Raising Magnolias

Because it's never too late for happily ever after…

I heard the bell ring and I was covered only by a towel (hot pink, if you must know) and some cream on my face. I’ll leave you to guess what the cream was for, but I will say that if you’re still in your 30’s, don’t make fun of me, ’cause just you wait. However, if you’re in your 40’s and not using said cream, let me be blunt: You should be.

Don’t trust the lighting in your bathroom. We are 40 and while we can still rock it, a little more maintenance is required. Oil of Olay. That’s all I’m sayin’.

Anyway, the bell rings and it’s a hard call. No, I’m not dressed and yes there is the cream, but I’m alone for the next five days and you don’t really want to pass up a doorbell opportunity.

Even if it turns out to be Ross, the 6th grader next door.

Fortunately it wasn’t Ross, because in retrospect opening the door in a towel probably isn’t the best idea, however I will say that technically, it’s much more coverage than say, a swimsuit.

It was my sweet friend Heidi bearing hugs, Christmas wishes and lots of calories.

So happy I opened the door.

I washed the cream off and got dressed. Really dressed. No leggings. No sports bras. Like, really dressed. I put on make-up. I used a hot-iron. (For my hair, not my clothes. I don’t do that kind of ironing.) Anyway, I put on my “divorce is traumatic and horrific and I can’t eat” skinny jeans and a new sweater.

I even put on a bra.

Wait, that’s not true. But I did wear a camisole.


It’s enough.

And then I started cleaning. Sheets, legos, barbies, rugs, doll clothes, my clothes, their clothes. I cleaned the bathrooms and vacuumed up pine needles (along with part of the tree skirt). Whatever.

And then I met a friend for coffee, only we didn’t drink coffee (I’m not sure why, exactly) but there was no coffee and I was freezing so I never took off my coat so I just keep thinking, what a waste! And I keep trying to remember why I’m dressed for a party that I haven’t been invited to.

And it makes me sad. Just a little bit. Not a whole lot sad, because I promised my mom that a) I wouldn’t be sad this weekend and b)that I sure as heck-o-la wouldn’t blog about being sad this weekend. So I won’t tell you that I’m sad. I’ll  tell you that I may have cried all day and I’m thinking my salt/water balance may be  a tad off, but I am not sad.

But then I have an idea. I decide to start taking down my Christmas decorations and while this may sound depressing, it’s actually quite liberating and completely logical.

And if nothing else, it will keep me busy.

But for this kind of project, I need comfort.  Everyone knows you can’t take down Christmas wearing a bra.

Ughm, camisole.

So I put on my pajamas. Really, super comfy ones that my dear friend Tina gave me. Flannel and soft and yes it’s 4:00 in the afternoon, but I think we’ve established that I’m alone.

I take an angel. I remember the year I received her. I take the baby Jesus. I wrap him and I remember the friends who gave him to me; the entire nativity actually. Friends that no longer speak.

They can take their friendship, but they can’t take Jesus and with that thought, my spirits lift and I carefully, slowly wrap up the love and the memories and the promise.

I move on to the kids’ trees and the Santas and the angel hair and the fake snow and carefully I pack it away for the promise of next Christmas.

And then I’m hungry. It seems silly to put on a coat while wearing pajamas so I do a much more logical thing.

I put on a robe. Again with the hot pink.

And snow boots.

And I drive out of my garage in search of Jimmy  but, literally in the middle of my street is a friend and his son.

I roll down the window and I wanna just crawl under the seat. I want to say, “really, you should’ve seen me earlier…you know, in my sweater and my ‘they only fit because I’m going through a divorce that is quite possibly never going to end’ jeans.”

And then I giggle a little. Yes it’s Saturday night and yes I’m wearing flannel pajamas, and yes I’m learning to give thanks in all things so I can say this…Praise be to Jesus that you didn’t have to see the Oil of Olay, and yes, yes, yes!

Thank you that there was still the make-up.

I’m not sad. And I haven’t even cried since 6:00. Wait, what time did Tina call? Maybe 6:30.

Actually, I’m grateful. Grateful to be where the Lord would have me be; doing what He would have me to do.

I’m waiting.

For my children to come home. For Christmas in Arkansas. For a piece of paper that says, “It is finished.”

I’m waiting on Him.

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  1. Can’t wait to see you too, sweetie.

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