This Girl

She is something else, this youngest child of mine.

Full of curiosity and questions.

She lives full throttle and sometimes it’s a race to keep up.  In a few months she will be eleven and I am just beside myself at the thought.

She has my heart though.

She’s a writer, an artist, a warrior, and a pest. I’m not sure where life will take her or what His plan is for her and I really hope I can keep up. Because I think it’s going to be something to see.

The Proverbs 31 Woman

An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.

She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.

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She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.


She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.


She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.


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She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.


She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.

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She puts her hand to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.



She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.

She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.

She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.


Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.

She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to merchant.

Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.



She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household 
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently, 
but you surpass them all.” 

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

Lady Summer

Lady Summer reigns over long hot days.

Boldly, she leans into the heat and breathes it in.

Without apology she dares you to do the same.

Beckons you to follow along the edge of the shore. To give into freedom, to build sand castles, to play.

She urges you to reach with both hands to grab hold of time even as you feel it slip through your fingers.

Even as her days begin to wane, she laughs as she slowly slips away.

Leaving behind thoughts and memories offered up like treasure to be enjoyed from the sea.

Looking Down The Road

I recently read an article written by a mom who was giving advice to her daughter. It seems her daughter had seen a girl in her class having her bra strap snapped by some boy and was wondering how she should handle it if she ever found herself in that situation. The mother’s advice? Punch the boy in the throat.

The comments to her blog post were pretty split down the middle as to whether or not she was giving the right advice…some were cheering her on in teaching her daughter how to defend and protect herself while others felt she was championing violence altogether.

I decided to ask my love how he wished our daughters to handle the situation. His response?

Punch the boy in the throat.

Now, let me say that I am utterly convinced that my girls, at this point in their life, will not have to deal with this kind of thing. We know our community well enough to feel comfortable that none of the boys or young men in their circles would ever consider such a thing. We also know that our daughters will not always be in such a well known well protected community.

We do want them to know how to handle themselves and we certainly want them to know what is acceptable behavior and what is not and how they should demand to be treated. We would hope that as much as humanly possible they will choose communities where that kind of behavior would not be present. However, as our oldest is already in public college she knows that that kind of behavior would not seem out of place in that arena.

Thankfully, we have a friend who is a police officer and he has taught Sarah several different ways that she can defend herself. She knows how to literally box some one’s ears, how to gouge eyes out, and how to aim for a wind pipe with the intent to break it. Next month she will probably take the self defense class the college offers.

But I think the self defense training begins waaaaay earlier and it doesn’t look like what most of us would consider self defense training.

The first step in self defense is to teach our daughters not to wink at sin. This means that we teach them to recognize the sin in their own life and deal with it. Because if they have a clear picture of sin and what it is then they can see when they are being sinned against. When a young man steps out of line either in his actions or with his words we want our girls to be uncomfortable with it and to know that a line has been crossed. This is important because at some point it’s not flirting it’s moving into dangerous territory that leaves them vulnerable and at risk. If they’re ok with letting simple seemingly innocent touches or lingering glances or borderline conversation slide by they are less likely to respond appropriately or quickly enough when the realization comes that they’ve gone further than they thought.

I mentioned wanting our girls to be uncomfortable around certain behavior but we also want them to be uncomfortable in certain situations. Claire is only nine years old but I want her to be uncomfortable if she finds herself in certain situations. If I send her out to the van because we’re preparing to leave church one evening but get caught up in a conversation that delays me I don’t want her to be comfortable with being the only girl outside with all the boys, or even worse, just another boy. Not because I am concerned that the boys are going to take advantage of her or behave inappropriately towards her, not at all. But if she is comfortable being alone with one of the boys in the dark parking lot of our church at nine years old,  the odds are she will not be uncomfortable being alone with a boy in a dark parking lot of our church when she is twelve or thirteen. And that becomes very, very dangerous for her.

A wise friend once told me when we were speaking about modesty in general and bathing suits in particular that you should start out the way you plan to continue. It would be unwise as a parent to allow a certain behavior or practice for a certain time and then choose at some arbitrary time to decide that behavior is no longer allowed. If you don’t want a five year old who runs around out of control then don’t allow your two year old to run around utterly out of control.

It’s a kind of parenting that is very deliberate and has one eye already looking down the road. It’s not easy all of the time and can make other people uncomfortable as if you are calling their parenting into question.

It may sound callous but I am not really concerned with how someone else is raising their kids. Not because I just don’t care but because I know my children won’t always been in what we would consider ideal or perfect situations or communities.

And I want my girls to carry themselves in such a manner that a young man would think twice before snapping her bra strap.

And if he can’t see that she isn’t the kind of girl that would be okay with having her bra snapped then I want her to know how to punch him in the throat.

Sweetness

I’ve got a project I’ve been working on. I had hoped to share it last week but the final part just isn’t coming together the way I wish it would. My sweet kiddos, specifically my girls, have been quite the troopers though and a few weeks ago agreed yet again to be in front of my camera. It was quite the adventure with the first couple of locations not working out…possible snakes in tall tall grass, gang sign graffiti making me think we should probably move on no matter how pretty the filed, a bee in the van, and wondering if we were trespassing. It’s never boring that’s for sure!

If any of you have pinned this kind of shot before know that the photographer worked hard to get it…I’ve learned that “blowing” face are pretty much the definition of a herp derp and not very photogenic and it’s harder than one would think to get a flattering shot. We had a good laugh before we deleted a bunch of shots and settling on this one being ok to keep.

Sam was with us and cooperated for a couple of shots too.

He doesn’t mind really as long as he gets to play Temple Run on my phone in between pictures.

I don’t do very many group shots of my kiddos. Individually we’re great. Small pairings can be fine too. But for some reason I can have the patience of Job with other people and their kids but a full on session with my five as a whole is stressful for all of us. I’m always mystified that something I have so much fun doing for other people is a hurry and get this over with thing with my own. I’m usually like, Hello? Do you guys realize that people actually give me money sometimes to do this? But about once a year we spend a few days talking ourselves into it and it usually works out. And the result makes my heart smile.