Sometimes we make daisy chains, weaving the slight stems in and out and looping them around to form a crown of flowers that I’ll sit daintily on hair. It doesn’t stay because she throws her head back when she laughs, loud and full and often.
Another chain graced my inbox this week, emails that run long and deep between the women who make my life and heart full. “Proverbs, she began, is not a book of promises.” It is a book, she tells us, of deep-seated wisdom meant to guide us to the great Promise. The emphasis on these words in the middle of the text, the ones that a well worn bible is likely to fall open to spread wide on a table, is as a collection of guiding principles to help us choose a path of wisdom.
I dug out the study Bible, the one that is smarter than I am, and read about Proverbs, about how this great wisdom was bound together to give me direction and the pages become a touchstone.
I catch the flower crown as it slides down the curls and see scriptures in the imperfect petals.
“Listen my son, to your father’s instruction and don’t reject your mother’s teaching, for they will be a garland of grace on your head and a gold chain around your neck.” – Proverbs 1:8-9
When she is older I might quote it to her but for now it serves as a beautiful visual for me of what my teaching will become.
This is what every effort is forming, every moment that I choose patience and kindness and self-control in the midst of toddler chaos is weaving itself into a garland of grace. That her adornments will be formed from the words that fall from my lips and in every action of mine that she mimics. That every day in which I run my eyes over these Proverbs and bow my head low in prayer for the both of us is counted and collected.
This study bible, it says that the garland symbolism is that of protection and “an ornamentation which enhances.” *
Those words sound like motherhood.
They sound like my fierce need to protect her combined with my deep desire to love her so well that it enhances the wonderfully made girl that she already is.
I can see it in this clumsily made daisy chain and I am thankful for the wisdom, a short proverb pushing me towards a lifetime of shaping a garland of grace for the little life that has been entrusted to me.
I might not know how to fasten flowers into the most beautiful of garlands but the Creator does.
(P.S. I really love my study bible, so I’m giving one away here if you’d like one too.)
* The Study Bible For Women, B&H Publishers, page 784