deeper soil, gaining wisdom that cannot be gained overnight.

This morning my Bible reading agreed,

He will bring it to completion!
...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion... (Philippians 1:6).

He is writing this story, and the smudged messy pages behind this one are imperfect but beautiful — just as will be the ones to come.

I'm finding the mystery of life is that it is beauty and imperfection woven together into a glittering fabric — dark threads right next to the ones that capture the gold of the ocean sunset.

      This is life
      and it's beautiful.