Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Truth Under my Fingernails

This evening we made our inaugural visit to Zimmerman's flower stand. We waltzed in for a little duck poop....we trudged out with a lot of duck poop. And a few perennials, because I momentarily misplaced my self-control switch.

After caramel sundaes, we whisked the babies off to their beds. We smooched little baby lips and breathed in 3 distinctly perfect baby smells. We whispered prayers and answered those last-minute, so-very-important questions, "Mommy, is Jesus sitting right here, beside me?" "What if I accidentally poke him?"

Then, we walked right back out into what remained of the dusky, dry daylight and got our hands dirty.

There exists a directly proportional relationship between the amount of dirt caked beneath my rinky-dink fingernails and the clearness of my heart.

I am convinced of this - Truth finds me in the dirt. It burrows into the cracks of me, it chaps my hands in such a way that I still feel the sting the next day.

I poked around, fiddling with the fun stuff, while Cory did the hard things. I watched him chop-chop-chop at roots that ran so deeply. I watched him yank the ugly out and toss it onto the heap. We talked about what we would put in its place. We knew that there was a chance that the ugly would still pop up out of the newer, prettier growth.

In our shared solitude, I found my heart asking those same, familiar questions...."What is it that you want me to do, God?" "In what way will you use me?" "When will I know?"

As the sun dipped too low, I made my way inside. I scrubbed those chapped hands.

I sat down to fold the third load of laundry and the cotton snagged against the scrapes and the sandpapered fingertips.

And the truth that was etched into them outside found its way inside, where my real life is lived.

Oh that life could be all Delphinium and English Daisies. Mostly, it is laundry. And library books. And today, whining children and a frustrated Mommy that probably did not smile as often as she should have.

So tonight, I know this: I know that what God wants me to do today, tomorrow, the day after, is have patience as I hold the three little hands through the ins and outs of our days; ask for wisdom in instructing them to do right; appreciate my Honey for every good thing that he is.

It is not grandiose.
But it will change our lives.

It will not be written about in books or talked about on the news.
But it is Epic.

And so, my prayer continues....
Let my lips breath love.
Let my heart beat for others.
Let my heart bleed service.

And let it all start right here, under our own, little patch of sky.


  1. Beautifully put!

    I will whisper a prayer for you tonight:-)

  2. Beautifully written! Love how the bleeding heart fit in so nicely! and your little patch of sky! so true!!

    One of my friends told me once... the most important job in the world is raising children of God... God's children. and I am blessed to do just that! (though it honestly scares me to death sometimes!) =) me?!!

  3. you are such an amazing writer! Tonight my youngest asked me if God was really real? And then If he is then why can't I see him? Those are hard ones right? Love your gardening analogy. I'll bet you have a beautiful garden. Isn't it true that our lives can feel like groundhog day? (see I remember your posts) and we can feel so unimportant in our pony tails and sweats. but in Truth we are doing some of the most important work that there is. Sleep tight.

  4. let me just say....i love reading your blog. Your faith in God is so wonderful. You are such an inspiration to me.

  5. I love reading your eloquent words...
    especially when they inspire me to do God's Will.


    "because I momentarily misplaced my self-control switch."

    Can I use that?!
    It works for so many things :)

  6. I was a stay at home with three girls who are now 27,25, and 23. They are all grown up and it happened in ten minutes! Relish these days, motherhood is the most important job. I just wanted my girls to love Jesus and be happy. They far exceeded that. God bless you! xoxo

  7. Amen. I agree with all of the above. It seems as a mother of youngins we are always putting them first, and rightly so. It's great of you to have your heart in the perfect place, and to let your children know all about it. Wonderful that you've led your children to church and taught them all you know about God.
    I also agree with the dirt! I can't get enough of it myself, and always find myself closer to God out in my garden.

  8. Loving your closing prayer, such truth in that!

    Happy day to you,


  9. I love it. Love everything about this post. Beautifully said, as always. :)

  10. Simply . . . WOW! Sweetie you are right where God wants you, doing what he wants you to do! By being a mommy to 3 special children, wife to 1 lucky man, and letting your voice be heard to many through this thing called blogging. God Bless You! Becky

  11. The dirty truth is beautiful.

  12. So lovely! Thank you for the inspiration I find here.

  13. Mmmm, this went straight to the heart for me. Thank you!

  14. Lovely, lovely, lovely...

    "Let my lips breath love.
    Let my heart beat for others.
    Let my heart bleed service."


  15. i met a new friend in the place we moved. we say to each other often..."what? have i known you for 5 minutes and you're finishing my sentences?" that's what i felt when i read this post. that my prayer too. i love how you put it into words. thanks for that today. i needed to remember my purpose. xoxo

  16. Perfect post...and oh oh so true!

  17. Great post and a great way for me to start my day, Thank You ;)

  18. I whole-heartedly feel the very best thinking happens in the garden, and your prayer is beautiful, Farmgirl.

  19. I read a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote recently about not taking lightly the little things...the mundane things...for they are the things that will shape your character. I wish I could remember it exactly (I searched, can't find it...) but it really spoke to me.

    I, like you, needed this reminder today. Thank you. :)

  20. i'm certain that you are doing one of the things that God wants you to do...using this little blog of yours to minister to so many of our hearts. i know you do mine. i always feel a renewed zest for my life when i leave your blog. thank you for that.

  21. The truth of your words are beautiful. For me it's more than an inspiration, it's healing.

  22. you have some beautiful, beautiful photos!!!

  23. and beautiful what you wrote...clicked before I was done:)

  24. Your words are so good, and so needed this morning. thank you!

  25. i have been floored and nurtured by your last few posts :)


  26. A kiss of the sun for pardon, the song of the birds for mirth. One is nearer God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth.
    Loving your post today!

  27. I just love reading your blog. I always leave it with a smile on my face and a warmness in my heart. it reminds me of home, a place I miss so dearly. God bless you and you beautiful family..

  28. Beautifully said Shanny. I so often leave your blog envying those little people that are lucky enough to grow up in that house raised by such an amazing Momma. Lucky little ankle biters.