I visited a friend recently whose home had been invaded by giraffes.

Stuffed with fluff and mile-wide toothless grins, they told me plenty about the home I was visiting:  it was a happy sort of place with a lot of littles underfoot.  Three to be exact, stairsteps from nine months to four years.

Oh, I remember that time of life! Just like my friend Kim, when my third was born my oldest was months away from her fifth birthday.  The days were long and some of them demanded e v e r y t h i n g  of me just to make it to bedtime.  Theirs…and then mine.  No one could have loved their babies more or savored each season with more relish than me, but that doesn't mean it wasn't hard at times.

Motherhood and ministry, Jesus and Germany, life and love–our conversation never stopped.  And no matter where we wandered in her home ~ usually to follow her babies ~ there was a giraffe or two smiling back at me.

I couldn't help mentioning it; something about them pricked my mama heart, I suppose the memory of my own daughter's collection of lovies.  Usually kitties, now given or boxed away. except for Princess, her Velveteen Rabbit.

But our time was limited and talk of giraffes swiftly moved on to other things.

Too soon it was time to go.

As we walked to the door to hug our good-byes, Kim pressed something soft and cuddly into my hand:

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Please continue reading Love Stuffed at (in)courage today where I figure out the absolutely BEST gift to give (or receive) :).


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