God has surrounded me with the loveliest of friends and has delighted my heart in so many ways. This weekend some precious momma friends threw me and Bethany a party to celebrate her coming arrival.
They set a pretty table, painted gorgeous rocks, brought beads for necklaces and Scriptures specifically for Bethany and me, and just surrounded me with love and encouragement and prayers. It was wonderful.
One of the beads presented to me was a real pearl. With it came this card:
Another sweet friend gave me the gorgeous nursing gown her momma gave her when she had her first child. I absolutely love it.
What a gift it was. Another gift from this amazing weather weekend has been two sweet girls loaned out to me by their mother. :) Evangela and Mikayla have been such beautiful blessings. They came on Thursday afternoon, ready to help with children and meals and cleanup and anything else I needed until Sunday morning, when (sadly) I had to let them go back to their own family. They even got sweaty and dirty in my garden on Saturday! I don't recall another time of being around such cheerful, pure in heart young ladies so willing and capable and ready to serve. Oh and they are only 15 and 13 years old. A true gem in our culture today. Such treasures.
It got me to thinking about the girls I am raising. They love hearing the tales of Snow White and Cinderella, both precious young maidens whose heart and character make them beauties. Have you ever stopped to think, both Snow White and Cinderella were raised in environments where they had to work hard? In the beginning of those books, Snow White and Cinderella are both pictured working in their homes. Something our culture tells women they shouldn't have to do. But the hard work they are doing is developing in them a sweet genuine soul that the evil queen in Snow White and the evil stepmother and stepsisters in Cinderella didn't possess. Of course not, they weren't expected to lift a finger! Who was whistling while she worked? Snow White. The girl who (gasp!) "had to work hard in her home." Who had the sweet spirit that the Prince fell in love with? Cinderella. The girl who (gasp!) "had to work hard every day in her home." Hmmmmm.
“No system of education is complete that does not harden the hands and toughen muscles, while it is also develops the intellect and enlarges the heart…only through work do we attain the true symmetry, strength, and glory of godly manhood and womanhood.” - Alexander Clark 1834-1879
“Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.” - Theodore Roosevelt
Watching Evangela and Mikayla clean up the dishes in my kitchen, roll up their sleeves in my garden, and change poopy diapers, all with a cheerful heart and bright smiles, inspired me. I know a lot of 15 and 13 year olds, in fact most, who would be constantly locked into their cell phones, too busy texting and facebooking to notice that a little one needed help or a mess needed to be cleaned. Not these girls. I know a lot of 15 and 13 year olds who would be talking about boys or rolling their eyes or preening in front of a mirror. Not these girls. I didn't see any of that at any time. And we were with them for 72 hours. I was seriously impressed. I hope they are around more often. :)
Allie set up hammocks in the backyard for everyone on Saturday and we enjoyed a few morning hours of talking and laughing and feeling the breeze. Everywhere Allie goes, she spreads beauty and joy. Truly. She does everything with such grace.
My delightful Maggie thrills me too. I am a blessed woman indeed.
Thank You, God, for a weekend to just BREATHE.