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Category Archives: Sisters

On This Eve

To My Little Sister

On Your Wedding Eve:

The house is still. I sit in the sunroom weaving flower crown headpieces for your nieces . . . my daughters . . . your flower girls. And after a week like this one, my heart and mind find respite at the steady weave and flow of sheer ribbon. The crickets sing me a song. I’m thankful and unbelieving at the time to sit and process.

Memories of us in our childhood wash over me as I pray for your future. Tomorrow, you will be a true grown up woman, with a husband of your own. I think of your three-year-old wispy curls and I hear Mee Maw call you Goldilocks again. Your curls will hang tomorrow too, wispy no more, but full and long and beautiful. I can’t believe you are here and ready for this day! You made it!

All the waiting and planning and preparing and decision-making . . . DONE. And now you’ll step forward, into a new day, full of new hopes and dreams. And I’ll be standing on the sidelines, cheering you on. Today. Tomorrow. And every day hereafter. Because I love you.

Sisters forever. No matter what.

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Buckled

Posted on

We had just arrived home. I unbuckled Firefly, who immediately hopped from her car seat and began crawling over the still-buckled-in Dove. The little one’s feet kicked back and forth, patiently waiting for me to come rescue her as Firefly squeezed and squirmed, trying to escape the car and her little sister’s in-the-way feet so that she could go play next door.

Dove: “AAAAAACHOOO!”

Yes, all the sneeze and drool of a cute, teething toddler, right onto Firefly’s arm.

Firefly, disgusted: “DOOOOOVE! You *blessed* my arm!!!!”

Suddenly, I was buckled too.

Buckled over, laughing. 🙂

Still a Wallflower

For you sweet readers, I am sorry for the long in-betweens. We’re here battling sickness again this week (it’s a tough winter, no?) . As the three of us girls stay close to home and to each other, and as I watch my two little girls interact, my mind settles here again.

A post from not so very long ago.

 

 

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I watch her eyes follow her big sister. The Dove observes the Firefly and everything comes earlier because she’s been watching. The talking, the crawling, the climbing, the walking all come before I’m ready and I’m unprepared for the surprise. At about 10 months, she begins playing dress up. She’s watched her big sister clothe herself in the costume gowns and necklaces, and Dove begins that early too. She brings a hat to her Daddy one evening, and indulging her, he places it on her head. She gives us a look of excited curiosity and crawls, quick as lightning, to the over-sized mirror in our hallway. She looks at her reflection and smiles, satisfied. My Man and I look at each other in nervous disbelief. 10 months old and she’s already doing this?! She’s been watching someone . . . and Firefly cannot possibly fathom her effect.

You can learn a lot about a man by studying his beloved, can’t you? She is his reflection and sometimes his mirror, but you learn what he values and how he loves and things he won’t necessarily tell you himself.

 

And I wonder.

 

His bride is far from perfect and she is cleansed, but still being sanctified, so for this analogy, you have to ignore her dust-propensities . . . but what of her beauty? What does the earthly Bride tell us of the Heavenly Groom?

 

I watch as Dove watches her sister. She tries to keep up with her and she tries to mimic her and she tries to learn of life from her . . . maybe she learns more from her big sister than she does from her parents?

Like Dove, I watch and learn. I learn from you, dear sisters.

 

I watch a young woman as she and her husband anguish in their infertility. They cling to the Life-Bringer and hope shimmers. They cling to each other and love is sown. I learn from my little sister.

 

I watch a friend struggle for unity with her husband as they seek God’s plan for their family. She waits. They find unity where least expected. I study this.

 

I watch a daughter of the King wrestle lies of being unlovable, abandoned and alone. She wields the sword of truth and she is a warrior. She teaches me.

 

I watch a woman of faith contend with her husband’s unfaithfulness. Within herself, she daily fights for her marriage, forgiving again and again the bleeding wounds to her soul. She illuminates. I watch her.

 

I learn from you, my sisters. I am just one in the cloud of witnesses, watching you run your race.

 

I toddle, arms outstretched.


Wisdom Nuggets from the Trenches

No matter whose amazing book we may have just read, or whatever eloquent interview just played on the radio, or even that astounding blog post we may have just happened upon, when it comes right down to it, some of the most life-changing, attitude-adjusting words can come from the women in the trenches next to us.

 

I’m not even kidding. There have been several times in the last few years that a friend has casually said something in passing and while she’s already moved on to the next topic, I’m still trying to catch my breath from what just came out of her like it was nothing.

 

Let me explain. I’ve said before that I am a perfectionist. But you’d never know it by looking at my life on the outside. My house is usually disorganized . . . well, really, my life is a bit disorganized. You see, unlike the perfectionism which drives most women to be Superwoman, my particular brand of perfectionism usually paralyzes me into doing nothing. Start some new project? Well, you see, I know it won’t come out the way I want it, soooooo, I just don’t do it at all.

 

This is a suffocating, boring way to live, and by the grace of God, I am working on this. But my fellow-mama, well, really just woman-friends, the ones who’ve been right next to me, fighting in the kid-raising, house-cleaning, husband-loving trenches? They help release my tightly-clenched, perfectionistic grip.

 

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Back when I was in my last year of nursing school, I had a friend about 20-25 years older than me tell me, “You can do anything for a year.” She was a nurse herself. She had lived the life I was currently living and my weary soul sopped up every ounce of her words. She was right. I did it. I frequently think about her words in parenting. Because when you’re taking care of a newborn who’s waking every two hours and you’re not getting any sleep? It feels like life is never going to change. That you’re going to be stuck with no sleep for the rest of your life. Thankfully, in parenting (at least in parenting young children), there are rarely things that you have to do for a whole year.  Children hurry along through their little phases so quickly and just when you’re getting used to them, you’re left with an aching heart, wondering how that phase was over so quickly….

 

Potty-training?

 

Teaching a little heart not to whine?

 

Pulling a little climber off the dining room table for the fourth time in 5 minutes? (Ahem, this would be me)

 

“You can do anything for a (fill in: a few weeks, a few months, a year).”

 

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When I was pregnant with my firstborn, several women shared mothering advice at my baby shower and a little nugget stuck with me.

This was from a woman with seven children. She lived in the trench.

 

“When you walk in a room and find your children have created a disaster and you just want to cry? Take a picture of it. It gives you a bigger perspective and will make you smile.”

 

Oh, have I taken this fun advice to heart….

A recent "tent" made by Firefly.

Crayon . . . on our glider's ottoman. It all came out. 😉

Dove is ALWAYS getting into my makeup....

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And then there was the time a friend and I were talking about keeping our houses clean. I was talking about how I just never have time to mop or dust as much as I used to and how I thought her house always looks nice.

 

This mother with three children replied, “You know, my house is rarely clean. I just keep up on clutter. Every time I walk through the house, I carry something with me that needs put away.”

 

Hmmm . . . that sounded manageable.  Much more manageable than keeping up with two young children 24/7 and have a spic and span house. I’ve found her words empowering. Clutter. A manageable enemy. And if I do keep on top of it (I’m still working on it!), then it’s much easier to actually clean because I have a clean slate.

 

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And last, but certainly not least, I have a friend who completely changed my attitude about being a good mother. She’s one of those girls who when you meet her, you instantly feel like you could tell her anything and she would still give you a big ol’ hug and send you home feeling like you’re the most special person in the world.

 

We were at a women’s Bible study one day, both at the coffee/tea counter, grabbing something warm to drink beforehand.

 

“Hmmm . . . I’m not sure which tea flavor to choose. I already had my mug of coffee this morning,” I said, trying to make small talk.

 

“Oh?” she asked with her raised eyebrows. “Are you still nursing the baby or something and watching your caffeine?”

 

“Oh, no. I just try to be good and limit my coffee to one mug a day,” I explained.

 

“Well, let me tell you something, girl,” she said, like she was letting me in on some deep secret. Little did I know, she was. “I’ve found that I’m a much happier mama if I sit down at 4:00 in the afternoon and have me an oreo and another mug of coffee. If I get that little boost in the afternoon, I can make it through bath time and actually be a fun mama while doing it. I’ll work on my caffeine intake in 10 years or so when the boys are putting themselves to bed.”

 

I’m telling you, girls. That was revolutionary thinking to me. Because she showed me to look at the big picture. Not every single detail of my life is going to be perfect. But so what? There are some battles just not worth fighting in particular seasons of life. So, if an extra cup of coffee helps me be a happier mama? I’m going for it.

 

So, listen to your friends, dears. One little sentence might just rock your world.

Wallflower

I watch her eyes follow her big sister. The Dove observes the Firefly and everything comes earlier because she’s been watching. The talking, the crawling, the climbing, the walking all come before I’m ready and I’m unprepared for the surprise. At about 10 months, she begins playing dress up. She’s watched her big sister clothe herself in the costume gowns and necklaces, and Dove begins that early too. She brings a hat to her Daddy one evening, and indulging her, he places it on her head. She gives us a look of excited curiosity and crawls, quick as lightning, to the over-sized mirror in our hallway. She looks at her reflection and smiles, satisfied. My Man and I look at each other in nervous disbelief. 10 months old and she’s already doing this?! She’s been watching someone . . . and Firefly cannot possibly fathom her effect.

And you can learn a lot about a man by studying his beloved, can’t you? She is his reflection and sometimes his mirror, but you learn what he values and how he loves and things he won’t necessarily tell you himself.

And I wonder.

His bride is far from perfect and she is cleansed, but still being sanctified, so for this analogy, you have to ignore her dust-propensities . . . but what of her beauty? What does the earthly Bride tell us of the Heavenly Groom?

And I watch as Dove watches her sister. She tries to keep up with her and she tries to mimic her and she tries to learn of life from her . . . maybe she learns more from her big sister than she does from her parents?

Like Dove, I watch and learn. I learn from you, dear sisters.

I watch a young woman as she and her husband anguish in their infertility. They cling to the Life-Bringer and hope shimmers. They cling to each other and love is sown. I learn from my little sister.

I watch a friend struggle for unity with her husband as they seek God’s plan for their family. She waits. They find unity where least expected. I study this.

I watch a daughter of the King wrestle lies of being unlovable, abandoned and alone. She wields the sword of truth and she is a warrior. She teaches me.

I watch a woman of faith contend with her husband’s unfaithfulness. Within herself, she daily fights for her marriage, forgiving again and again the bleeding wounds to her soul. She illuminates. I watch her.

I learn from you, my sisters. I am just one in the cloud of witnesses, watching you run your race.

I toddle, arms outstretched.