Motherhood {Faith Life Preservers- Day 9}

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“There is no way to be a perfect mother, 
and a million ways to be a good one”
Jill Churchill
Today is my beautiful daughter’s 12th Birthday.
The day I gave birth to her is the day I realized that 10 tiny fingers and toes 
are really the most amazing thing God created.
I never realized how much I could love one person. 
How much I would sacrifice for another.
The day she was born was the day that I knew my journey 
to true unselfishness would begin.
It started in the womb, but will be a lifetime of learning.
Flesh dies hard after all, and I am one who has clung to this world 
and it’s remnants too often.
I know selfishness.
I am learning selflessness, and it’s beauty and freedom.
It’s pain.
Dying to self is what a mother does day in and day out.
It is a paradigm shift of epic proportions.
Do not be deceived. 
There is a balance of power indeed, 
but sacrificial love is the first requirement needed for long nights of sleeplessness. 
First as the infant cries for milk, then for attention and boundaries unwanted.
Again in the older years while waiting on curfews.
Finally to endure the awkward but necessary years identity seeking. 
Sleeplessness is a Mother’s silent partner and secret strength.
I refuse to bow down to the idol of worry.
Oh, my Lord knows- that is not easy.
Instead I bow my heart in prayer.
Turning every thought, concern and worry into 
holy incense, prayers rising up to Him.
I embrace sleeplessness as an opportunity for fellowship and time
of strengthening in His grace for the days ahead.

My precious daughter, a Faith Life Preserver

Love begins by taking care of the closest ones –
 the ones at home. 
Mother Theresa

“Grown don’t mean nothing to a mother. 
A child is a child. They get bigger, 
older, but grown. 
In my heart it don’t mean a thing.”
— Toni Morrison

I just could not get this sweet, silly song out of my head today!
So I have included the clip “You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby”.
31 Days of Faith Life Preservers 
October 1-31, 2012

See all other Faith Life Preserver Posts HERE.
Check out all of the other 
31 Day Topics and Bloggers HERE.
Linking with Kathy of Cornerstone Confessions and Darlene of Time – Warp Wife.

The Green Hat {A Love Letter To My Girl}

…but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty 
of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
1 Peter 3:4
My Girl,
How I love you more than words can ever express. 
How is it that in motherhood God has so captured
His own inexpressible love and squeezes it out in tears and hugs daily? 
I can’t even grasp the depth of my love toward you and yet I know it is, indeed finite.
 It is limited, this love I have for you my sweet girl. 
 I have dipped my fingertip into the pool of inexhaustible love that never sleeps nor grows weary,
 and I suspect I have felt a portion of it coursing through my veins, welling up in my heart at times. 
Yet I do grow weary at times. 
I want to apologize in advance for the mistakes I know I will make along this journey. 
Have already made. 
I wish I could be perfect for you.
 The perfect mother I never had, that none of us have, can ever have. 
It is impossible, my dear one. 
Those are shoes that only One should ever fill. 
I fear it is not even a good desire. 
The fact is I do grow weary, am imperfect and will fail you. 
Oh, I pray not.
 But I know better. 
I know that you in your youth have already spotted my weaknesses. 
Some are glaring flaws that prowl like tigers. 
Others are just my own buried wounds and scars forgotten, 
but tender to the touch. Exposed in the heat of the moment. 
I am after all being transformed and conformed. I don’t have all the answers. 
Even still. I do have this one thing, a confidence in the one who knit you together in my womb.
 This same One who promised to never leave, nor forsake me, though every other human possibly could.
 I don’t have confidence in myself, I just have no place to get it from but Him.
 I trust in this, that He promises to lead those who have young.
That if all else fails, you can count on this. 
His love never fails. 
If you turn from me, 
harden your heart towards Him and 
turn from all I have dreamed for you…
I will trust in His goodness. 
Not my wonderful parenting, not my ability to give you the life I never had, not my excellent mothering skills, not the hope that you will do what I think you should. 
I come to the table with empty hands. But with these hands I can pray, I can praise and seek Him who is seeking you and pursing you before you even desire to return His love.
 I am fully confident in the fact that this love that wells up within me as life itself is a down payment on the bigger transaction of grace taking place in the quietness of my soul. 
I am bought with a price and my love for you is tapped 
right into that bigger reservoir of eternal love. 
Not wasted. Precious. Pure and Holy. 
I want more than ever for you to feel beautiful, because it is already true.
 That He has created you, and I wish upon wish upon hope, that you would feel beautiful. 
Because even He is beautiful. 
It is His beauty that has transformed me to the woman of grace that I am continuing to become. 
That you can become. How I remember the days you felt beautiful, in your innocence.
 How you burst through the rooms of our home in dresses and tutus and scathing beauty.Unashamed. But age brings the knowledge of the unholy and the world competes for your allegiance. 
It hurts my heart when you lean that way and I see you feeling less beautiful. 
Because it is not true. You are beautiful. 
You are loved. 
You are precious. 
You were birthed in beauty, because 
He created you- kissed your precious face right their in that hidden place. 
Saw you swaddled in embryonic fluid and adored you right there fully. 
The memories of you already fill me to the brim.
 A million snapshot moments, stream through my mind.
I remember our shopping day a few years back…and the momentary joy of a green hat. 
Your smile filled the room, beauty glowing forth. Confident. 
We snapped a picture, moment in time. One moment. One hat. 
Maybe you will forget that moment in time. 
But I saw something in your eye that I wished I could keep for you to give back to you when you feel beauty abandons you. 
You felt beautiful. 
But I have found my Green Hat. 
The One who is Beauty itself.
 The One who’s Beauty is without blemish and unfading.
And if I could just give it to you I would. 
But unlike the green hat on the clearance table we passed up that day…
eleven dollars of motherly regret.
Beauty that would fade in time anyway.
His hat of grace is available when you are ready to receive it. 
He will adorn you with imperishable beauty and
 you will be secure in His fit. 
You are precious in His sight.
I love you, and you will always be my sweet, little girl.

A Magical Day (Re-Post) Mother’s Day Celebration Post

All glorious is the princess within her chamber;
her gown is interwoven with gold.
~Psalm 45:13

 It started out as an ordinary day. It was supposed to be one of those “productive me” days. The kind you know needs to happen because, it’s that time of year again. The word vacation has less power over me as the last few weeks of Summer have been squeezed slowly out of my planner pages.
That next month (September) keeps appearing as I plan the days ahead and all that needs to be done by D-Day (1st day of school). So with all this in my mind, of course I had my TO DOs for today completely mapped out. After all, I am, if nothing else, obsessively, compulsively organized. In a most disorganized way. At least on paper I look pretty organized, thanks to my Planner.
But somehow paper planning and reality have a way of missing each other and leaving me
miffed in the midst of it all.
Today that was a beautiful gift.

Today, my planner had not accounted for the magical day that would unfold, to my wonder and joy.

“Mom, will you please let me see your wedding dress?”
pleaded my daughter as she looked at me with what I call her Junior Mint eyes.

Um, I am thinking…not in the plan…warning, warning.
I flashback to Robot in “Lost In Space” (doesn’t take much for me).

She has become a fan of the program “Say Yes To The Dress” and she wanted to see how mine measured up. Until today it has been hanging in our garage.
 It has been in the zipped tight gown bag since our honeymoon.
Today that gown emerged and made our mundane day a very magical one, indeed!
Of course she wanted to try it on.
The excitement and pure glee my daughter displayed as she posed,
primped, giggled and posed some more were absolutely priceless.

It is amazing to me how a wedding gown makes every girl feel beautiful, precious and royal.
 Like a princess. 

Princess Katherine Grace
Even if she is all or any of those things…there is something intoxicating,
 wonderful and heady about a wedding dress.

A wedding dress has the power to make the one wearing 
FEEL embraced by beauty.

When I text-ed the pics to my hub, he almost had a stroke!
But my girl and I had a million laughs as our afternoon became magical.

The day got more interesting later when my mom returned home
and wanted to know why my dress was hanging in the hall.
After looking at the pictures we had taken, she mentioned her gown and I immediately
(me being the Keeper of the Photos) retrieved her wedding photos to show Katherine.

Mom poses with her Wedding Gown photos

You know, we never did make it out for all the errands.
But what my planner can’t show, my heart does reveal.
It is well with my soul. 

Today I had a plan.
I had my To Do Lists written.

But today instead of my plans – 
I received
 a better thing.

 A beautiful gift.
 A magical day…and for that I am thankful.


The Dress on the Big Day!

We topped our magical day off with an appropriate movie
 tonight: Cinderella! 
It was just the way that we rolled!
On my scale of great Mother/Daughter days,
this one will go down as memorable!

The king is enthralled by your beauty; 
honor him, for he is your Lord.
~Psalm 45:11
* Stay Tuned this week for a Mother’s Day Giveaway! 

Linking my Magical Day post with Emily’s over at Imperfect Prose…
AND Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus!

1000 Moms Project

Thorns Among Roses

It breaks my heart I confess,
as I remember her twirling
in her dress
happy, silly,
swirling mess 
of curls,
perfectly beautiful,
It crushes the breath from my lungs
as I recall the songs we sung,
of Wise Men and mangers and a Virgin’s “womp”,
innocence, honesty and grace
with words misplaced,
but a family
sitting close 
singing Hymns 
on the couch 
the presence of a Savior, 
smiling over it all.
As I consider 
these recent days
with challenges and struggles-
and growing haze
blurry eyes, and lies-
 certain “friends”
wise in their own eyes,
and careless words-
like thorns among roses,
they hurt.
I recall my own younger days
when it was so hard to see through the haze,
the tangle of lies, and cruelty of kids –
whose parents were equally cruel…
I see it again.
like thorns among roses,
they were.
So I pray
and I hope
and I confess.
I doubt,
I fear,
and too often digress.
I try, and I fail
and I trust 
in what I can’t see.
Love is not blind at all,
but full of clarity.
And faith.
I strive to remember the hope inside me-
I try to encourage 
despite what I see
I ask, and I chide and I often remind
she is loved.
She is loved.
She is loved.
I turn away from the judging eyes,
breathing in the breath of faith 
that keeps me alive,
asking for wisdom and courage 
to face… the days ahead
with love and grace.
I think back to her,
 twirling in her pretty dress, and her hair all tousled,
a beautiful mess;
and I only wish she could see she’s blessed.
Believe she’s blessed.
She’s blessed.
©Dawn Paoletta

Broken Monday

Here I am, the start of a new week and I want to share with you some witty, wonderful, whimsical post. 
But I can’t. I promised when I started this blog, I would be authentic. Honest. Not superficial. I promised you. I vowed before God. Honestly, I had a post started with a funny picture and I started the post and it felt wrong. False. Hypocritical. My Pastor just taught on that yesterday- how can I even write a thing in light of his words? Because honestly, friends, today I feel broken. Not in the way I need words to lift me because I don’t. I know He is with me, it’s not like that- in fact He has led me here. So now I await further instructions as I try to figure what it is I am supposed to learn. What it is I need to get that I’m not getting.
I mean I get that I am selfish and self-serving.
I get that I am stubborn as any mule.
I get that I am a hot-tempered, argumentative prig sometimes.
I mean really, I know my yuck…and His forgiveness.
My lack and His faithful abundance.
So I start this week, needier than most.
Maybe that is not a bad thing.
Having read Psalms into the night to calm my daughter’s fears as she confessed to me things that I was not ready to hear, but for His grace. 
And here I am all broken. 
A week’s worth of busy, hectic confusion past.
Love, laughter, blessing, pain and challenge.
The week was not without drama. 
Nor joy.
This week was witness to:  a Father-In-Law who suffered a minor heart attack; a daughter who took three nurses to administer 1 shot a midst many tears; a cat with constipation issues requiring exceedingly, costly surgery; a Kindle that cracked and a mom about to follow suit!
Yes, there have been many blessings too.
But today, I am feeling broken.
Spilled out.
I started my day with the following verses:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,  for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:3-9

Yet this I call to mind 
   and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, 
   for his compassions never fail. 
They are new every morning; 
   great is your faithfulness. 
 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion
   therefore I will wait for him.”
 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, 
   to the one who seeks him; 
 it is good to wait quietly 
   for the salvation of the LORD. 

Lamentations 3:21-26

So, I pray you find encouragement today for your week. 

I promise to be Honest always
Funny sometimes.
Superficial, NEVER.
I will keep it real, for better or worse.

See you next time,

I remain 
In His Grace.

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
Acting Balanced

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