before the husband and the vows and our two lives becoming one and all of the trails that our one life has taken us on,
before i knew what it meant to become a mama and all that breaking and the changing and the transforming that this name change has brought,
there was her.
born in the full bloom of august i remember taking her in my unpracticed arms and trying to hold her so that she would stop crying
and maybe like me
if even a little.
she is the one who changed me from who i was and made me something more.
she is now the only one who i willingly let call me by the name i detest, because when it comes from her, aunty kimmy doesn't sound so bad.
her mama, she's known me since i was 16 - she's known me in my crazy days and in my rebellious days and in my broken days and in the joy-filled ones too. sometimes sisterhood doesn't need blood to bond. sometimes all it needs is two hearts that fit - because He formed them to.
she comes with my niece and nephew after his mama and sister and our two nephews leave. a mama and sister who sacrificed many days because i thought zeruiah's day was near and they wait and they clean and they encourage and they stay even though my older three are so sick. they come during the hard days of grief and we get through them together...
and i find myself surrounded by women whose dna doesn't match mine, but whose hearts love beyond scientific things like that.
but now, they have all left.
there is a bit more room in these walls, but the extra space is loud and empty...
and if i'm honest, i may have cried in the shower this morning.
there is something so needed in the life of a mama -
and there are so many voices willing to share -
willing to pull in so many different directions.
where are those voices that pull a mama's heart straight to the Heart of God?
before zeruiah's coming and before my home became a bit more full, before the laundry was caught up and my kitchen was scrubbed, i received a book in my inbox and i loaded it onto my kindle.
i settled down to read in the quiet spaces and i found two voices that ushered me straight into the throne room of God.
circumstances can shift and change and lead you away from everyone you know. you can find yourself making a space not only for yourself, but for your family, for your little ones and it can all become overwhelming and maybe a little bit tiring.
but like the ones that come and love and then need to leave, or like the ones who He gives as friends in the unknown places - the ones who become as loved as family, or even those found in the pages of a book, the ones who have walked this road and who have gasped for air in the hard mama-moments and survived and turn around to point you back to the Source of all Strength, they trace the face of Jesus for you when you can barely lift your hands, He provides His Hope everywhere, can i just be willing to look?
she sits on my couch, the one who 11 years ago filled my arms and now the one, the last one, who filled my belly lies curled up on her lap.
time flies and i can't even imagine where all those years have gone.
and the question resonates loud, the one that seems to be whispered all around me, where are the older women? where are the older women to gently guide the young mamas to the feet of Jesus?
she is going to need one, someday.
walking this road, this sometimes desperate road is in a sense more than walking it for myself...
it means walking it for my daughters, for my nieces, for the younger women He may bring along the way.
because it's not about turning out well-mannered, well-behaved, well-adjusted children. that could happen, and it could not...
it's about Him - about taking the joy-filled and the hard-fought and the completely shattered moments and letting Him use it all for His glory.
so, let's not do this alone, let's fight in the trenches together - let's speak words to each other that are full of grace and life and point us always and pull us in all ways straight in to the very heart of Jesus.