Blood & Southern Women of Faith

In titling this entry, I considered "Nails & Southern Women of Faith" but if I were reading that, I'd assume the author had just gotten a blissful mani/pedi. I thought about "A Bloody Nail & Southern Women of Faith" but that sounds like I'm going to talk about Jesus sacrificing His life for us on the cross.

Nope. I'm talking about the blood of a 4 year old and a good old nail from Home Depot. Yesterday after school I made Annelise start cleaning the playroom. [She really trashed it this week (she's a big box-dumper) and Will ALWAYS gets stuck doing the majority of the clean-up, b/c she is sooooo bad & stubborn about not doing it. I wanted her to do the bulk of it this time, and I was going to sit there & monitor her while finishing my book.] She is painfully slow picking things up - the way she cleans is the reason I could never pack our house personally to move: picking up each piece, pausing to think about its significance/wanting to play with it, and wondering for a bit where I really want it to go. Mind-numbing. I finally barked at her to pick up the pace and told her what to grab and where to put it w/o thinking about it. 5 seconds later: a scream. Apparently, she & Will had broken apart the wooden box they had built at the Liberty Fest Home Depot craft tent, and b/c the floor was so covered with junk, she didn't see the block of wood with the exposed nails. It went DEEP into her foot. I was filled with sympathy & rage: my poor girl, but DAGUMMIT!!!!! *THIS* is why you keep the playroom clean!!! So you can see what's around you! And so broken stuff doesn't stay in there!!!

I cleaned the puncture, (PRAISE GOD for up-to-date vaccinations!) bandaged it up w/ the perfect Ariel band-aid, snuggled her a moment, and yes: it was back to cleaning. I kid you not - barely 5 minutes later the playroom was filled with more wailing: she had sliced her hand on a broken water glass.

SIDEBAR FOR THE DEFENSE: we would NEVER purposely allow nails or glasses in the playroom! This story is being retold purely for the commiseration of other precious parents who have also fallen victim to Perfect Storm days.

I admit, I fussed at her: "What was a glass like this doing in the playroom?!?!?!?! AGAIN, *THIS* is why you HAVE to keep it clean in there!!!" We were both so upset, and after 2 freak accidents in such a short span, we knew we had to give up for a bit. Worn out from crying, she fell asleep for a nap on the couch, and - knowing that I needed to calm down, too, and get some divine help - I sat beside her & FINALLY finished the book my sweet Naperville MOPS girls gave me when I left in April.

What Southern Women Know About Faith by Ronda Rich was just the most perfect book for me! It echoes the things I've always felt (and those which I saw confirmed during our time living at home this year.) I highlighted almost cover-to-cover, but some of the gems that made me want to say, "Yes! Amen!" out loud were the importance of roots and a sense of place to Southerners, (this is an esp. hard one for me with the moving we do); the fact that "rarely will a conversation of any length b/t two Southern women not allude to or outright mention spirituality"; praying for God's will above our own b/c "I'm not smart enough to know what I need to have"; the way Southern women so naturally and w/o hesitation or ANY awkwardness always ask their friends to pray for them for big & small things; that part of our famed Southern Hospitality stems from the way we vivaciously enjoy life, want everyone around us to enjoy it, too, and always thank God for it; that it also comes from the way we are so openly kind - using manners & acts of kindness to make people feel comfortable instead of being closed off & private; the way we openly grieve together, but at the same time, how strong we are: "you can never have too much steel in your magnolias."

I just loved this book to bits, and I love my dear friends for seeing my heart in it. That's one of the highest compliments I could receive.

PS - some may think this entry should have been two separate posts, but I wanted to show that I'm not trying to be a perfect preacher when I share my faith or spiritual lessons I've heard. I have my meltdown moments of sheer irritation with the best of them, but I share the things that help me precisely b/c I NEED THEM :-) and if I do, maybe they could help someone else, too! So blessings to everyone who has made it this far reading and prayers of grace for today over all of us! :-)


  1. Havin' 2 kids I just use the bucket system. Each of 'em have a bucket. If it is yours, pick it up and put it in your bucket. If no one claims it, then I get it. Too bad. And for my lil' slow poke I set a timer. Any kid can pick up their toys in 5 minutes, and if you do you get a treat.

  2. I'm gonna have to get that book! I love that quote about the magnolias. Perfect!

    So sorry to hear about the hard afternoon A had! Poor thing! Maybe she learned a valuable lesson... just maybe.

  3. Cheyeanne - I'm embarrassed to say the number & size of their toys won't fit in a bucket; but each kind of toy (stuffed, car, train, play food, etc.) has it's own basket that they put it back in. The timer is the only thing that DOES work, though - you got that right!
    Reynie - from your fingertips to God's ears!!! ;-)

  4. my mom once told me to pick up my toys and when it wasn't done when she returned- she said, "i give you 10 minutes, if its not done in 10 minutes, whatever is left out is going to charity". i didn't believe her until she took some of my favorite toys that i hadn't picked up and we drove them to the salvation army. it worked, though! i cleaned-up every time she told me too! later, she said it was a very difficult thing for her to carry through on, but it worked... crazy, no?

    and yay to southern roots! that is something i haven't experienced since i graduated from high school - i've moved over 10 times in 10 years, so i no longer know what that feels like. hope you have a great sunday AM!


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