Have you ever met someone, and instantly after you realize that you really want to get to know them? That they are the kind of people that you want to be around and to learn from? You want them in your life, to be a consistent part of it? I have two such friends that are on my heart today.
walking in his boots. up to my hips in daddy’s shoes.
sitting in his lap watching tv.
changes. in me. in him. in time.
then enough time changes.
and i’m a grown woman and he an older version of my daddy.
of life. of memories shared from his childhood.
revealing a bit more of his life that i never thought to ask about.
we speak now.
of life; of mine. of his.
and i miss him
he held the door for my daughter and me, then tipped his hat.
“Thank you,” i said with a smile.
his returned smile caused me to remembered…
being raised in the wide open spaces of West Texas. where sunsets filled the horizon and tumble weeds were more prevalent than trees. where oil equaled money. and “hot” meant a temperature of 100+ in the shade.
where men held open doors for EVERY lady. and “Ma’am” and “Sir” were part of everyday conversation.
that Southern Charm was something you did, not something you were taught.
i always thought i’d marry a cowboy and grow old on a porch swing watching sunsets in the desert.
but i’m so THANKFUL that God wanted MORE for me than i wanted for myself.
that He hand-picked a “Yankee” to sweep me off my feet.
he may not be a Southern boy, but he’s mine!
he may not wear a Stetson, but he looks quite cute in the occasional baseball cap.
he may prefer flip flops to spurs…
he may drive “the man van” instead of a big truck…
he may be a “Yankee” but he’s still my charming man!
he may not resemble John Wayne, but he resembles JESUS CHRIST which is A MUCH BETTER MAN!
HE’S MINE and I AM HIS!
and WE CHOOSE to do life together…till one of us goes home to wait for the other.
i do not live in the desert anymore. trees are sometimes less prevalent than corn. but i do still enjoy the occasional fabulous sunset.
Courteous Southern Charm is present and TAUGHT in our home.
we are slowly teaching our girls never to accept less. especially from boys that will one day haunt visit our home.
I want my sweet girls to have doors opened for them. i want that boy to be enamored with her heart.
and so, these are the rules:
- he will shake their father’s hand before asking to court our daughter.
- he will call me “ma’am”.
- he will open my baby’s door and be a man of honor or he will not get a shot at her hand!
- he will be genuine and faithful to Christ.
- and he will be worthy of her.
and when the day comes when we give her away, he will pledge himself to her and choose to do life with her till death.
cause every lady deserves that.
the occasional tipping of a hat is a plus too! 🙂
in my teens and early twenties i hated to cry. i did my best not to, specially when people could see.
now…i cry and i’m better.
my husband would tell you that i wear my heart on my sleeve. and he would be right.
do you ever wonder why we cry? it’s silly really when you think about it, water makes it where you can’t see and you get snot everywhere. but it’s so cleansing sometimes, isn’t it?
washing away the worry, the fear, the anger, the hard. making you better afterward.
i think tears are a good thing, a needed thing, and sometimes the only thing…
my oldest babe is emotional like her mother, and i don’t want life to harden her! i don’t want her to ever feel like she cannot cry or to live in a world where tears are not allowed!
i don’t want her to live a life dictated by how she feels either!
this week as she wept because she was confused. i closed my eyes (i do that to focus when i’m agitated…try it it’s a good trick!) and held her little hands in mine.
“you are in control of your emotions. you need to tell your eyes to stop…we can fix this after you are in control again.”
no it didn’t help. she went to lay down for a bit, and came back later, better.
we are in control of our emotions, they do not control us.
i think we get that wrong so often. letting “our feelings” dictate our actions , leaving the conscious choice by the wayside along with the repercussions that said emotions caused.
we do have control over them if we so choose.
and that’s what i try to teach my girls. not that their tears are bad, but that they don’t have to cry if they don’t want to.
i’m sure we’ll have to learn that lesson in reverse the first time their little hearts get broken and when puberty makes life confusing. but for now, i hope we are learning how to trust the Father to dictate life and not our feelings.
as for me…i’m learning to “use my words” instead of my tears.
i’m learning to save them for when there are no words. when cleansing is what the Father needs to do.
and i’m finding it’s better this way…
“what do you want to be when you grow up?” she asked as we floated in our flip-side pool pretending to be in a big one.
“a nun or a mom.” was always my answer.
“but what else?”
every time i give my testimony, it begins something like this:
“i always wanted to be a nun or a mom. and since i’m not Catholic, i’m a mom.”
giggles and head nods usually follow.
“mom” is defined as: a female parent. but “mom” is so much more than that.
she’s a late night snuggler, a definer of words, an answer-er of questions, feeder of mouths, changer of diapers, tickle monster, doer of laundry, player of repetitive games, reader of repetitive books, color-er of pages, lover of husband, and is honored to love her children.
whether she works outside of the home or not, she is so much more than “a female parent.”
i miss my girls when they’re not with me. i don’t know what to do w/ myself when they’re absent.
i’m sure to some it would seem that i have no life. that i’m stuck at home all day. or that i have actually ever had a bonbon or watched a soap opera.
BUT I DON’T SEE IT THAT WAY!
i am living my calling.
not always with a sincere smile on my face, not always w/ a quiet and gentle tone, but LIVING it nonetheless.
yesterday #2 asked me, “what does a soul look like?”
“it looks like who you really are. we are a soul with a body on.” i replied.
her sister went on to explain it in kid terms.
i looked at #2 as her little mind switched topics and smiled.
it’s an honor to be their “female parent.” to watch them grow. to start to understand the world around them. and in all of that, i pray that i’m living my calling to the fullest.
not only putting their needs before my own, not only struggling to learn patience, but LIVING this MOM Calling.
and not only because i’m not catholic, but because THE FATHER chose me for this calling. CHOSE ME! me with all my faults, with my temper, and with my “what about me?”s.
i was hand picked to be their mother. and i’m humbled by the thought.
do i fear messing them up? YES!
do i fear they’re missing something because this moron is their mother? YES!
but as in all things i hear HIM say, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
and ya know what, i don’t think i would have chosen to be a nun anyway.
P.S. you. yes you, dear mother. you are precious. you are doing the most difficult, most fulfilling JOB there is. you are shaping lives. being used by THE CREATOR to help grow a person. you are ENOUGH! Jesus offers strength in your weakness. Rest in your exhaustion, and joy in the sad and difficult. how do i know? BECAUSE HE IS GIVING ME THE SAME THING! and I know i couldn’t live another day if He didn’t. so hold your chin up, and embrace this mom-calling. i’m rooting for you from here.
but somehow THE FATHER grew us both.
my man and i have a love that others thought would never go anywhere.
meeting in an unconventional way,
courting rather than “dating”.
my man and i…
he loves me well! he loves me his way!
making me rest when i don’t really want to, but knowing he loves me and i need it.
taking the full irresponsibility of the girls, so i can recoop and get back to happy.
bringing me flowers just because…
not celebrating traditional holidays of “love” because we say it often…A LOT and mean it EVERY.TIME!
being the MAN of this sometimes to small house.
loving me as he takes over the parenting after a long day at work (with mostly women surrounding him there).
accompanying me not just on guitar but in living this life!
“the first time i held his hand i knew i’d marry him.” i say to a group of ladies monday.
they smile and the married ones know…this love that GOD has ordained and blessed.
this love that doesn’t look like everyone else’s…because it’s ours.
tomorrow is valentines day….but today is the day to love each other…and we do it well.
10 years went by like a blink…and i’m aiming for a slower next 50+to come,
loving my hytimecymbaline because HE first loved us both!
i’m not the best mom…i miss that elusive mark ALL THE TIME!
yesterday was one such mark-missing-day. and in my venting and rage Jesus shed some light…
a few weeks ago Pastor taught a message on the GIFT of JESUS.
how He’s A GIFT so we can’t earn his love.
he’s a GIFT so we get to choose what we do with the love He offers.
how that THE FATHER has given us Jesus as a GIFT that He will never take from us.
that this GIFT of Salvation that only comes from JESUS, is a FREE GIFT!
so after i “gave” my youngest one of my old dolls…one of my favorites that i’ve had for 25 years…and she drew hair on him and lost part of his outfit, all in the span of 30 minutes…i QUICKLY forgot what a gift was.
Webster defines “GIFT” as “something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation“
after losing it yet again, i went to lay down and raged at God. you know the “why can’t they________?”s that mom’s ask knowing the answer is because they’re kids and they’ll learn with practice and time.
God’s answer was to remind me of that sermon…that in order for a GIFT to be so, it is given, not with stipulations or obligations on the recipients part, but with expectation of the joy of its reception. and my job as the giver of this gift was to rejoice with my 5yr old toe-head as she added hair to this bald baby who was missing it.
one thing i did right that day was to call her to me, tell her that the GIFT OF JESUS is a gift that we can’t ever earn. He will never leave us because we treated HIM “wrong” and that He has offered us Himself and we get the choice of what to do with His Love! That His offer to be with Him forever is a FREE gift and IT’S THE BEST ONE.
i know she didn’t get all of what I said, but I did. i know that as she looked at me with tears in her eyes, i was the one that needed to ask forgiveness. not only of God but of her little precious self as well.
after lots of lovin and cuddles, I got what He was shedding light upon.
and Boo got her doll back…who still is missing pieces and now has hair.