Lorna tells me while I'm churning the cream in my coffee with a spoon, watching the white swirls disappear, "You know last night when we were lying in bed, we saw so much lightening--and it never did thunder--just kept flashing over and over really fast. It was scary."
"Yeah," I say, "the lightening was right over us." Thinking the conversation is over, I'm surprised to hear her next question.
"Mama, are we EVER gonna get hurt? In a hurricane, or lightening storm, or car wreck or something? I mean, God is watching over us and protecting us with His angels ALL the time!"
I look at her, caught not as grateful as she, but thankful that I have this angelic being to remind me, because she is not yet affected by this sinning, God-doubting world, I lean in close, kiss her cheek and smile against curls, "Yes, isn't that wonderful? He IS protecting us all the time."
And we hold each other's faces for a moment of gratefulness, our eyes saying everything.
::: ::: :::
All in a spin, a cleaning whirl, Lorna sweeps, the plastic straw brushing across the child-battered wood floor, Ivy picking up toys, trudging back and forth, her feet sounding out a beating drum. And Bella and I are at the buffet table, scrubbing--I'm helping her learn about the methodical steps of wiping and dusting and placing things back where they belong. She wipes along the frame of the painting her father made for me, and pointing to a still-frame, she asks in her four year old voice, "Mama, why you a princess?"
I laugh-speak it, my rag frozen mid-swipe, surprise's grip on my throat (me, a princess?), and I let the sound escape into the air between us, captivated by her perspective: "Well, because," I studder, "I was a bride, and it was my wedding day."
I look at the stroked lines, the veil and pearl tiara, the cathedral train of white and I understand her definition of a princess. She catches me off guard again.
"And Daddy was a prince?"
I giddily smile wide, "Yes, he was."
I'm captured by her musical tones, white halo of hair, blue eyes searching, "Because we got married that day, and Daddy was my prince, come to save me and to have me forever and ever."
"And you know what? One day God will send your prince to you, just like He sent Daddy to me, and you will be a princess too, when you get married."
I marvel at how her eyes light up and her cheeks blush red excitement at the thought of being a princess one day like Mommy.
"Mama, I'm gonna be a princess tonight?"
Lorna giggles at the four year old reasoning, and tells her, "No, Bella, you have to grow up first."
I look at her big eyes, taking it all in, and I scrub, place the painting back where it belongs, thinking about the spinning whirl of life and how God holds us, how He plans, how He writes out our days in His book, how we will hope and we will be disappointed and we will experience the rich blessings of His grace, how she is too young to understand it now, that she is a princess of her Heavenly Father, King of all Kings, and no matter life's disappointments, future failed relationships, or how hard the waiting years are, for it isn't going to happen tonight, but one day--one day, she will really know what it's like to be truly held--in the arms of her lover--and in the arms of God.
::: ::: :::
This week's dose of honesty: Every Monday is hard, every time I write down the list, it is drawing things out of me that need to come to the surface. I try to remember the week's graces, I try to type them down, realizing that I haven't savored and been near thankful enough to even take the time to just stop and pen them down--but I'm getting closer and closer to writing it down on that free printable that lies on my desk. And I'm still here, I'm not good at this list-making, but I'm still going forward, hoping for God to do something earth-quaking in me.
#310 that even if i didn't notice much, I'm seeing now, that He takes care of us constantly and that we daughters are princesses of our Heavenly Father, the King of kings
#311 a fall day spent doing schooling on the porch
#312 laughs and tickles, dimpled faces
#313 beautiful red and golden leaves, colors ablaze in sunset
#314 the natural God-given lens of my eye much better than any camera lens
#315 that i can see to behold all this goodness
#316 my baby always looking back at me when she runs off, tests out her wings, needing that Mama-grounding
#317 neat nursery, shiny wood floor, toys all put away
#318 rocking my baby in the dark
#319 loving her when she is unloveable, when she screams and demands--the way God loves me
#320 how she instantly calms and stops snubbing when I hold her
#321 this season that I don't understand, that it is only because I'm in this flesh-skin that I'm confused, and that God isn't confused--He knows exactly what He is doing
#322 how this gratitude focus and list-making makes me a beauty hunter, camera in hand, lying on the ground, feeling silly, neighbors around, not really caring because this is living
#323 how this grace-counting slows me down to see, and I feel His peace, His joy
#324 a moment at the dinner table, completely ruined by me, how much easier repentance and confession comes now
#325 husband's forgiveness in my failings reflecting God's goodness
#326 how I can have peace in this chaotic time because of God's and husband's shepharding--I marvel
#327 less and less anxiety every day
How are you doing at the list-making? Do you find it an easy discipline or a hard one?
Friends, I ask for your grace and forgiveness as I cannot reply back to any of your kind comments right now--Google has gone haywire on my computer and isn't allowing me access. This has me thinking, though...like another friend said, maybe a quieter blog, a thoughtful, silent post that offers reflection is better? What do you think?
Joining with Ann at A Holy Experience today. Count the graces with us? You can get a free printable to join in and write down your own thanks to God!