mommy track

You are not a world changer, you chose the mommy track. Self-talk. There are days, oh are there ever days, that I believe this to be true. Usually it’s  on the days when I’m doing three consecutive loads of laundry, when I stumble over a plastic banana yellow giraffe, or clean out dirty baby bottles for the umpteenth time at 6AM on a Saturday morning.

Which, speaking of Saturday mornings, last Saturday we went on a morning walk (you know, after I finished washing the baby bottles). My little girl took a tumble and let out a scream heralding the end of the world. My usual inclination is to sweep her up into my arms. My husband though did something different. He handed her a little red flower. Her tears stopped suddenly as she intently gazed at the crimson blossom considering whether or not to pop it into her mouth. She gave us a smile that rivaled the sun. A flower. She found comfort in a flower. And that is when it hit me.

My daughter thinks the world is pretty wonderful and so do I.

I chose the mommy track but motherhood does not limit my life.   In fact, as a mom,  I am an agent of change. I have to be. Because when I look into the eyes of my children, I see the whole world staring back.

I see refugees fleeing South Africa and Syria, I see the water crisis in Flint, I see the abominable wall Republican candidate Trump wants to build, I see “Turkey is not safe”, I see children living in war torn areas of Congo, and I see the rebuilding of Nepal. I also see the hope of heaven staring back at me from my daughter’s speckled hazel eyes.

In that moment I learned something about the mother-heart of God and I suddenly knew that I knew that I knew. There is peace enough to cover the whole world and I want it to begin with me, “Mommy”.

 

a rose colored dress for rita

This is my Grandma’s story about the day she bought a rose colored dress for Rita. Rita, is my mother, my Grandmother’s daughter.

It would have been a day just like any other day. I imagine the early morning sunshine spilling through the windows. I imagine the oatmeal breakfast and milk colored coffee my Grandma would have had before starting her day. Most likely, my Grandma picked out a familiar and comfortable outfit to wear. As a child I always admired my Grandma’s style. She always wore comforting pastel and earth toned cottons paired only with sensible shoes and her shiny gold wedding ring. On this day, though, I am sure her mind was consumed with finding the perfect outfit for her daughter.

I never asked my Grandma what store, specifically, they went to but I am sure it was a thrift store. Having grown up during the Great Depression, my Grandma still considers department stores to be unnecessary luxuries, “I can count on one hand the number of times I ever stepped foot in a department store”.

My Grandma would have taken the task of finding a dress for my mom seriously. Only simple and understated elegant dresses would have caught her eye. She would never have wanted my mother wearing anything that even remotely suggested “loose woman”, “fast”, or any other antiquated synonym for “hoochie”.

Having finally found the beautiful rose colored dress, I think my Grandma would have momentarily forgotten the somberness of the occasion as she excitedly presented the dress to her daughter to try on. I imagine my mom smiling quietly as she headed towards the dressing room.

The next part of the story is always harder for me to imagine. I think my mom tried on the dress with a heavy heart. Perhaps she paused for a long moment to gaze at her own beautiful silhouette staring back at her in the mirror. I imagine the rose color accenting the flush color of her cheeks and the glistening tears in her eyes. I’m not sure if my mom had hair at this point but I like to imagine she did. Her delicate chestnut hair cascading down the buttoned back of the dress.

I imagine her slowly emerging from the dressing room and meeting her mother’s eye. Without even glancing at the dress I believe my Grandma looked at her daughter with tears streaming down her eyes whispering silently, “You are beautiful, Rita”.

They both knew. They both knew this rose colored dress would be the one. At three years old, I remember peering into the coffin thinking, “My momma looks really pretty in that dress”.

I am not sure why I love this story so much. It’s such a sad story, you see. The story of a sixty year old mother choosing the dress her thirty year old daughter would wear at her funeral. Yet it’s one I recount over and over and over again in my heart. I let the memory of this dress settle into the marrow of my bones. I gain strength from their story. This story is my inheritance. Not the sadness, but the strength. The strength of two women facing such sorrow with dignity and love. Yes, I love this story and I will proudly wear the memory of my mom’s rose colored dress each and every day of my life.

a good, good husband

husband

I have a good, good husband.When I am up late with the baby he makes me breakfast the next morning. He washes dishes and makes breakfast for his family on Saturday mornings so that I can play games of make believe with our kids. My husband doesn’t buy me diamond rings and he doesn’t plan surprise romantic getaways but his everyday acts of service are priceless. We do life together. Real life.The setbacks, the heart hurts, the surprise bills, the joys, victories, and dreams realized. He is real and our marriage is real. My husband is consistently good, faithful, and true. He works hard for his family and counts each sacrifice a joy if it means his family is well provided for. My husband has dreams, goals, and vision for the future. I am proud to be his wife. I am proud to walk along beside him as his helpmate, confidant, lover, and friend. I have a good, good husband whose heart is loyal to the one he loves. He keeps Christ at the center of both our hearts and this makes all the difference. My husband is my is true love and my happily ever after.

i wish you a ladder to reach the sky

Usually I wake up thinking about everything that must get done that day and usually, before I even get out of bed, I begin the day feeling defeated. I dig myself right into a cozy little hole of worry that I am stuck in for the rest of the day. The other day I asked… Continue reading i wish you a ladder to reach the sky

i wish you an anchor for your soul

I made my marriage vows with a hopeful heart. I placed all my hope in marriage and this hope was my heart’s anchor. I believed marriage was capable of nourishing and fulfilling my heart’s deepest desires: my desire for a real home, a family, a true resting place for my heart’s aimless wandering. I placed… Continue reading i wish you an anchor for your soul

i wish you the sunshine above the clouds

Battling depression was a fierce struggle and there are still days the war rages on.  Mine was a depression caused by exhaustion. An exhaustion wrought by the religious mindset that, having been forgiven once, I then needed to somehow prove I was worthy of the incredible mercy and grace bestowed on my life. Each day when I failed to be perfect I allowed guilt, shame, and self-loathing… Continue reading i wish you the sunshine above the clouds