How Baby Girls Can Be Last Chances {And Gratitude}

Oh, child, stop growing. Please? Just wait a little while longer.
This mother-heart can't take anymore, but I pray it grows stronger.
You are my last chance, my hope of redemption. Did you know?
You are my last chance, you see, Little One, to get it right-- to laugh long and let the laundry go,

to stare for a moment into your eyes and those dimples
and forget about the buzz of the world, to rock a little longer and to see you as Jesus in disguise. And yes, child, to not yell, to give praise, to not critique and to always, always say it is good.

The giggling, boisterous, loud conversation, the dancing, chasing, the slamming doors--as much as my nerves hate slamming doors--it means you are here, with me now, Precious Love, and you run free through these doors, through these frames of time
that stand still for you, if only I will wait, if only I will abide
here with you a little while longer.

One day, the noise, the dance of feet, these old wood floors trembling,
as a drum trum-trumming, louder and louder, the crescendo and the cadence--
yes, child, the music of you will be missed and all the days that we made it.
It will be like chaff in the wind, blown away, just leaves in the fall,
scattered over so much earth, spread wide and tall.

Because a parent knows that fully-grown wings can fly far, and while I can, I want to gather you in my nest,
hold you to my bosom, and I really do want to raise the bar, never rest. I will push it up with all the mighty strength God has given woman, and I won't stop until I've told you, and you've believed it, His precious one, that you are a treasure to me, in your heart received it
what you are to your Father, in this moment right here, right now, just us the way we are.
You are the light of my life, this life that has known utter darkness but much more beauty and breathtaking light by far.

Do you know, baby girl, that you hold me to this earth? You hold me to it right hard with a magnetic force.
I couldn't leave as long as you are here, and I will stay the course.
That's how powerful your love is and the rise and fall of you leaves me breathless.
You take me to the highest of heights and the lowest of lows and I would scale any mountain wall, let my body slip down any ravine of darkness to save you and of this easy sacrifice any parent knows.

Do you know that you are my chance in this life? You are, child. You are what's real
and you are hope to me. You are what's tangible and all I can feel
and I reach out for you, reach out for this hope of innocence.
And if God exists in this cruel world, I know I've seen Him in you, child, when I can't make sense

of all of it--I know I've seen Him in that heavenly light in your eye,
in that fragrant scent of your mouth as you nurse on my breast,
in that one fell swoop as your eyelashes flutter and you captured me completely in arrest.
I never stood a chance in the face of your irresistible charm, just like I never had a chance when God met me on the road and I fell victim to His irresistible grace.

Idea for birthday pumpkin roll found here on Ann Voskamp's site
Or you can go straight here to see the recipe

Gratitude...Unending thanks and praise to God...

#787 an invitation to a new friend's house, all of our 8 kids playing in backyard, her showing me the things I will be teaching in Classical Conversations homeschooling group this fall, and catching me off-guard, telling me I smile a lot and that will make me a great teacher

#788 Husband's immediate support and excitement about going with me for a 3 day seminar

#789 taking girls to swim team practice and time to run while they are there several times a week

#790 running alone--the refresher it gives, me trimming down...

#791 conquering fears, leaving inadequacy and anxiety in the dust behind my flying feet...

#792 how good it feels to be so alive

#793 the girls learning piano from me--what an overwhelming gift God has given me, to be able to teach my girls--I am amazed at His goodness!! 

#794 3 1/2 mile run with eldest daughter in the evening, her talking to me the entire time

#795 Lorna pointing out the moon to me on our run, telling me I should bring my camera with me on our runs--her inspiring my thoughts, yes! i should buy a tiny point and shoot!

#796 Lorna and I running the State Games 5K together, her winning a medal, me and Ivy doing the Fun Run together ...{pictures and post to come soon!}

#797 Lilly's mile-wide grin with softest, fullest red lips when I walk through the door

#798 a several hour break and me and Husband going in a few shops, going to movies together, sharing popcorn and coke

#799 how he reaches out his hand for mine, how he only remembers to do this on dates, and how I feel like a queen when he does

#800 how Bella tells me when it's time to return home in the evening, that we need to go get Lorna and Ivy from Meme and Papa's, and when I tell her they are staying until tomorrow, she says, in 4-yr-old-lisp, No, I don't want them to be gone a long time! I want them to be thisthers {sisters}!

#801 Father's day service, listening to an 87 yr old man give advice to fathers and talk about his late wife as the Pastor asks questions...a sobering reminder of our God-given role as man and wife...

#802 eating barbeque sandwhiches and coleslaw outside in the shade, two kids eating free, a coupon from my thoughtful Granny, and getting to sit right across from my father and talk to him about how he answered questions that morning

#803 everyone going down to Yoo-Yoo's for frozen yogurt, Mama's treat, white-chocolate yogurt piled high with brownie, cookie dough and strawberry glaze

#804 my father sharing with me all the card he ever needs: an encouraging text I sent to him a while back telling him he is my hero and I want others to honor him the way I do

#805 how good Husband looked in his slim-fit plaid shirt and skinny tie

#806 how Bella dramatically throws her head down and buries it into her slayed-out hands when she has been going on and on about Mario and Luigi and I ask her to tell Meme what she learned this week about fewer and more. I prompt her: Fewer is...{I make the little bit symbol with my fingers}..a little... Yes, and more is how much?... A lot! She grins and is so proud of herself.

#807 how her sisters switch the orange and green spoons in and out of yogurt cups and ask her to count them and tell which has fewer and which has more, and she does it, to everyone's delight...

#808 beating Husband at a new ping-pong game and his little-boyish irritated expressions that he can't see it coming soon enough when I spike it across the table at him

#809 him telling me It's obvious you've played this a lot more than me! and us laughing.....

#810 Husband adamant about planning to have family time on Father's day...I am so, so blessed. What a gift of a husband....

#811 him showing the girls how to play ping-pong

#812 afternoon nap with husband, him wrapping arms 'round, kissing me on the cheek, on the neck, telling me he loves me, asking him where that came from? Thinking about what the men said this morning at church...

# 813 love made between my man and I, how bonded we are, how nothing could separate us.

#814 this beautiful music--matchless to me in the emotion it evokes--the girls and I have been listening to all week, listening as I write.... click the link here, and enjoy. God meant music to be savored and chewed long, soothing our souls. All glory to Him for the creativity He has given man!!

**Friends, your comments mean so much to me--they soul-drench me in grace and minister to me. And your prayers mean even more. I am not able to answer each comment--I am probably outside watering the flower garden, in some corner of my home sorting through laundry in danger of mildewing, cleaning up remnants of a brand-new box of cereal thrown across the room, reading a history lesson with the children, or just trying to breathe, friend! I hope you understand? Thank you in advance for grace. I love this community of grace-filled people! Head here to read more of why, during this season, I will be quietly writing, and not visiting very much...
** Thank you for so, so much grace, friends. My heart cannot express in mere words, my thankfulness. I love all of you.

Joining with sweet Ann and others in thanks..... also Emily...

L.L.... On In Around button Laura...



Michelle... and Courtney...


  1. Oh, happy birthday, baby! So adorable and am so grateful you posted it so you can savor long...

    nearly jumped out of my chair while reading your gift #793 -- for I intend to do the same thing when my oldest is .... older ;)

    My blogger prayer project leads me to you today, Nacole. Please know I'll be spending time here, praying intentionally for you and your family today.

    All for Him with hugs to you --

  2. Hey there neighbor...i just took my baby to get her license...it does go so quickly....such sweet sweet pictures:) love the list...blessing sweet friend:)

  3. oh, for holiness. you get it. you really. really do. these children lead us places inside ourselves. places i would never trust in the hands of an adult. of myself. these words are love-spun and sparkling. love you!

  4. A beautiful post and such a beautiful little girl. Loved your list. Visiting from Ann's today. Have a blessed week!

  5. Sweet little one, I love the two's and three's... they are adorable.

  6. Happy birthday to your precious one. What a gift- you as her mommy, these words straight from your heart. Lovely

  7. Thank you for writing about your little one, and for the pics. May God bless you richly and abundantly, and give you his peace.

  8. She is precious and what a lovely tribute you gave to her. Something she will value as she grows to appreciate it in maturing. It's nice to visit you here, its been too long.

  9. A mother's love for a child is hard to put words to, but you do it so beautifully here!

  10. i love how detailed your list of gratitude is. thanks for sharing your lovely heart with the rest of us. :)

  11. Truly precious! What a gift from God!
    Such an angel sent from heaven for your delight!

  12. she's beautiful! and your words are as well! thank you!

  13. beautifully expressed. thanks for showing us a piece of your heart. and a happy birthday to your delightful little one!

  14. oh yes.....how you stir the yes in me!
    beautifully loved, that sweet girl of yours.
    it's an art to love so deep and true.
    stunning, your heart:)

  15. "do you know baby girl that you hold me to this earth?"

    oh nacole. this is so perfect. this is what our children do, isn't it? and i love her stockings, and the joy of the yellow balloons. you are such a good mama.

  16. Happy Birthday to baby girl! Your post is simply beautiful!

  17. smiles...looks like someone had a great birthday...and i love your words to her as well affirming her....too cool...smiles.

  18. Happy for you and yours. Makes life very special.

  19. Happy Birthday. It goes by so much faster than you can even imagine. :)

  20. This one gave me chills... one of your most beautiful posts yet.
    I love you, Nacole <3 It is beautiful to watch you grow with your "little women" :)

  21. Beautiful little girl! Beautiful mama! Love your heart.



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