Dancing Hearts in Nantucket (the Prologue)

Greetings, blog readers!! Life has been as full as ever, a good thing, and most of my writing has been shared on my Facebook page in 2016, but I am taking some extra time in the month of September to write a very special series. My beloved mother turns 65 years old today and, for her birthday gift, I am penning a recollection of THE most precious time the two of us have ever shared.

This is no vacation slide-show; rather, the story of two women who flew across the country to find each other in a place that God, in His unbelievable kindness and sovereignty, had prepared for them.

I invite you to join us, as we travel to the island of our hearts, and celebrate one of the deepest and most faithful bonds there are, that of mother and daughter. I pray this series will not only knock my mom’s socks off, but will renew and inspire mothers and daughters everywhere, to see each other, to die for each other, and to love each other, wholeheartedly and purely, as God intended. 



Moms have dreams, too.

I didn’t realize this, of course, until that topsy-turvy moment when my first child entered the world and I understood, for the first time, maybe, that my own mom is just a girl, a girl who had a baby and then had another baby and another and then one more.

This woman who raised me, who knew all the answers to all my questions, who has, from the moment my lungs first drew in a breath, caused the world to feel steady and secure…

she has a history?

She has a heart of her own, and a brain full of ideas and opinions and longings?

She is, like, a person and not just “my mom”?

She doesn’t just exist for my happiness and comfort and to find my stuff?!


One of the greatest gifts of motherhood, then, is that it allows us to understand our own moms like we never have before. A veil is lifted and we step across and join them on the other side, in heart, in mind, in spirit.

I can look into my mom’s eyes now and understand her gaze, for was I not just turning that very same love-filled eye toward my own children?

I know now that her praise of me is sincere.

I know that she truly loves me unconditionally, to the moon and down the street and back.

And I also know that she probably wanted to eat the last piece of pie.

I had no idea, truly!

As the only daughter of the family, though, even before I had children of my own, there naturally came a time in my life where I stopped solely being the recipient of my mom’s ministrations, and began slowly taking on the role of advocate.

As I matured, I started seeing, really seeing, all the dishes she had to do.

I started empathizing with her workload.

I started tuning in to her faithful character of kindness and hospitality, even when I knew she was tired, and I did what I could to hold her arms up.

Ha, I even started making it my own personal calling in life to keep people out of the kitchen while she cooked, striking up conversations in the dining area and living room so she could think clearly and juggle all her different recipes until the last dish was in the oven!

We became a real team, the two of us, much like my brothers and my dad out on the farm or at the sawmill or at the gas plant.

I’m not good at many of the things there are to be good at in this world, but I was born, I think, to be on “Team Mom”.

Anyhow, my mom had been talking about it for years, this dream to go to Maine.

It didn’t reach my ears for the longest time.

It didn’t reach anybody’s ears, not really.

This was Mom! She needed to stay home and take care of us. And we had places that we needed to go. And then there was that long stream of graduations and marriages and pregnancies and births and newborns and then I looked up and I was 33 years old and my mom was about to turn 64.

Where had the time gone?

It was as spontaneous as anything we’ve ever done, by a MILE, and I will say that it was Spirit-led for the rest of my life, because I’m telling you, it was.

I called my dad. I called my husband. Three ‘yeses’, including mine, and…

oh my goodness, the rest is totally history.

The kind of history we will never, ever forget


If Mom’s dream was to go to Maine, why is this series titled “Dancing Hearts in Nantucket”?! Stayed tuned for Part Two tomorrow!! All will be revealed…

Mrs. Gore Likes…Noble Baby Mama

I will not be compensated for the following endorsement and promotion in any way. I am just a happy shopper and wanted to share! Hope you enjoy! And be sure to read all the way to the bottom to find a fun surprise! And I promise I’ll go easy on the exclamation marks from here on out!!!


It is hard for me not to gush when it comes to the things I really love.

The new Cinderella movie. The Mitford books. My ever-growing cardigan collection.

I start talking about them and I just can’t stop, as if the more words I use, the more you will REALLY understand how much I love whatever it is I’m gushing about.

“They can’t possible understand yet how much I love this. Let me use a few more superlative-laden sentences…”

Such is the curse of the enthusiastic and enamored.

And when it comes to the products that I am highlighting today, I am definitely enthusiastic and I am certainly enamored, and the reasons for both are many.

First of all, I actually know the woman behind this shop. She was a wee little thing in my church not so long ago, and I remember clustering around her with my friends and glorying in the preciousness of her face, her attitude, her everything! She was a doll, and believe it or not, she is somehow even CUTER today.

And so I just can’t comprehend it when the little people that were once in my life are now big people, with big talents and even bigger work ethics. Trisha, the young woman (and mother of two!) behind the Etsy shop Noble Baby Mama, is superbly talented, and has a business savvy beyond her years. I’m proud to know her.

Secondly, I really love to support the work of fellow believers, especially when they use their business to bring glory to God and to help others. Trisha and her husband are devout Christians, hardworking and kind and generous. In fact, Trisha just recently launched a fundraiser to help one of her friends adopt a baby by making and selling a special turban for the cause. I love that!


And lastly, even if I didn’t personally know Trisha, and even if she wasn’t a sister in the Lord, I would just flat-out love the goodies she makes. They’re so cute. They feel great. They are understated and simple. They hold up well. They’re…perfect!

In fact, can I tell you something really true? When I received my first order of Noble Baby Mama hair accessories for my little girls and I held them in my hands and put them in their hair, I was so pleased that I have never felt a need to shop elsewhere. When it comes to hair, this is my STORE, yo, and almost every accessory in our collection has been ordered from Trisha.

So let’s get started with our shopping, why don’t we?

I love, love, LOVE Trisha’s knot bows, available in every color you could want. When Betsie was a baby, I bought MINI pairs of all the important colors for her piggy-tails, and then I keep an assortment of colors (and about six in white!) in a standard size for when the girls need something to just keep their hair out of their face or to adorn a single ponytail.

It is important to pay attention to sizing, but Trisha makes it really clear and easy in her product descriptions of what you’re ordering and what to do if you’d like a custom order.


Now, I was going to doll the girls up and have them model some of Trisha’s bows so you could see them, but I decided, instead, to go digging through my photo collection to find instances of when the girls actually wore them. This is the proof in my pudding, yes? The following bows are all “mini knot bows”, in solid colors or gingham prints.







The girls apparently even favor Trisha’s bows when they’re playing “Booty Shop”.



On top of that, Trisha always has seasonal bows available in the cutest (and again, understated) prints, something new and different for your special occasions. For instance, this set of four mini knot bows that she released for the summer. SO cute!!!


Or these 3-inch bows. Love.


Sometimes Betsie chooses to wear all of Trisha’s printed bows at one time, in what she calls a “bow headband”.


But where Trisha REALLY slays me, I think, is with her FANTASTIC turbans.

These are usually available for mothers AND daughters (yay!), and Betsie, our little hippie, especially loves them, plopping them on her head with any and every outfit.

The girls and I mostly like to wear them as headbands (as in, at the nape of the neck UNDER the hair), but sometimes they wind up on top of our hair, too.

Whatevs. It’s all good. Seriously, these turbans are cute both ways.




Rebekah likes them, too.


And, okay, I love them, too, for those days when I don’t get to wash my hair or just need to get that mop outta my way!

I promise I wasn’t posing for a senior picture here.

Rebekah was secretly photographing me while I watched Gideon shoot a BB gun.


Speaking of daughters who like to take pictures of me…

Trisha offers an especially cute turban that I love the most – a mustard-colored beauty that goes with everything (and one that she JUST added back to the shop!!) –  and this is the only picture I have of it.

Betsie took this on a day she was asking me to make funny faces for her camera.

If you have to be caught making googly faces in a photograph, you might as well have a cute turban on, eh?



the BEST part? When I messaged Trisha that I was wanting to share some photos of her products on my blog, she generously offered a special discount to Mrs. Gore’s Diary readers.

How about some more exclamation marks?


From now until the end of this month (July 2015), you can use the coupon code “mrsgore20” at Trisha’s Etsy shop and receive 20% off your entire order! It’s like we’re shopping together now.

Special heartfelt thanks to Trisha for doing this for us, and for letting my name be in a coupon code for the first time EVER. I’m atwitter, for sure.

And I guess I should stop gushing now so you can go shopping! You can find mini knot bows and 3-inch knot bows and baby headbands and turbans galore by clicking here. Don’t forget your coupon code: mrsgore20.

And be sure to follow Noble Baby Mama on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with future special offers and releases!

Thank you for shopping with me today. ❤

The Day I Took a Walk – Part Three

New to this week’s anniversary series? Read Part One and Part Two


The morning of our anniversary dawned as beautifully as our wedding day did ten years ago, but this time, of course, there were children in my bed.

Funny how that works.

Having already delivered all of the necessary supplies to my parent’s house two nights before, the girls and I were free to wake up leisurely and get our day started before being picked up by my mama for our fun bridal-esque day on the town.

Mom and I giggled a bit to recall our identical drive a decade past, leaving my capable sister-in-law, Amy, in charge of all of the wedding chaos back at the house while we enjoyed our last day together sharing the same home and last name. (Thanks again, Amy – you were awesome! I will owe you FOREVER!)

As my mama’s baby and only girl following three sons, the two of us had really savored every possible second of the entire bridal experience, and while I would maybe do a few things differently in retrospect (i.e. save my parents some money by toning things down a notch), we were feeling absolutely on top of the world that day.

And so it was fun to see a similar glee on my daughter’s faces as we loaded up into my mom’s SUV. I’m sure you know this already, but one of the crowning joys of life is having girls in your life to do girly stuff with.

And can I just say that I was so proud of Betsie for being brave enough to wear her sponge rollers all over Tulsa, although I am sure she soon realized that it was a wise choice, as every woman we passed stopped in her tracks to fawn over the cuteness and nostalgia that her ‘do evoked.

Maybe I’ll try to wear sponge rollers to Tulsa someday. Do you think people will think I’m cute?

Yeah, okay, maybe I won’t.

So our first stop was to the donut shop to get donut holes because donuts are important, whether it is your anniversary or not.

Next, we drove to the flower shop to pick out our flowers. We didn’t actually get our wedding flowers from Stem’s in 2005, but we did have roses at our wedding and Stem’s has roses, so there you go. Plus it was in the same shopping center we would be in all day.

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Did you know that The Pioneer Woman has shopped here before? I could feel her lingering presence. That’s why I’m really smiling in this picture, not because it is my anniversary and I’m about to get my hair did.

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Stem’s always has a gorgeous selection of flowers. It was hard to leave without buying the whole room!

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Next, because we were a little bit early for my first appointment, we stopped in at Pottery Barn Kids to waste some money…er, time.

I wonder, sometimes, if Pottery Barn Kids recognizes our family as the people who come and play with toys but never buy anything?

I hope not.

We make up for it at Christmastime.

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And then it was time for my hair appointment at Ihloff Salon and Day Spa, the magical place where I spent many hours in the months leading up to my wedding getting groomed and scrubbed and polished, and where I had my hair done for bridal portraits and our wedding.

I touched on this already in Part Two of this series, but it felt so strange to be having an updo as an old washed-up woman in her thirties.

At least, that’s how we allow ourselves to think sometimes, isn’t it?

Which leads me to the second part of the lesson I told you about yesterday.

If I’m being quite transparent, and I thank you for allowing me to do so, I would have to confess that this was not an ideal time in my mind to be focusing an entire day and photo shoot around myself.

Shepherd’s pregnancy – and my ruthless craving for hamburgers that accompanied that pregnancy, I am sure – was hard on my body, and almost two years later, I have yet to return to my favorite weight range and the size of clothing that I feel most comfortable with.

It doesn’t help much, of course, that Sheppy is a devoted cuddlebug who hypnotizes me with his preciousness at least five times a day. While Betsie had me on my feet every second of her awake-time trying to keep her alive, therefore causing the pounds to just fall off of me, Sheppy is more like, “Hey, Mom, you want to sit here on the couch with me and let everything that we just ate turn into fat?”

It’s cute.

And I always say “Why, yes, Sheppy, I DO.”

And I say all that not to fish for compliments and not to give the impression that I am unhappy with the way I look – on most days, I feel perfectly fine and passably attractive for a mom of four kids in her early thirties.

But a photo shoot?! Where I’m the star? And where there isn’t a baby on my hip, camouflaging my midsection, at all times?


Therefore, this surprisingly painful practice of forging ahead and being the “woman of the hour” was good for me, not only to battle the self-consciousness that can so easily hold dominion over a woman’s spirit – even a woman who holds to all the right theologies! – but to display to my daughters that this earthly shell of mine isn’t something that I will shrink under.

We have bigger fish to fry, do we not?

And do you know what?

I totally went for it. And, please, feel free to go ahead and applaud for me because I didn’t even wear a SHAWL. Sleeveless, baby, for maybe the first time in public in I don’t even KNOW when.

Okay, it was a cap sleeve, but now you’re just being picky.

And the moral of this section of my anniversary series is as follows…

most husbands don’t want perfect-looking wives, they just want confident wives who aren’t so obsessed with their bodies that they keep them under lock and key both in and out of the bedroom.

On this day and on this anniversary weekend, I chose to be confident for my man, and believe you me, he was a fan. 😉 😉 😉

Moving on, before we get to the fun of our outing, there is one last secret that I’d like to pass along, a secret that applies to all family gatherings, especially when children are involved, and it this: though beautiful and touching in theory, this momentous day of ours was no more perfect than any other day outside of the gates of Eden.

Let me explain.

I was telling my friend, Kodi, that I am the queen of dreaming up these idyllic scenarios about the special moments I will share with my family.

In my imagination, there is always laughter and frolicking and I’m never sweating or feeling like I could wring someone’s neck.

And, in my projections for this day, in particular, my impressionable daughters would most assuredly be sitting on the edge of their seats, watching their beloved mother being transformed into a vision of timeless beauty. Their eyes would sparkle as they would watch my hair being pinned up, and they would meditate on how happy they are to have landed in my nest.


Fake, boooooooored smiles.

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Five minutes into my updo, Rebekah chirped, “How long do we have to be here? Can we go back to Pottery Barn Kids?”

Betsie, who was hanging like a monkey from the neighboring stylist’s chair, dropped to the floor and nodded her head in agreement.

And I realized again, in that moment, that my children are humans – especially on holidays! – and that I should just sit back and enjoy my day in a realistic manner. No pressure on anyone, just love and humor, and this attitude would most certainly serve me well the entire day, and really, my entire life.

I hope you’ll remember this at your next Easter Egg hunt when everyone is crying, your kids have changed into sweatpants without your permission, your hair is wind-blown and stuck to your lipgloss and your underarms have leaked sweat onto your blouse for all the world to see.

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My mom, ever the astute helper, soon whisked the girls off for about an hour, leaving me and my stylist, Whitney, to chat and relax…

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and they returned just in time to see the last pin being slipped into my fifty pounds of hair. (I sincerely felt sorry for this sweet lady who had to figure out how to arrange that mess!)

Before leaving, she put on the finishing touch, the crystal brooch that was pinned in my hair ten years earlier, and then we moved down the street to my make-up session at Saks Fifth Avenue, which was, you guessed it, exactly where I went on my wedding day.

The girls felt a little perkier about this portion of our day – they love make-up! – and Debra at the Trish McEvoy counter was so accommodating to our little party.

How nice it felt to sit at my leisure and have a professional gussy me up. The only problem was, this make-up application felt SO good and relaxing, I just wanted to go night-night when it was all over.

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And now I’d like to display to you for just a second what it is like to sit with Betsie during church…

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Oh! And have I mentioned yet that girls are fun?!

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Before we left for the day, Rebekah and Betsie got to join in the pampering, and they were giddy with excitement.

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I share my lipgloss with them faithfully, but this was another level, entirely.

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On our way out of Utica Square, we picked up the cake at Queenie’s Cafe — the same strawberry cake that was featured on the dessert table at our wedding — the flowers that had been put back for us at Stem’s, and supper for all of us to eat after the celebration.

And then?

We were off!

While the drive to Tulsa had been almost identical to the one I took on my wedding day – heart full of excitement to luxuriate in a bridal transformation – the drive home was much different.

There were no nerves this time.

No fears or doubts.

No somberness about the life I was leaving behind.

Only praise and gratitude from mulling over how good God has been, pure excitement about spending the evening with my favorite people, and, honestly, relief that this entire shenanigan was almost successfully concluded!

Turning onto my parent’s country road from the highway, we stopped and pointed out to the girls where, ten years earlier, their Papa had been standing in the bar-ditch with my brother, Pete, propping up an antique door that told wedding guests where to turn.

As mom and I had slowed down to greet them that late afternoon, Mr. Gore had turned his back to me so he wouldn’t see me before the wedding, and I felt like I was going to burst. I’d had butterflies galore in that moment, and I had them again, just thinking about my bridegroom who has stood by my side for a beautiful decade.

When we finally pulled up into the driveway, Rebekah, Betise and I scurried to my mom and dad’s room through the back door while Mama went through the front door to deliver strict orders to the boys not to come back there.

It was a full-out GIRLS ONLY moment, and the next hour or so was spent thumbing through our wedding album, watching our wedding ceremony on DVD (Rebekah could not BELIEVE how “adorable” her papa was!) and watching the collection of old movie clips that had played on a big projector screen at our wedding reception.

And then, just like on my wedding day, the evening swung into full gear, Becky arrived with all of her camera equipment, we began to get dressed in our fancy clothes, and then, well…

then we took a walk.


I vow to you that you’ll see EVERY BIT of that walk, tomorrow!

Dear Beautiful

Dear Beautiful, a letter to my daughters about being pretty

To my beloved daughters, aged 4 and 2,

I remember when I was quite young and my Mama would tell me what made a girl pretty…

her smile. She said a happy smile was the prettiest thing in the world.

And she always told me that it was what was on the inside that counted.

“Inner beauty”.

I listened.

I tried to take it in.

But I didn’t really believe her.

Because I had seen what beautiful was…

She-Ra. She had long, blonde, flowing hair and a white mini dress. (and a unicorn with rainbow wings).

Miss America. The ballgowns, the swimsuits, the sparkly crowns, the perfect smiles.

Barbie. Big boobies. Big, big boobies.

Paula Abdul. I don’t know. I just loved her. Did you know she used to be a Laker Girl? I did, because I read her biography. In the 3rd grade.

As a little girl, I looked, wide-eyed, upon the outward features that made something beautiful to me – a certain type of hair, a beguiling turn of the eye, a fancy schmancy body – and I dreamed of attaining that level of pretty.

And the more I admired what was beautiful to me, the more my mom’s definition of “pretty” seem kind of hokey and like something people said to make sure that every girl at least felt pretty, whether she was or not; inner beauty was a good thing, and I wanted it, but it seemed to have little bearing on whether I was perceived as a beautiful person or not. And I wanted to be jaw-droppingly beautiful.

I spent years, even my outwardly-prettiest years, shrugging off her compliments. “You’re my Mom,” I would say, “of course you think my hair looks good like this.”

“You’re my Mom,” I’d laugh, “only you would think this dress looked nice on me.”

“You’re my Mom. You have to say that.”

But, little girl, then I had you.

They placed you on my chest, squalling and crying and covered in birthing stuff, and everything she ever taught me about beauty made perfect sense.

You were alive and breathing and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

And every morning when you walk down the stairs and I see that you are still alive and still breathing…beautiful.

I finally get it now: the prettiest thing about a girl, any girl, is that she is fearfully and wonderfully made by God. She is alive. She is a person. She has a soul.

Do you understand how fantastic that is? God made you! I know He did, because you weren’t there, and then you were there.

I didn’t make you.

Fate didn’t.

A coincidental twist in an evolutionary cycle didn’t.

God did.

I like to think about Him crafting you, weaving all of your different features together into a unique and breath-taking work of art.

Your hair? It’s so amazing. It was made by God.

For you, Rebekah, He chose golden hair, with a natural side part that suits your face just right. It is straight and silky, with a slight bend at the end; sunlight runs to dance among your strands, crowning you like a glowing halo. God gave you a gift when He crafted your locks.

And Betsie Fair, yours is light brown and wild, a perfect match to your carefree and joyful childhood. When you wake up in the morning, your mane is as big as your eyes, ready to take on the world, ready to catch syrup and dirt, ready to make a most fitting frame to your precious, ornery little face.

Your hair is beautiful.

Your bodies? They were made by God, so different, but equally lovely.

Rebekah, my love, your body is like your spirit: strong, sturdy, and precious to behold. When I hold you in my arms, my heart is full and soothed.

And Betsie, your slinky, skinny body is so fun to watch. You run and hop and leap and dance uninhibited, and I marvel at the way you move, like an instrument that proclaims with every step that God is singing over us.

Your bodies are beautiful.

Your eyes? God made them, giving me windows into your sweet, sweet souls.

Your cornflower blue eyes burn holes into my heart, Rebekah Sunday…

and Betsie, your naïve glances cause me to melt.

Your eyes are beautiful.

Your hands? God made them. They’re beautiful.

Your feet? Your toes?

Made by God.


Your nose? Your mouth? Your lips? Your teeth?

God, God, God, God.

So beautiful.

And oh, those smiles.

Your Grandmother was right. When you smile and your eyes perk up with twinkles of happiness, you are the essence of beauty. And when you throw back your head and laugh, the trees tip their hats and the mountains bow in reverence to this pinnacle of God’s creation.

Yes. Your smiles are beautiful.

So, please, my darling daughters…

Don’t spend a day feeling miserable and fat.

Don’t look with covetous eyes at the hair that was given to another girl.

Don’t wish for blue eyes when yours are green.

This world is not your mirror, a reflection of what you are lacking or what you should look like.

It is your playground.

Live here, freely, happily, and unhindered by the chains and lies of a worldview that says some people have beauty and some don’t, that some have perfect bodies and some don’t, that some are made for magazines and the big-screen and some are not…

because that’s about the stupidest and most shallow thing a girl can believe.

You were created for richer feasts.

When you gaze at your reflection, do your mama a favor and admire the handiwork of God. And then…

walk away.

Run and play.





Tell your friends how beautiful they are.

And, through the grace of the God who made you, work every day to purify your soul and mortify your sin, leaving a beauty inside of you that will dazzle this sad and captive world with the light of Jesus Christ.

They will never know what hit them.

Mrs. Gore’s Cure for the Common Cold

I woke up sick Saturday morning, after a week of trying to avoid catching whatever it was that had my son, Gideon, down for 7 days and counting.

Stuffy nose.


Extremely sore throat.

Not to mention the tossy and turny night of sleep the entire family had, what with a thunderstorm, and a crying Gideon (who couldn’t breathe or sleep and refused to take the red cough syrup we offered him), and a teething Betsie, and, not to be outdone, a scared Rebekah who fled from her upstairs room at the first flash of lightning.

The night was so dramatic, Mr. Gore reportedly slept in the sunroom floor beside Gideon (who had finally fallen asleep on the glider), and I woke up sometime that morning with Rebekah on my face, my head pounding and my throat raging in discomfort. I was so groggy and felt so sick that, rather than shuffle around the house to find my husband, I felt around for the cordless phone and called him.

I’m so glad I did, because I discovered that he wasn’t even in the house, but in the shed, putting together the chalkboard he is making for our homeschool room. He could come in and take care of me, he said, followed by a gentle reminder that this was one of his only days to work on the chalkboard before our first day of school on September 4th.

I’ve gotta have that chalkboard.

And so the next 3 or 4 hours were spent just trying to make it until naptime.

Coffee helped a little.

Especially the 2nd cup.

And then I gave in and took a couple of extra-strength Tylenol.

And then, after I finally managed to feed them breakfast, Gid and Rebekah joined Papa in the shed, and it was just me and Betsie.

The day was much easier with just one child to watch, but time still went tick-tockingly slow, and I was hard-pressed to get much of anything done, my primary goal being to maintain a good attitude and to allow Betsie to roam around a bit rather than be locked up in her playpen where I was sorely tempted to put her.

But time marches on, and water has a way of boiling even when we’re watching the pot; before too long, I heard a little knock on the door. Looking out the peephole, I saw that my visitor was very short with a thick crop of red/blonde/brown hair. Gideon was back. And extremely dirty. It was straight to the shower for him, and I wondered how much longer it would be before Mr. Gore would return with our sure-to-be-dirty daughter. We were so very close to lunchtime now, with naptime just around the corner.

Somehow…someway…I had almost made it through this painfully slow Saturday morning…

However, when Gideon was finished showering, something extraordinary happened. Leading his baby sister to follow him up the stairs, he shut the nursery door and “baby-sat” her for me so I could rest. As I heard their laughter floating down the stairs, my heart immediately relaxed within me, and I sank down into a chair and waited for the rest of my family to come back home.

And that’s really when my day sort of turned magical…

I heard them before I saw them. Hopping up and opening the front door, I met them on the porch, both of them wet from the rain they had to run through to get back to the house. Rebekah was howling and Mr. Gore was smiling as he held her close. “She heard thunder about halfway across the yard and got scared.” he explained.

Setting her down on a towel right inside the front door, he asked for a couple of more minutes to tidy up the shed before lunch. Nodding, I began to “clean” Rebekah with wet wipes (or “wipe wipes” as she calls them), even as the tears continued to flow down her soft cheeks. There was a nice breeze blowing through our open door as I knelt there before her, and a steady rain continued to fall, leaving puddles on our sidewalk for the first time in months. The grass here in Oklahoma is so sun-scorched and rain-thirsty it has turned to the color of straw, and numerous tree limbs lay scattered across our acreage from trees that just seem to have given up and let go of their extra weight in the rec0rd-breaking temperatures.

Thus, the beckoning to go out-of-doors became irresistable. Turning my ear toward the stairs, I listened to make sure no one was crying before asking Miss Sunday if she might like to join me on the front porch.

“But I’m scared…” she cried. “The thunder might get us…”

“No it won’t…” I called, as I made my way to my rocking chair outside. “Come sit with me! I’ll keep you safe.”

Seconds later, I heard the creak of the screen door and her swift but heavy footsteps upon our concrete porch. Reaching me, she held up her ams, and I plunked her down safely in my lap.

She cuddled up against me and laid her head on my chest before wrapping her soft little arm around me. I covered the both of us with my favorite lightweight blanket and we methodically and calmly rocked, the wind blowing our hair back while light drops of rain periodically splattered us, even from our cozy perch under the shelter of the porch.

Sitting there with my 3-year old girl in my lap, my longing for naptime shifted, and I was left with one desire: to sit there forever, rocking, loving, holding, singing, and talking, with lots of kisses atop her head in-between.

“Isn’t God good to us, Rebekah?” I asked her.

She nodded her head, and pulled the blanket tightly under her chin. Her damp hair was turning wavy on my arm, and the wind was blowing wisps of those perfect golden strands all around her face.

“We are enjoying some of the best things that there are in life right this minute: family…and love…and rain…and God’s creation…see the trees blowing in the wind?” I said, hoping that she might pick up on a few of the many words I was saying, and that the truth would begin to take root in her heart that life was best enjoyed in simple and pure moments like we were sharing on our front porch, surrounded by the things God had made rather than the destructible treasures of man.

We sat quietly for a time, her blue eyes looking unblinkingly up at me in her signature gaze.

Finally she piped up. “I’m so gwad that God sent some wain to help gwow my fwowers.”

For just moments before, she had been picking and then replanting wildflowers by the shed where Papa was working. “Yes!” I exclaimed. “God is SO good to send some rain on your flowers.” I thought of the handful of farmers I know who had been desperately needing this rain, and trusting in the sovereignty of God to care for their crops and for their livelihood. My heart was happy to consider the gratitude they must be feeling at that very moment, echoed in the high-pitched voice of a 3-year old girl who was also worried about her plants…

It took Papa longer than he expected to tidy up the shed, and Gideon and Betsie were having a grand time upstairs, giving me and this treasure of a daughter plenty of time to commune with one another as we rocked and rocked and rocked. Before I knew it, lunchtime was upon us; Mr. Gore, seeing that I was in Mama heaven, offered to make the children some sandwiches, and allowing us to rock and sing songs until it was time to eat.

We soon moved on to the next part of our day – naptime! – but I was very glad this misty Saturday morning to have found the cure for the common cold, a surefire distraction to all that ails you…

Love. Family. Gratitude.

And for sure, a good rocking chair on the front porch.


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