affectionately known as mumzi.

:: by Marguerite Delcambre

We all grow in the soil of family cultivated and nurtured around us.  In that soil we stretch out, push into the dirt and feel life all around.  There are rocks and weeds and roots that we must move around, grow through and deal heavily with.  Regardless, it is in that soil that we flourish or flounder.  As a parent, it is my duty to nurture the soil my kids are growing in and keep it healthy.

In planning for this series of guest posts, I felt it would be lacking without one.  I would like to give you the slightest glimpse into the heart of my mother.  She is a woman who with an unassuming, quiet strength has made a way for me.  Constantly tending to the soil of our hearts in ways lasting, my sister and I grew healthy despite rocks and thinning soil drying in sun.  Death of a child, her firstborn, when I was only five.  Marriage suddenly no more after years of happy and whole.  Her faith strained undoubtedly, but in that straining, grew unmistakably deep loosening soil richer.

And as the soil in my life thinned, she arrived.  I will forever owe a debt to her that she will never accept for pausing her life to see that ours resumed.  Quietly cultivating soil.

I asked her to simply write a letter addressed to my daughters speaking into their future words that would carry.  I also asked my grandmother to write letters to my girls.  Maw maw Lucy is well into her nineties and she like my mom is still tending to the soil.  I am who I am largely due to these two remarkable ladies, my mom and my grandmother.[gallery link="file" columns="5"]


Dear Elizabeth, Emily and Chloe,

I love you all so much, and I want God's very best for you.  You've already felt more pain in your short lives than most girls your age, but I see you as winners.  I love the young girls you're becoming.  I know you are who you are because you have had such a strong foundation laid by your daddy and mommy.

I have been praying for you from the time I heard the good news that you would be born.  I prayed that you would be safe, beautiful, smart, talented.  I'll always pray for you.  My prayer now is that you will follow Jesus all the days of your lives.  Then you will make wise choices. Choose to be honest in everything you do.  You'll make mistakes, but admit those mistakes and choose not to make the same mistake again.  You'll  feel so good about yourself and others will respect us.

Choose to love your sisters, watch out for each other, help each other.  When you think of Mommy and it hurts and makes you lonely, sad, or even angry, remember that your sisters feel that way too sometimes.  Be kind and loving to each other.  Friends will come and go but sisters will always be sisters.  Choose your friends wisely.  Having a few friends who believe in the same things you believe is better than having lots of friends who are untrustworthy friends, who may try to get you to do the wrong thing.

Choose carefully who to date...  My prayer is that your future mate will love Jesus first, then you, that he will be the leader and provider in your home, that he will honor and respect you.  First get to know the young man you fall in love with by dating him, become engaged, marry... Then have a home together and have babies.  That's God's plan for you that order. Choose wisely.  You may hear lots of people say "its ok, everyone's doing it."  That's a lie.  There are some who choose being different from the crowd because the crowd may be doing the wrong thing.  Listen to that still small voice in your heart who wants to lead you the right way.

Remember that I'll always love you.  I hope that no matter what you face in life, you will always know that I am here for you.

Love you forever, Mumzi



Thanks for reading this week.  And a lasting thank you to the amazing women who were my guests: Rachel McGowan (@_rachchristine) ||  Meshali Mitchell (@meshali) || Felicity White (@felicitywhite)



the discipline of love.

“Love is friendship set on fire.”Jeremy Taylor

“Does everyone leave?”

My daughter, aged young, eyes wide observing, told me stories about friends’ families broken or breaking.  There was a curiosity in her asking.  A wondering of love building expectations to be held in her heart for now and ahead.  My hands clinched the steering wheel a bit stronger, and I sat a little stiffer in hearing her say of her friend believing her mom would probably return in a couple days.

“She said probably in a couple days her mom will be back.” “Do you think so, Dad?” “Does everyone leave?”

Our hearts diseased with self, infected with independence roam to be satisfied.  The satisfaction, we call love, our hearts happy and served and content in the shallow.  The deep undisturbed.  Years together do not equal love.  Close but not connected, no matter how long, is like neighbors under one roof with the option of moving never officially dismissed.  Love is not found in a bar or a car.  I heard that somewhere when I was young, and it’s actually great advice.  A precise uncovering of love truer than we are led to know.  We find love not where we look, but in the exact spot we allow ourselves to be found.  To be found can be quite troubling when we are too busy searching and grabbing and keeping for ourselves happiness.  So we synonymously connect sex to love and cheapen the chance, run eventually and our hearts shut a bit tighter.  Our hearts are not conditioned to love, but we want it.  Happy.  Everyone wants happy and that proves problematic.  The divide ever widening between wanting love and actually getting there.  Instead, love is romanticized and bludgeoned to an unrecoverable end with thoughts of smiles and sex and white picket fences forever.  What few know and fewer find is that work is required.  Love is discovered in death.  It takes a strong discipline to die enough for room to be made in your heart for another and you in theirs.  Both forever and lasting.

That’s the stuff of true romance.  Not trouncing lightly on rose pedals and lying easy under an always clear sky, but cutting through brush losing the path in steps, crossing rushing rivers in storming skies and forging up slippery slopes.  Love is discovery and adventure.  Love is sweat and swearing while you reach to pull out of moments when you only want to slide back into selfish alone.  Sitting at the dinner table colder than happy, ready to run, pushing out your clinched fist to open your hand to hold the hand known by your heart and wearing your symbol given on a much sunnier day, and allowing the moment to pass without words but together, there in the moment that is love, too.  That is right where love deepens and soars both at the same time.  In the discipline, love is truly found. “No, not everyone leaves.  But I want you to know that relationships are tough.  They take work and are not always easy but always worth it.  Always.”

Love is found in the giving not receiving.  It is in the receiving that you hold it as love holds a heart that was once two now lost singularly.