leaving a mark

Tuesday nights are quiet in the library. Few people are there and it stays open until eight.  

I lingered in the reference section where the records of this little town are slipped into shelves of alphabetized history. And I carefully open the big leather bound book full of life stories.

And the women sit stoic and statuesque along the thin stained pages. Their sullen faces don’t soften the cruel accounts of crops that refused to raise and still births that delivered despair late in the night.

But to spite the callous conditions; I search for those women who dare to wear a smile. But each expression seems more somber than the next.  

And then I stumble upon Marion Berry.  Smitten immediately, partly because her thin lips turn upwards and she is mysteriously beautiful. My imagination runs rampant. She must have been an artist, bold and brassy, and I’m confident her glow lit this little sleepy town ablaze. 

And I read her story slowly because it deserves to be savored.

A wife to a farmer

One child and then another and then one more

Her hands aid in building a family barn

But her primary job, recorded for future generations to recount and remember was the preparation of mid day meals for nearby farm hands

And I sigh. She is simply ordinary. And I close the book, disappointed a bit.

But as I slide her account deep into the shelves where all the other submissive ladies sit, I know I could join in their ranks.

In these common days of raising children and scrubbing sinks, sewing dangling buttons back on and tying double knots, it is likely my name won’t grace the history books of this town or anywhere else.

But in this sacred ordinary life, there is a husband whom I married at nineteen and I have written on his heart and he on mine.  And squeals from our three children are heard throughout the day until the sun rests and says goodnight.

And in this town where we live outside the city limits, God gifts us with moments to weave just a little goodness to those we meet.  

And like those ordinary, simple women who may not have revolutionized this town, their marks were left, imprinted in the homes and in the lives of the people they loved.

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10 thoughts on “leaving a mark

  1. Oh my goodness. This gives me goosebumps.

    Just the other day, someone – I forget who – mentioned the way the people in those old pictures looked so somber. He said it was because a person had to sit so still…the shutter of the camera stayed open a long time back then. I imagine ordinary Marion Berry had to sit still, too. And when she did, she chose to sit still with a smile. The thought of that is just beautiful to me. I imagine she brought light to many lives in her simply ordinary life. I imagine you do, too. 🙂

  2. You always make me smile friend. Enjoy those common ordinary days and that precious family of yours. You are no ordinary woman young lady – you are extraordinary because of the One who made you and that you allow Him to shine through that smile iof yours that is always on that face of yours. Keep smiling you are so encouraging in your words, in your smile and you touch the lives of many – so blessed to be able to do life with you. ❤ you!

  3. this is ablaze with deep and simple truth. yes. *yes*…my life may never make the history books, but it will continue on in the generations who follow after me. may i do it with a smile set on my face for Him.

    your words are beautiful…thank you for sharing your heart.

  4. I haven’t been by in a while, but I’m always refreshed when I do. I love how you tied together the thoughts of your life with the lives of those in the pictures. You hit on something that I often have to remind myself–my job is beautiful.

    I hope you will keep writing! 🙂

  5. Thank you Amanda – beautiful words indeed. It has been a privilege to see your wonderful, simple life through these many years at Church. I feel yours is a life that pleases and honors God – your picture is in His Book of Life.

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