Choosing To Belong In Love {a day-after-Valentines celebration of marriage and family}

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--when Husband and I don't get along, my world just slides right off-kilter. 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 roar-whispers to 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, little angels, bringing our dinner plates, and serving us--she has even dressed her sisters up for the occasion. I am in awe and a little speechless. 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 not a queen. 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.

There is a wall of guilt around my heart making the blood like quicksand, and there is a mountain in front of me called fear, paralyzing me, holding me back, making it hard for me to engage, making it hard for me to love.

Sadness looms heavy and ballooning, sucking the air and the courage right out of me and I don't know how to climb over.

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.

And right here in this sweet, sacred moment, the air full of glory around us,

I'm so glad that I had the courage to break free and love, and BE loved,

and we are all caught up in belonging--to one another in love and to Him, our Creator--we belong in all it's fullness and completeness, we are held, in Him who is over all things and in Him who is in all things.

Here I am loved.

Here I love.

an edited post from archives

If you are interested in checking out our dreamy Valentines Day together...much crafting and baking beauty to behold...and a sweet list of "Love Is...", click here...

Join me at Ann's for more thoughts on how we love in difficult places, how we live out the greatest of commandments?....


  1. Breathtaking beauty in word and image. May your Valentine's Day of love expand to a lifetime.

    1. thank you, Dawn! so good to see you here again! i will come by to visit you--it's been a while.

      blessings in His grace,


  2. Oh, beautiful. You. Your Daughters. Your husband. Your willingness to love and be loved. Thank kyou

    1. oh wow, Alicia! im so glad you liked it. to love and to be loved...these two things are the greatest things to learn, and the hardest.


  3. Nacole this one made me cry. What a sweet precious gift you have in your girls (Lorna has that quiet thing going on like her daddy) but she has the sweetest heart. I love you and your family. Hold on cuz God is on your side!! Love you Mama

    1. thank you, Mama! your words mean so much--i have cried several times reading this as well--and when i wrote it. love you!



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