Category Archives: little women

Good-Bye To Winter {Five-Minute Friday}

On Fridays, we link up with Lisa-Jo at the gypsy-mama and we write for only five minutes with a one-word prompt, without worrying if it’s perfect–no backtracking, over-thinking, or editing. In Lisa-Jo’s words, we throw caution to the wind–in my words–FUN! Maybe you would like to join us? Click on her button at the bottom…So here goes…

Prompt: Good-bye.

GO.

Good bye to winter, that season that always brings cold through my soul.
Good bye to old ways and old habits, old days that were no good to me, but God knew
God knew something greater was forming
Good bye to despondency and guilt, depression and darkness
Good bye to the lull and the void
Good bye to days of nothingness and feeling worthless
God knows I am worth something–He knew me and formed me, knitted me
Good bye to the pain of bearing children that I feel inadequate to raise into little ladies into godly women
God knew that He would give me grace enough
Good bye to all those days that wore me down, drug me down with the weight of them and carried me to the depths
God knew that He would save me
Good bye to the days of not being strong enough to teach, shape, learn, listen, mold, love, cherish, honor, celebrate
Good bye to the babies that they were
God knew they would grow up and He would give me more than enough wisdom

STOP.

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Little Ballerinas

Papers scattered, computer on my lap, soft couch cushion underneath, I look at the little faux fire blazing and type away, lost in a sea of cyber-words. Four year old Bella’s large blue-orbed eyes find mine, grounding me, and she asks, “Mama, will you come play ballerina with me?” My legs crossed indian-style, a smile playing on my lips at her angel cuteness, I tell her yes, in just a minute.

When I finish writing to a friend, I walk into their room, toys strewn about, pine floor barely peeking through. “I’m ready to play ballerina now. What should I do?”

“You be the teacher, Mama. Yes, you have to wear a ballerina outfit like us, a teacher-ballerina outfit.” Excitement lifts them up on their toes, and their voices jump decibals higher. I laugh at them, and tell them the first thing to do is to pick up all the toys so we have room to dance, and I will be back.

So feeling extremely silly, I go find tights, a slip-skirt, and black leotard-like top. Their eyes shine when they see me and when I turn and twirl into their room, clapping my hands and calling, “Okay, class, line up” in a sing-song soprano, they little-girl giggle and I see them really looking at me, in a new light. Their innocence betrays them and their fresh God-image faces reflect rapturous joy and that I must be doing something right.

I put in Handel’s Messiah and I have them to plie’ and do stretches on the bar and I spin and teach them a dance. They go leaping through the air. The early morning sun’s rays catch them in all their beauty–just in this one moment, this moment that will never return.

I have never felt sillier nor have I ever felt more free.

I go over to the player at their request and we play “Musical Ballet”. When I stop the music, they are frozen in their lifts and little girl twirls, and this is a perfectly freeze-framed moment for a mama.

Time really does seem to stop. 

They hold hands, all four of them, and they go ’round and ’round in the neverending circle of sunrise’s gleaming hope, it streaming across their faces. The shadows fall but I don’t see the shadows–I only see their souls radiating and shining light, and it makes them so alive.

It bedazzles me and I’m enthralled because I don’t know how it happened, but I am caught up in the way a dimple beams at me, the way a soft cheek captures warmth right there, the way Lorna’s wavy golden locks waterfall over her small framed shoulders, glinting light glorious.

In our crazy kid-energy afforded by play, I sat on the little woven rug in front of the dollhouse and helped them shine it new, and glued down miniature furniture so tiny hands could not break it–a love-project put off for many months.

When we were finished, my daughters were so proud and I was proud too, to call myself Mama.

We tasted contentment’s sweet milk and it delighted us and we drank in the nourishment at joy’s swelled hope.

We danced wild, laughing, letting the morning carry us smoothly along right through freedom’s doors into wide-open joy.

Gratitude:

#584 How when I ask Bella to help Lilly into her boot, she says, “I can’t–I promise, because I’m just a little girl.”

#585 How Bella furrows her brow at me, “Mama, Ivy slapped me on my ankle,” holding up her elbow, and I absent-mindedly lift up the elbow of my sink-water drenched shirt, she says, “No, Mama, not your ankle, MY ankle!”

3 ugly-beautifuls gifts…
#586 taking care of sick children
#587 with Hubs sick, eldest daughter helps
#588 germy, dirty house now sparkling

3 gifts from the past–that help me trust the future…
#589 relationships in church body mended–stepping out on a limb trusting Him to catch me
#590 hurts in family past getting some healing
#591 my favorite book, old and tattered, given by my Grandma, being the first read-aloud the girls and i do together, taking turns

a gift dull, a gift shimmering, a gift cleaned…
#592 antique table given by Granny showing wear and marks from children as I snap a picture of little hands grabbing cinnamon rolls
#593 beautiful floral designed diamond engagement ring given by Husband
#594 knit blanket washed and couch scrubbed, floors shiny for sister to come over to watch nieces while me and Husband go on day-date

3 gifts at 3 p.m…
#595 warm, soft breezy day,
#596 blanket on the porch w kids piled up & popcorn,
#597 me on the swing writing my thanks

#598 Ivy’s reverent whisper of conviction as she stares out to the yard,”It’s a beautiful day today.”

3 gifts green…glorious signs of Spring!
#599 thick clover in the backyard

#600 shoots of life coming up in pots

#601 tiny buds on my favorite spring tree blooming

3 gifts wore…
#602 turquoise studded silver bracelet given by Granny
#603 soft, comfy scarf given by sister
#604 gorgeous shirt gifted to Husband that looks smashing on him!

3 gifts hard to give thanks for…
#605 making it on very little these past few weeks until our finances get worked out–being creative with making money stretch
#606 muddy, swampy back yard, rain making green life come up, me and girls sloshing around in rainboots and clogs
#607 nice, huge pile of tree limbs from tree that fell in yard to make a bonfire–smores makings bought, weinies, drinks, and wood too wet to burn–so we take our smores inside to the stove and happily eat up

If you would like to join the JOY DARE? click here for more info, a beautiful camera giveaway, and a gorgeous free printable from Ann…

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Little Women



In the winter of 2010, with Husband working a lot, we Simmons girls huddled together on the couch, the old crochet blanket our assuagement, the red-eyed heater our sun and glowing warmth, and our favorite old movie our cheer.

Lorna, always the original mind, having grown listless, said, “I am so bo-o-ored with just sitting in the house all the time.” She dreamt up a theatrical for her sisters to perform while she directed. These little women of mine did a good job of making fun and persuading their parents to join in. They were so merry, their wild imaginations soaring and landing who knows where. There were all sorts of new worlds to see and characters to play. Of course, Ivy complained, as usual, “I’m tired of playing the boy…Why can’t I be the lost girl?” She entreated for her part and her sisters were won over, as the velvet dress was placed in her hands. Bella, being the smallest and youngest of the three, and most in need of exerting her will, frowned at being told how to act out her scene and made it an arduous effort for her director-sister.

















In the late evenings when we heard Mr. Simmons come to the door, all joyously met him with a chorus-cry of “Daddy!” There would be much jumping on the leg and clutching of his arm, all gathering around and cloaking him in affection and devotion. Lilly’s sunny little face, smile spread wide, would run in unsteady haste to him, and attack him with her tiny, chubby baby hands. “Hey little Lilly!” he exclaimed. “Hey babe”, with a kiss to the lips. We all would follow him to his throne where he would be entertained with our histrionics and melodramatic tellings of the happenings of our day.

Lorna- “Daddy, Mama made us do chores ALL DAY, and I have made up a play for everyone and I want you and Mama to come to see our play after supper, okay?”

Ivy- ” Daddy, today-at school- I did not have to move my clip ALL day, and Mrs. Pat says that I am her baby because I am the littlest in the class!”

Isabella- dimpled cheeks glowing radiant–“Dadddy, I catch a frog today–look! He isn’t moving!”

Lillian- “Da-nay”-her special way of saying Daddy

Gratitude:

#179 that with the regrets of sinful behavior, when we fail one another–there is also this–a tight-knit family–all six of us–loving one another, making home and shelter in the grace of God

#180 a humble pink flower delivered to my desk by tiny hands, tucked and pressed into a small envelope and the contents, “i love you”

#181 a day full of trudging for our whole family

#182 i know that this trudging is God’s way of growing us and who knows who we will be when we emerge?

#183 these–Ann Voskamp’s words contained in this book –a light to me in my darkest night–“It is in the dark that God is passing by. God in in the tremors. Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by. In the blackest, God is closest, at work, forging His perfect and right will. Though it is black and we can’t see and our world seems to be free-falling and we feel utterly alone, Christ is most present to us, I-beam supporting in earthquake.” Thank you, for these words, Ann!

#184 a special, comforting hug from a daughter who is too “big” to need Mama’s lovin’

#185 Lorna’s mumbling protest when i leave the kitchen, “I’m not going to play this game if i can’t play it my way.” and her response to her Daddy when asked what she means–“don’t you understand teenager talk, Daddy?” oh my.

#186 continuing my gratitude list when the days have been HARD and i don’t feel like it

#187 carrot polish on tiny fingernails and piggie style braids by big sister

#188 brown hen’s eggs sitting next to one another, waiting to be cracked

#189 baby spinach summer salad and Lorna’s “I made it with Daddy’s special dressing”

#190 delving out wholesome food to my children and watching them take in life

#191 following Husband when he says there isn’t enough and we have to be patient and the security of being provided for and protected from the dark pit of greed

#192 a fridge full of food

#193 air conditioning–even if it is only one unit for this large house–what a luxury

#194 the simple delight of beautiful, second-hand free clothes from a neighbor, and Lorna’s excitement, ” i love all of my new clothes!”

#195 Lorna’s prayer, “God, help our family, especially Mama.”

#196 that we have started praying together at bedtime again after a dry season

#197 girls organizing and cleaning laundry, bins, and piles of bed linens to make Mama happy, and a teary thank you–if the laundry room is a castle, then i am a queen!

#198 that God has “people” who take care of His daughters!

#199 dear new friends that God sent to encourage, and one with a very special gift sent to my door–strangers made friends across the web and i am in awe

#200 trying to hold onto slippery grace

#201 my sweet girls making my bed–i feel i am somehow being rewarded for years of taking care of their every need

#202 a week-long illness, a relapse, this dark place that won’t lift, that God still has me and He is nearest.

#203 this song and this song here is a different version with the musician’s heart and prayer behind the song, with live piano…these songs encompass my prayer for this week if you would like to listen– i know of no other music that is more gospel-centered or musicians with purer hearts