Monday, September 15, 2014


Some Fridays I participate in a little writing prompt called 'Five Minute Friday' which is now hosted over on the Heading Home blog. The way it works is you're given a one word prompt, you tell your inner critic to hush, and then you write for five minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word. I didn't participate  last week because I had an early appointment, and then the day kind of rolled on from there.  In other words, I wasn't ready.

Coincidentally the prompt on Friday was this word-ready.
Ironic, yes?

I thought I'd chime in on it here today because I've been thinking about that word quite a lot lately, particularly as it relates to my daughter who is getting married in a little less than four months.  Is she ready? Have I done my job as a mother to make her ready?

I read a quote a while back that said-

 'It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now.'  

Not sure I agree with this in it's entirety, but I would say there's at least a kernel of truth in that statement. When I tell people my daughter is getting married they often ask her age, and then proceed to make a judgement call-too old? too young? We all do it, we all have some notion of what the magic age should be to get it just right. She's 26. From where I sit that sounds delightfully young, but in terms of how old is too young to get married, it's not so young.

She's been out of college in the grown up world of work for four years now, living several states away, paying her own bills, managing all the many areas of life that require managing, and doing a great job of it I might add.  So she is officially an adult, not just in years but in maturity.

Is she ready to get married? Is marriage something you can be fully ready for? Isn't marriage a bit of a learn as you go proposition? Ha! Truth y'all.

I don't mean to imply we go in blind, because that's no good. When I look at my daughter I see someone who is confident and comfortable in her own skin. She is not looking for her fiance to define her, entertain her, fix her.  She has a tender heart, a gentle disposition, and a passion for the people who cross her path. She knows how to compromise, fight fair, and is secure in the knowledge that God has a plan for her life.

Does that make her ready for marriage? Or does it simply mean she is ready for what marriage may bring? Because in my mind that's the important thing. And in my experience marriage is full of surprises, only some of which are the good kind. You discover things about a person you didn't know were there, and I'm not talking about in our spouses, although there is that. I'm talking about in our very own selves. Marriage shines a light on the best and worst parts of who we are and sometimes we're not ready for that.

Have I as a mother helped make my daughter ready for married life? I hope so. I pray that is so. I've set an example as a wife which statistics show she will likely follow, for better or worse. My daughter and I had a conversation recently where I was trying to get her to see something in another way. It was a little tense, and later when I thought about it I realized I was trying to get her to learn a lesson I'd learned through years of living. I felt like God was telling me to hush (It took me a minute. Or two)...that I have got to let Him write her story, the one with her name on it, not mine.

I ain't gonna a mother that's not such an easy thing to do. We know our children intimately, and we think we know what they need now and forever and ever amen. We're older, wiser (sorry kids!) and we've learned a few things the hard way. We look back at our own married life and see things we wish we'd handled with a different action, attitude, or tone of voice, and we know some of what will roll their way as the calendar turns from one anniversary to the next. We review our own marriage film loop and see the good and the hard, the mundane and the unpredictable. As a mother I sometimes want to steer my children around the tough stuff and let them wallow in the beautiful. But!...

There's always a but when I want my way about something. In looking back at my own married life I see so clearly how some of life's stresses and the seemingly hard things we experienced as a young couple were the very things God used to cement us as man and wife. The joys too, but it has been primarily in the shared making of tough decisions, big and little mistakes, and in forgiveness granted, that God has knit us together.

I think back to when I was 26 years young. We'd been married for two years, we'd just purchased our first home, I was working full time, we didn't really know what we were doing, but we were figuring it all out together.  And I was ready for that.

So is my girl.

Dear Darling Daughter1-

When I think about the early days of married life with Daddy I smile. He was just the hubs then, but that title Daddy was out there waiting for him. There is something so sacred about those early years. When you don't know what you don't know and you don't even care that you don't know it. You don't want someone to lay it all out there. You want to savor the now and imagine the future. To dream big dreams and chase them with all you have in you. And you should. Because you are ready. 



  1. Oh my, what a way with words. This so so beautifully written ... and so full of truth.

  2. I know I've said it many times, but it does bear repeating even so, I LOVE the way you write. You have managed to capture soo many of the thoughts I had when my daughter was getting ready to marry. Was she ready? She was just shy of 22, graduating college in May, and set to marry the 8th of June. She was a baby it seemed to me. Had I prepared her? Taught her what really mattered and what didn't. How to compromise, how to truly support another, and on and on the list went. She was moving away from home for the first time as well when she married, and a thousand miles away to boot. I was terrified for her. Did she know how to really keep house even? lol But ready or not here she came. And she made some mistakes in those early days and suffered her way through some things and danced her way through others. But the answer was learned, she was ready. Of course then 3 years later she began having babies and I was right there asking the questions again...Is she ready? Does she honestly know what's involved? I won't be close enough to help out much. How will she do? But again, she was ready. I've come to realize that most of us probably aren't "ready" for the most part as we enter each new season of our lives, but God and circumstances very quickly make us this way. We get busy living the now, and ready or not here we are. Sorry, didn't mean to write a book. Your posts always make me think and wonder. Enjoy your week!

  3. Very wise words from the heart. It's a good feeling to know, deep down, that a child is "ready as she'll ever be" to be married. Or in our case, ready as he'll ever be. They didn't marry too young in our opinion, although many folks judged that 22 and 24 was too young for a guy, especially . Well who wants a 30 year old unemployed bachelor living. In their basement ? We knew they were full timed employed in careers, they love the Lord, they loved their woman in a way that made weekends apart utterly miserable but together time they were so happy. We were ready for them to marry for their sakes, but why did life go by so fast?

    Anyway, you didn't. Write that in only five minutes, did you? Without editing?

    1. No, not this one. It warranted more than 5 minutes : )

  4. I was wondering too, how in the world you could be so inspired in a mere 5 minutes with such heartfelt thoughts. A sweet, sweet post!!!!

  5. You're a very wise mom and will also be a very wise MIL. Lots of happy times ahead.

  6. Beautifully put!
    I've often thought that it is an impossible task to impart my 50+ years of knowledge/experience/wisdom into the kids before they leave home. This is where we pray that God comes along side them, as He did us, while they travel on their own path.
    Good thoughts.

  7. I love you momma! Thanks for loving me and helping me feel as ready as I'll ever be.

  8. When each of our children got married, I wanted so badly to save them from some of the mistakes Ed and I made, that I know I gave more advice than I should have, sometimes. I gradually learned that everyone has to find their own way, through their own mistakes, so I've learned to be quiet and listen (for the most part).
    This was a beautiful and thoughtful post :) It sounds like you are learning, too...