For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Wonder of A Small Thing

They seem like a small thing, these children books that we keep on a toddler-high shelf. Worn covers, crumpled pages, pencil marks. How many times have they survived when other books were sacrificed in the name of space. Some things, though, are not to be sacrificed.

"Mom, can I read in the Big Bed? It's the best place in the house for reading." Favorite Boy gazes at me, hands filled with books.

Nearly a decade of books read in the Big Bed. Cold afternoons spent under warm blankets with a cozy story. A rough day smoothed with some snuggling and a book or two or ten. Upset tummies and stuffy heads made better with a favorite story read...just one more time.

There is no better place in the house to curl up with a book.

He disappears, and I put away another dish.

"Honey, I'm going to the bedroom to read." The larger version of Wonder Boy with thick book in hand, a classic we picked up over the weekend. He is plodding through.

I smile and nod. He disappears to the best place in the house to read.

When the dishes are done, I follow.

From the bedroom, floats familiar words in the voice of a boy. I peek around through the door to see a Daddy listening intently, his eyes and face reacting appropriately, encouraging the boy to read more.

"Can I come in?" A Wonder Girl whispers from beside me.

I nod and watch the girl becoming woman crawl to the head of the bed now become the end.

Favorite Boy reads the last page and lays the book aside. It is Daddy's turn to read.

"Daddy, read this one." Favorite Boy excitedly shoves a book at him.

Daddy looks and laughs. "Are you sure you want this one again?"

Children's heads nod.

Oh, yes, again...while there is still time...It is slipping by faster than I want to know.

He begins to read, and the family snuggles up close.

When he is done, Favorite Boy holds a book to me.

"I like how you read this one."

It is then that I realize Favorite Boy did not come to the Big Bed because it is most comfortable for his body but because it is most comfortable for his heart.

I look at the book and laugh. There is a reason the cover is worn, and it will be worn more tomorrow because tonight, I read it...again, adding personal comments. The family laughs.

My heart memorizes the sound.

When I am done, Wonder Girl chooses not to read but instead hands Daddy a book about heroes. "Read to us about them."

And the hero of our home reads...just a little more.

We listen, our bodies resting, our minds slowing, His hands knitting our hearts together.

The Big Bed is turned topsy turvy, heads where feet belonged and feet anywhere they'll fit.

The world is just right, though, and the family is right where it needs to the most comfortable place for reading there is...together.


  1. Jerri,

    I love this heart-warming piece. What wonderful memories you are building.

    I have a stack of books in the basement, getting ready for when Kamy is ready. Actually, she may be just about ready for them now!

    You've brought a smile to my heart.



  2. Jan,
    This is the good stuff, isn't it, my friend? I thank the Lord daily that I get the joy of raising my children and seeing them grow. It is certainly one of the greatest privileges He's ever given me.

    Love you, too!

  3. Aww, this is wonderful...the memories you'll have forever. Thanks for a sweet look into your life.

  4. May I now say how much I LOVE your new blog look. Rocks! And, I love this Phillips family! :)

    Oh, yeah pictures, too.

  5. Queen Mom, that is the idea. :-) Amazing how such simple things make such powerful memories, isn't it?

    Debra, thank you! You are an amazing a friend. Love you!