I'm up with her in the pink attic room in the old farmhouse. She had asked if she could wear the green dress, with no pants, cuz they're still CA girls who want to wear spaghetti strap dresses all year long.
I'm (not:) helping her arm find that missing armhole, because of course she wants to dress herself, no matter how long it might take to get all the right body parts in all the right holes. She's determined that way. Maybe she can't quite find the hole because she's distracted by her head full of thoughts. While her arm's fighting through the cotton for air, her mouth is moving at light speed and she's giving me the run down on her future plans.
"Well Mama, I'm gonna marry Tamble (aka Campbell, from church). And Siah's gonna marry Cadence... and Halwee's gonna marry Wyatt, and well... Siah's gonna stay here till 19 betuz he's gonna wait for Halwee so that he can drive her to CA to be wit Wyatt, tuzzz... (One arm finally makes it through the hole, now she's working on the other side) Well, CA is weally far away and so Siah needs to drive her there."
She's gets both arms in and her head through the top and she stops mid-sentence to admire herself in the mirror. Her hair's a tattered mess on top of her head. One cheek's rosy red and the other blackberry purple from slipping on a rock and falling flat on her face on our family hike last week. She holds up both sides of her dress in between her pointer fingers and thumbs, and twirls a full 360.
She gasps and covers her lips with both pudgy hands. "Mom, my wedding dress. I must wear my wedding dress." She scurries to the treasure chest full of dress up galore and pulls out a raggedy old white, shear dress embroidered in pink and yellow daisies. And for the grand finalle, she'll most certainly be needing a hat of some sort... a veil? a crown? a purple and pink stripped beanie? Oh yes, the latter will do.
"I ready to be married!" she proclaims.
"I soo soo pretty!"
"Yes, my little love, you sure are." I say it into her eyes and I mean every last word. And because when a heart's young like hers, there's no reason to doubt, she soaked my words right into her soul and she skipped out of the room and went on with her day... taking great delight in knowing how much I genuinely delight in her.
"The King is enthralled by your beauty, honor Him, for He is your Lord." Psalm 45:11
The part of this life that gets this stretch-marked, lumpy Mama heart, is the part that calls me to accept how HE sees me, and honor Him by living in that beauty. Man, how I could bless His heart if I authentically believed in the great care and detail that He so tenderly put forth to make me just the way I am.
Lord, may I honor you with my life by looking in the mirror and seeing what you see. And when you whisper your great delight in me, may I skip off into my day truly believing that you make no mistakes, and you waste nothing. My life is the work of your hand, how could it be anything less than your best. :)
Daughters who know that they are fearfully and wonderfully made. Summer berry cobbler with friends. Green fields spread wide and long around the farmhouse. Trader Joe's chai tea latte on a Saturday morning. Casting Crowns, Bluegrass Tribute. Warmth... finally warmth. Two pieces of old wood, perfect for building a bookcase. Sunshine on my shoulders. Girls in flow-y summer dresses swinging high. A pile of daisies picked by littlest girl laying bright yellow on the farm table. Ice tea. Her and I, a wedding dress, and a mouth full of future dreams.