It is evening and we've had an argument...I have been crying on his chest...showing the weakness that I hate to show, but it is the weakness that, in spite of me, softens him. I am weary from life, and all that seeks to destroy me, wear me down, and take me under. We are moving around, speaking to one another, trudging forward through the thick mud around our feet, desperately needing a change, but knowing that this is what change feels like--it is the uncomfortableness of moving forward when it is really hard. Then he comes and tells me while I'm in the shower, that my eldest daughter has asked that I wear my black special occasion dress, and that she is preparing something for us. I ask, "Why?" He says, "I'm not sure what is going on, but she says she is doing something for us, and she wants us to get dressed."

This takes me out of my comfort zone--I don't feel like getting dressed up in my fancy black dress--I feel like resting--it's been a rough day. I want to hide, because it is hard to feel that I belong. But I summon the courage to get dressed up and go to the dining room.

She tells her Daddy, “Don’t forget what you are supposed to do, Daddy.” He pulls out the chair for me, and I sit down. I feel like I am in an alternate universe, not really sure what is happening.

I hear Nora Jones' soft, bluesy voice wafting in from the kitchen. I smile, knowing what she is up to, but there is no way that I could be prepared for what is to come.

They come in, bringing our dinner plates, and serving us--she has even dressed her sisters up for the occasion. I am in awe. And when she sets down the very humble little meal she has prepared in front of me, I do my best to let her see that I appreciate it. My children are daily teaching me lessons that no sermon could ever teach.

And then the dessert--such a wild, imaginative thing that only a child could dream up. I know that she has been watching some cooking shows, and trying her hand with creativity, and I am amazed that she soaks everthing around her up like a sponge. Noone has told her yet that she "can't". As she sets the plate in front of me, I know that it is just the plastic plate belonging to her little sister--not normally a plate fit for a dining table, but it doesn't matter. I try to stay in the moment and feel this queenliness that she wants to make me feel.

But I am so humbled, and it is though at the moment my paradigm is shifting, and everything seems to be sliding. And I know that I am having to try too hard...what a wretch I am, that I can't feel the happiness in this moment. And then she says, "Okay, are you finished with your plates?" and clears them away. "Now", she says, "it is time for the dance", eyeing her Father. So he takes my hand and leads me to the kitchen.

My head is spinning--I am not sure what to think. It has been years since this...dancing, closeness, this intimacy, and it is hard...I feel the air closing in around me. I feel the bittersweetness and insecurity of a new pattern that is not normal to our relationship. And I know he feels it too. I hear him say, "Been a long time since we've done this, huh? I can hardly find my voice, but when I do, I think I sound like a croaky, silly adolescent, unsure of myself and not wanting to let myself fully into the desire of the thing. I answer and stumble around, "Yes, it's been..um..10 years." I think about Lorna, and why she is doing this for us. Does she feel the tension, the stress?

As he holds me close, I begin to melt and everything all wound up tight begins to unravel, in a very, very good way--the way that only he can make things unravel for me. This is where my peace is--I have had to be away from him before, and I know that there is no peace in that. This is where I belong. And should I apologize for saying this and not giving God credit for my peace? I don't think so--I believe that He ordained that I would feel only truly whole when I give myself over to another--completely giving and allowing myself to be vulnerable enough to feel complete in another's arms. Here is where and how I come to God.

The more we dance, the looser and freer we are. The more free we are, the more the joy deep inside wells up. I stop worrying about Lorna. One day she will have to know about the stresses and arguments, down days and sadness of life. All I can do, being human, is to show her how to deal with those things when they come. Maybe if I'm looking at Him, whom i belong to, while she is looking at me, then everything will be alright.

And then my little girl takes me back twenty-something years ago to when I was a little girl, dancing on Daddy's feet. And it makes me smile pure joy.

My gratitude:

#157 a day of swimming 1/2 mile in the lake--getting stronger

#158 fighting fears

#159 girls swinging on ropes--advice from a friend to let go more often

#160 my three littlest girls learning to swim

#161 Bella, apprehensive to get in the water, jumping in and swimming like a fish after a few minutes

#162 Bella's 4th birthday party--while feeling the sadness of her daddy being at work, knowing that he and I are united for our daughter's day

#163 This hardship has taught us to be a team--and the satisfaction of seeing the fruits of the labor of all of these years

#164 another woman's wisdom and encouragement and I can listen because I know she has walked this road too

#165 friends that keep calling and writing

#166 that only my husband can love me the way he does

#167 a movie with just me and my girls, some popcorn and coke, and a screen bigger than life

#168 Bella, as I was trying to leave her with her Granny, when asked if she was sure she could stay awake for the entire movie, replying (with her cute lisp and nodding enthusiastically) "yesth."

#169 Lilly running unsteadily and determinedly up to her sisters, grabbing them, folding into them in a hug

#170 eldest daughter, growing up so fast, so aware of the way things are in the world, creating a romantic moment for her stressed, burned out parents

#171 the grace to accept in humility this moment that my daughter gives, even though I feel undeserving, and what I really want to do is hide

#172 that God's love brings me out into the open--all of my fears, failures, and insecurities want to retreat into isolation and darkness, but His love brings all things into the light and He refines me with fire.

#173 He uses my children to teach me

#174 because of this, I see a path by which i can learn to truly love, cherish, and respect them for the individuals they are

#175 husband's texts and messages--checking on me, his love always there to catch me on a bad day

#176 having an upset stomach after an argument and a night stayed away from home and husband because it was too late to drive, and then the feeling of urgency to get home to his arms

#177 knowing that this is where i belong

#178 when i don't understand the body of Christ, when my perspective is jaded, when people hurt and disappoint me, my husband that God gave to me is always there as the head, receiving direct shepharding for me from the Shephard and i can't stray too far away from truth--and this truth amazes me.


  1. Oh Nacole,
    This is one of the most beautiful things I've ever read... your heart, your love, your daughter, the love in your husband's eyes for YOU.

    You are blessed beyond measure.

    Yet, I know and understand some of those deep rooted fears and anxiety and all of that "mess."

    But you, my dear are a beautiful mess to be sure.

    I don't know you but I love you dear sister.

  2. haha! i am so overjoyed at you, Keisha, that all i can do is laugh and sit here in amazement. i wish you were here in MS! i am sure we would get along fine. and i already love you as well. your heart is a treasure.

    "beautiful mess"--i'll take that. im wearing a big smile today that YOU put there, in the midst of serious struggles--some that i have only mentioned (on #178) on the blog--thanks for that. really.

  3. I love the rawness of this post...what a beautiful story...what a special daughter...the children will lead us...
    keep yielding to Him in the moments...He makes all things new.
    Thanks for stopping by place...
    You said you loved books...Sacred Marriage...great book...I would also highly recommend..Mystery of Marriage by Mike Mason...if you love Ann...you will love him as well. Ann shared that he had impacted her life as well.
    Stepping Heavenward...a classic...my oldest daughter read it until it was worn...tattered and torn.

  4. Now I'm smiling! :)

    Giddy joy. You are a kindred spirit and so wish we could get to know each other over a cup of coffee.

    Maybe someday?

    Keep writing, your heart is beautiful.
    I am overjoyed to be able to sit in on your life and see the very hand of God.


  5. Ells,

    i am ecstatic that you came by! good to see you here. thank you for recommending the book, Mystery of Marriage. i think i just might have to get my hands on that one, while i am ordering some books for the girls. the girls and i, although i don't do it often enough, like to read Stepping Heavenward at bedtime. maybe we will do that tonight ;) thanks for your visit, and blessings to you!

  6. I would love to know what you think..if you end up reading it...enjoy

  7. Keisha,

    i just want to say--YES! someday, whether here or in Heaven, but someday. i have been trying to get over to your blog to visit you. will see you there soon.

  8. Beautiful. I love the way God worked in your daughters heart to create thatoment for you. Amazing the ways in which he draws us back to him. I loved reading this. Thank you so much for sharing the depths of your heart.

  9. gorgeous. i think i know this spot, the weariness of it, the trudging through. how beautiful to have peace restored, especially when it comes through the thoughtful planning of a child. you're doing well, both as mama and soul-mate.

  10. hi Christina,

    thanks for your words, and taking the time to come by and write them down over here in my corner. yes, the ways that He draws us back to Him...i like that. :)

  11. Nic,

    thanks so much for dropping by and for your kind, vulnerable words--it is these kind of words that i heart the most--the kind that let me know that i am not alone...we are all in it together, aren't we? and the most beautiful thing? HE is the head, and He is in control...He has me and won't let go and for that I love Him. blessings, sister.

  12. When you say you are blessed by your daughter's giving but are so undeserving - I remember feeling like I didn't deserve God's love because I wasn't in the "inner" circle of 12. How could He love me like that, like Peter, James and John. Then somebody told me, "We're just all daughter's of the King." And then, who I was to Him unfurled - literally in a 2 hour period - what it meant to be a daughter of the king. Deserving of all kinds of love.

    I've had a virus this week that left me dizzy and feeling like spaghetti - and I was not able to be the mom my boys deserve (plus dad's in China) - and I felt helpless - and then life changes with our move, they caught up with me - and I cried all over Skype! LOL - I so didn't feel up to EVERYTHING - but I had taken my eye off the ball (God) so to speak, and like Peter, I started sinking.

    I envy you daughters - girls who are sensitive to girl things - and know how to hug you in girl ways that you need - it is a beautiful thing.

    I also feel that way about my husband - that I can be all torn up inside and he just makes all those things tormenting slide away:) God knew just what you and I needed.

    The devil must have been working overtime this week! I'll be praying for you for next week - for both of us - that we focus on faith and hope! If you join with me, well, then when 2 are in agreement - we can do anything!

    I missed stopping by - but I am feeling so much better now! Be blessed dear friend! Remember, God has "people" who take care of His daughters!

  13. Nacole, so glad you helped me find your blog by commenting on mine today! Your writing is beautiful--so is your family and your heart for God. If this is what your faith looks like when it's "waning," I can't imagine how it will shine when it gets stronger! God's most joyous blessings to you!

  14. OK - first of all my friend, if you ever stop writing I'm sending Laska the love Kitty to Alabama or Tennessee or where ever you are in the South - oh, that's right, it's Mississippi :-)and he will just sit there and stare at you until you begin to write again – I'll missed the love Kitty while he's gone – so you better not let him stare too long – but he's just going to sit there until you write – because your words are too good. I can't ever seem to read you without tearing up. Your words touch the heart. This is why I read and blog in the "Christian mommy blog" community – you just don't get stuff like this from men – and it's stuff like this that I heart. It's stuff like this that makes me write better. The whole story – from the dread of the black dress – to your baby telling your hubs how to act – to the dessert – to the dancing – to the thank you list – to the argument – to the longing to fix the damage – ((((( heart))))) and of your thank you list – I guess I'll just take this time to add a few – I'm thankful you have your babies – and your husband – and I'm thankful that I found your words on the inter-webs :-) God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours Nacole.

  15. Oh Mary Leigh,

    there is no way i can express in words how much i appreciate what you said, and how i am grateful for you--i just want to give you a hug. :)

    a daughter of the King--you have given me something good to meditate on today--thank you for that.

    i WILL pray with you--wow! i would be honored and i am humbled to have your kindness poured out. im so sorry that you havent been well. so thats why i havent seen you around ;) hope you are feeling better...

    blessings, to you too, dear friend, and i like that God has "people" to take care of his daughters, aka ME!

  16. Shaunie,

    it is good to see you here. thanks for joining! and thanks for your very kind words. wow--i am humbled. thanks for this: "If this is what your faith looks like when it's "waning," I can't imagine how it will shine when it gets stronger!" --because i needed to hear this. thank you.


  17. Craig,

    as always, so good to see you here, and from my heart--just--thank you.

    you added to my list? there could be no greater compliment or encouragement than that. go ahead and send Laska--haha. i would love to have him--his title alone conjures up all kinds of warm, gooey feelings!

    thank you so much, Craig, for believing in me and encouraging me in my faith and writing!

    blessings, friend.

  18. This was so precious. Thank you for sharing this moment in time.

  19. thank you, Holly, for being here and letting me know you enjoyed it!




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