But it's treasured.
I'm pretty sure my in-laws can't look at it without smiling.
It conjures up images of a little girl, curls framing her face as she dances, spins with delight. Or plays "waitress" with a tray propped on her arm and even chewing gum smacking in her mouth. Such an innocent picture.
Then, years later, the skirt was rediscovered by another generation. Wedged deep inside Grandma's costume box, eyes lit up, both the young and the old. After Grandma added new elastic, another little girl twirls.
Is there a generation of little girls that does not spend hours holding hems with dainty fingers and practicing curtsies, dancing with abandon to music only heard in the mind?
Thinking of my mother-in-law, I wonder if I will do the same some day - repair the well-loved skirt for a granddaughter of mine and try to remind myself that it's not my own daughter twirling around the room. Will I regret the loss of what was? I think every mother does. Will my own daughters discard the skirt, and imagination and dreams, for a life of struggle for meaning? Or will they realize the pure security of Christ, the perfect lifelong dance that He wants for them? Not a dance of ease, but one of peace and faith?
At what point do these daughters of ours forget to spin and twirl? More importantly, is there anything we can do to prepare them for that inevitable moment when they realize that life is not just a curtsy and a dance? That it is all that, but it's also library fines and chore charts and choices and bed-making and college applications and wandering...and grace.
Grace never forgets worn-out wanderers. Like a mother fondly recalling the circle of skirt spinning before the real world invaded on her daughter, grace dusts off, and repairs...and invites us to twirl yet again. Not in the arms of rules or meetings or "what should be" or "what could have been." Like the Prodigal Son, grace comes with arms opened wide, belly laughs, and twirls of delight in Him.
I'm praying for my children - that their own twirls won't take them too far away, that grace woos them into Christ's arms. I'm praying the same for their parents.
And I'm praying for others who have wandered...that they might find the true peace we've been designed to savor - His peace.
And I'm praying for you, if you feel frayed and unraveled and maybe even discarded. Grace says you may be perfectly worn and wearied, but that you are treasured, close to your Father's heart. He invites you close and somehow, brings perspective to both the imaginative and the practical, the twirls and the book fines.
P.S. I have linked to Beautiful No-Longer-Quivering Hilary's Friday's Journey to Grace. You can check it out here.