gravel road girl

Archive for the month “January, 2017”

A Button Story

Once upon a time there was a beautiful, young maiden.

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A-hem! A BEAUTIFUL, YOUNG MAIDEN. . . 

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O.k., that’s better. This lovely maiden had her heart set on marrying a handsome and thoughtful young man.

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Alas, only one thing stood in their way (well, o.k., quite a few things, but ONE thing was)–a gorgeous gown. The dress of her dreams. The attire of the ages. The get-up of the gods. I think you see what I’m getting at here. She needed the perfect dress. 

And, she actually found it without too much trouble.

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Well, this looks like trouble, I guess. But we found a dress anyway. The trouble came when all the alterations were done. Done except for one little detail. . . 

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Buttons.

The lovely maiden thought the buttons of the dress terribly distasteful and all around ewwwwww! 

“That’s o.k., dear maiden, I, your loving Mother will fix it. I am, after all, your Fairy Fix-it Mother.”

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And so, off trotted the Mother to the fabric store to procure the precise buttons for the perfect wedding gown. She purchased the needed 30–THIRTY!–buttons that would embellish the graceful back of the gorgeous gown. And home she trotted, the Fairy Fix-it Mother, to finish up this last gown-task just six days before the wedding. 

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Carefully, painstakingly the buttons were stitched, in precise and measured fashion, to the gown. Did I mention that there were thirty? Yeah, thirty. . . 

Much later, when the buttons were done and the maiden arrived home from her wanderings, she tried on the dress. Ah, how lovely to have it done! 

But even as the maiden admired the dress, the buttons, so carefully stitched, looked like a line of misbehaving children! Tilted and slanted and shifting with the maiden’s every movement. This would never do! Two slightly OCD maidens stared in horror at the row of buttons–what to do now?!fullsizerender-12

Fairy Fix-it Mother said in her most soothing and confident voice, “No worries, my dear. I’ll figure something out. It will be your most perfect and lovely gown in time for your Big Day.”

“Thanks, Mom!” said lovely maiden, “You’re the best!” (Yeah, I think that’s how it went.)

“What to do. . . what to do. . .what to do,” muttered Mother as she lay wide awake staring at the ceiling and trying to ignore the clock moving from 1:30 to 2:30 and onward. 

“Sleep. I REALLY need sleep. Lord,” prayed the Mother in all seriousness and earnestness, “I need You to give me an answer because I really don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t have time to order the buttons that I need. Please, find me a solution.” And with that prayer, she finally rolled over and went to sleep. 

Morning came too quickly, but almost upon her rising, the Mother had an idea about the buttons. “Funny” how that happens when you pray. 

“Pssst!” said her brain, “What about the buttons on YOUR wedding dress? It’s boxed up right there in your closet.”

“Well, that’s a silly idea!” she said to her brain. “My dress was ivory and the maiden’s is white. That will never work.”

“Listen to me! I’m your brain and God gave me this idea! Get your dress down and just check  and see if those buttons would work. What do you have to lose?”

And so Fairy Fix-it Mother did just that. Hefting down the plastic covered box that had not been opened for almost 31 years, for she and her love had been married in the same church all those years before. Now she carefully open the lid and looked at the lace and satin gown. And all those buttons. . .

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“Maiden, come look at this dress of mine. For fun, try it on.”

Her thoughtful pose and jovial humor told the Mother she was not as enthralled with my 80’s dress as I was. But still, it was lovely to see my sweet girl in the gown of my sweetest dreams. But, alas, I hold you in suspense of the button dilemma!

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Carefully, Mother snipped a button from the sleeve and went to the maiden’s gown and laid it down on the lace. How is it that a button from an ivory dress can match so perfectly to a near-white gown? I don’t know, but it did!

And so, with much rejoicing and and general hooping and hollering, the two maidens snipped 29 buttons (did I mention we needed thirty buttons on that dress?) off the yellowed gown and Fairy Fix-it Mother happily, and most relieved, stitched them onto the maiden’s gown-of-her-dreams. And when her most special of days arrived,. . . fullsizerender-3

. . . she danced with her Poppa in her gorgeous gown while Mother whispered a prayer of blessing and thanks as she thought of her most special of days and the buttons on the dress.

THE END

“Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale of all.” ~Hans Christian Anderson

 

 

 

Waiting for spring

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“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”    ~Anne Bradstreet

I’ve thought this true so many times. I think that’s why I love Iowa and partly why I love winter. Because. . .

it’s not that I ALWAYS love winter. In those long, gray days of

February or March,

I know soon–very soon–a warm wind will blow,

a daffodil will poke its green finger out and

push away

the icy wet of winter.

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The tug ‘o war between warm sunshine and

frigid blasts will,

eventually,

end in a victory of

puddles and tulips and dandelions.

But victory is always sweeter when the battle is

hard fought and,

perhaps,

the outcome is doubtful and

 tests your metal.

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And sometimes that testing is all about

waiting. 

“Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.”  ~Elisabeth Elliot

Even as we wait for the warmth of spring to

overwhelm winter’s cold, 

God asked me to wait

much

this year. 

To wait with purpose and understanding

is a doable feat,

not easy, but doable.

To wait with questions and doubts and 

unanswered prayers is,

most certainly,

“always winter but never Christmas.”

There is no doubt that God calls us to

wait. . . 

“Wait on the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage. Yes,

wait

on the Lord.”  Psalm 27:14

What do you do when your heart has no courage?

It’s still and icy

like a January garden.

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My courage, my strength were there

because I believed my 

God was there.

But sometimes that belief was

fine and fragile and nearly

fractured.

I ached for the warm winds of 

healing and purpose amid the frustration and fear.

Instead,

He sent wisdom in the words

of friends;

He sent compassion in the hands

of helpers.

He did not send healing–

in my time.

He did not send purpose or answers–

to my heart.

But in my waiting He sent

grace.

“I am sure God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait.” ~C.S. Lewis

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Like a thawing wind,

the depth of His grace gave me purpose.

If nothing else,

grace is always enough

to give purpose

to give strength

to give courage

to allow us to wait. . .

for spring.

“My grace is sufficient for you; for my power is made perfect in your weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

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