I’ve had more of those mornings than I care to recall. You know the ones. When everyone has woken up on the wrong side of the bed, and before breakfast is even consumed you realize your day already needs a restart.
On one of these mornings recently, I heard a Whisper in my heart to stop, take a deep breath, and start over.
I’m sharing the story at Intentional By Grace today, and I’d love to have you join me!
If you’ve just clicked over from Intentional By Grace, I bid you a fond hello! I hope you’ll make yourself at home, grab a cuppa and take a look around. I’m delighted that you’re here.
It’s a tricky thing, beauty.
We chase it.
We praise it.
We protect, nurture and tend it with such precision and care.
The world loves a thing of beauty.
To look at you brings such joy to my heart.
The beauty within you is stunning. A sight to behold.
Not just beauty of skin; face; hair; smile – for those you possess in excess. But beauty of heart; character; compassion.
Please, Time, slow down. Pause. Breathe.
I fear my heart cannot take it if you become more beautiful than you are this very minute.
Caramel-colored strands of hair cascade down a back clothed in pink. With long, smooth strokes I brush. The tangles are long gone, but she is engrossed in her book and I can’t will myself to move, so still I brush.
Breathing in the fresh scent of strawberry shampoo and reveling in this quiet moment together. Well, it would be quiet but for the soothing whir of the hair dryer. Again and again I brush, sweep, tousle, dry and in my heart I am transported back in time.
Sitting criss-cross-apple-sauce (at a time when we called it something else and that was ok), on a matted, semi-shag green rug. The mustard-yellow hair dryer whirring about my head as I twist the ouchie-comb with the long, thin handle around in my fingers.
Then its the king-sized bed in the room with the floor-to-ceiling fabric “wallpaper” as I sit and talk with mom for hours on end asking question after question about how daddy proposed; how did you know he was the one; how do you shave your legs; did you always want kids.
Then its the cold, paper-covered table in the darkened doctor’s office. There’s whirring here, too, but this time its a softer hum more akin to a kitten’s purr than a freight train. And the bubbling brook of laughter that spilled from my heart and out my mouth as the sonogram technician slowly typed G – I – R – L on the screen.
I had always, always wanted a daughter.
And had always expected sons.
Now, here I sit bookended by my daughters. One with caramel hair, deep thoughts, and soft heart. The other with golden sunshine for hair, a song in her heart, and a joy for others’ happiness I’ve not seen before.
How on earth am I so blessed?
And how on earth do I take this for granted nearly every minute of everyday?
This moment, however, I will not give in to guilt. Or sorrow. Or should haves. This moment I will breathe it in. Run my fingers through it. Snuggle it close. And bask in the warmth of my sweet girls. And my heart will shout to the rafters a thank you only the heart of a mother could voice – no words could do justice – and only the Heart of a Father could understand.
I can see her now. Sitting in front of her computer, shaking her head as she reads along. She’s not going to agree with me, but I’m okay with that.
I can see her in my mind. The image a mere shadow of the past, and yet every bit as vivid and tender as a Degas painting: in the chair of golden tapestry; the one with the stain on the headrest. Bathed in the light of a small lamp, eyes closed. Bible, pages dog-eared from years of daily use, markings filling the margins and underlining verse upon verse, open on her lap. I stand there in the dark of the hall. I feel as though I’m intruding upon an intimate conversation. Her face is peaceful, hands folded upon her lap. She is with Him. She’s been up
I can see her in the kitchen, dressed, towel wrapped hair putting together breakfast. English muffin and tea for her. Cereal for me and my brother. She moves quickly, but the peace remains.
I can see her in her office. At her desk. Working diligently. Serving a man with more class than you’d find in a full arena.
She gets up while it is still dark. She goes to bed long after the sun. She serves her family. She loves her husband. She spends time daily with her Lord. She speaks of Him. To Him all day.
She who graduated college the same year I graduated high school – decades after she first began.
She teaches. She teaches and loves and is tangible Jesus to a school full of children who desperately need to know they matter. She teaches half notes and rests and recorders and theory. And yet they learn compassion. Forgiveness. Integrity. Love.
She loves. Her family. She remembers things said in passing; and acts upon it. She knows the favorites of each one of her beloved brood. She invests time, money and heart to make sure those she loves most know it; see it; feel it. In word. Deed. Attitude.
She. This one. She is the closest thing to the Proverbs 31 woman I’ve ever seen; met; known.
She is my mother. I can only pray that one day my children hold me in half as high regard as I hold her. Her children truly rise up and call her blessed. And we are blessed all the more for having had the privilege of being molded and nurtured by her hand, at her side.
Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you.
Note: Mom’s birthday is tomorrow, March 3, but I just had to post this now.
Inspired by a wistful sigh by my 4 year old daughter
I wish I were the moon, way up high in the sky
To watch the world and the sea as they go twirling by
To shine with a silvery light all my own
While the stars and their twinkles decorate my sweet home
I wish I were the moon, to hide out through the day
To see you each moment as you go on your way
I’d always be with you in day or in night
And shine out the brightest when you’re in my sight
I wish I were the moon, to dance overhead
With the wind for my music, the clouds for my bed
I’d snuggle down close to keep watch while you sleep,
Wash silvery beams o’er your dreams so deep
I wish I were the moon, so the world would all see
Your heart is the one that’s most precious to me
But I’m not in the sky, I’m tucked down in my bed
So I’ll love you with hugs and with kisses instead
I’m linking up with Growing Home