My Bicycle Dress

I took a fun summer road trip to a part of Wisconsin I had never been to before. It’s called The Driftless Area. This area comprises southwestern Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota, north eastern Iowa, and the extreme northwestern corner of Illinois. This area gets its name from the fact that it was never covered by ice during the last ice age therefore the area lacks the characteristic glacial deposits known as drift.

That is just a sampling of the volumes of fun facts I learned and first time experiences I had during my stay with John and Jamee.

I learned about birds. The CatBird has a call that sounds just like a cat. The Cowbird lays its eggs in other birds’ nests. The Grosbeak female is a force to be reckoned with at the feeder and some birds like grape jelly.

I learned about gardening. There is a trick to knowing which carrots are ready to be pulled out of the ground. Potatoes grow in clusters. Nasturtiums are edible and I still don’t like onions, even homegrown ones.

I heard the sound of a coyote at night. I gazed open-mouthed at the Big Dipper. I watched a bird feeder for an hour straight and never got bored.

All these things left a lasting impression on me. However, it was a conversation I experienced that really grabbed hold and won’t let go.

We were chatting about spiritual things one afternoon and John shared something he had read. He said Bob Buford, author of the book Halftime and founder of Leadership Network once said that he believes that on the final, final exam, there will just be two questions.

1. You learned about my son, Jesus, what did you do with that?
2. I created the one and only you. Why weren’t you more like you?

That second question haunts me. Like the coyote call at night. I can’t get it out of my head.

I created the one and only you. We were knit in our mother’s womb perfectly. Each and every part of us was custom made by the Creator. The unique combination of our physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual parts are found in no one else. And they are perfect. They are to be treasured and made known to the world. Flaunted with gratitude.

Why weren’t you more like you? Yikes. Where do I start. How many times have I spoke what someone else wanted to hear? Or kept quiet for someone else? How many times have I dressed for someone else? Are my dreams mine or what the world tells me they should be? When was the last time I made everyone do what I wanted to do? When was the last time I did what I wanted to do? How often do I compare myself with others and fall short? What lies do I believe about myself that hold me back? Do I treasure the handiwork of God that I am?

I want to pass the final test without a lot of rationalizing and explaining. I want my life to reflect the answers to those two questions.

There is still time.

So, for starters I bought a bicycle dress. (See picture above) Why? Because it’s me. It’s bold and colorful and impractical but I don’t care. It brings a smile to my face whenever I look at it. What could you do today to be more you? To flaunt with gratitude the perfect creation that is you!

Next step for me, becoming a backup singer in a band. I’ll keep you posted.


Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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