In what way do you tell your husband you don't want him to regret his decision to be married to you, but at the same time explain that you have true and lasting value ... even though you come without a proper dowry?
Sister Marla encouraged her to show him her true worth and to prove to everyone else exactly what they were already aware of.
On her wedding day, Lindsey made a determined vow: She would show Kyle, her new husband, exactly how valuable she is to him. How difficult could this be?
Lindsey knew she was in trouble.
She was not sure why, but the odds were definitely against her this time. Closing her eyes, she mentally counted off the days and weeks since her last talk with Sister Jane, but could think of nothing she had done wrong.
For once, she was sure she was innocent.
Looking around the room, Lindsey was comforted by the sparse furnishings consisting of an old beat up and scarred desk, a chair that really was too tall for Sister Jane, two chairs facing the desk, and a small table near the door.
Deciding that sitting and waiting was more torturous than the lecture itself, she walked over to the only window in the room and looked out over part of the garden. She had been working in her herb garden when she had been called to Sister Jane's office.
Thinking of her herb garden always brought a smile to her face. She had worked for many years on her garden.
Over the years, people would come to the small convent in need of help. Lindsey would help whoever was in need, regardless of whether or not they could pay for the service. Learning of her love for her garden, many families that were traveling from distant lands would send special herbs or wild flowers. Only a few had died because she was not sure how to properly care for the plant. But mostly, her garden flourished. No one worked in her garden except her.
Voices in the distance told her that Grace and Sister Cora were digging up turnips.
Or rather, trying to.
"Wolf, will you please get away!" Grace spoke in a slightly irritated tone.
Wolf, Lindsey's pet for the past two years, was trying to help, as usual. Most of the time though, he got in the way instead.
"You could dig your own hole," Sister Cora encouraged.
Lindsey's smile broadened. Wolf loved to dig.
"You had better get that turnip so he can move," Grace giggled.
With his nose almost touching the turnip and his tail standing straight out in the air, Wolf would become very still until someone retrieved his newly found item. Last year, Lindsey ignored him to see just how long he would stand while pointing. After twenty minutes, she felt sorry for the animal. Wolf had barely moved a muscle the whole time.
"I thought we had you tied up?"
Lindsey could imagine Sister Cora standing with one hand on her hip and her other hand leaning on the hoe while looking down at Wolf, who would be looking up in rapt attention, his tongue hanging out as he happily panted away.
That is, if someone picked up the turnip first.
Lindsey turned when she heard the door open.
"Lindsey. Please, have a seat."
Lindsey wanted to speak her peace first, before Sister Jane could sit down.
"I am sorry," she blurted out.
Sister Jane discretely moved the items on her desk away from the edge. "And what are you sorry for, my dear?"
"I just thought . . ." Lindsey shrugged her shoulders as she walked to the chair in front of the desk, her head bowed.
"My dear, not every time you are called into my office is because you have done something wrong."
Lindsey tried hard to recall those times. Unfortunately, she could remember none of them at this moment.
"Grace will be leaving us very soon."
Lindsey's head snapped up. "She is? Does she know? When? Is her father coming?"
Sister Jane held up her hand for silence. "Her father had arranged this marriage years ago. Now that she is of age, her future husband has come to collect her."
"I received his letter yesterday. He wants to take her home as his wife."
Lindsey became silent as she was deep in thought.
"The two of you have become very close friends," Sister Jane acknowledged.
"I will miss her."
"You could visit her."
Lindsey gave a crooked grin. "The last time I left the convent grounds resulted in disaster."
Sister Jane heard the exasperation in the younger woman's voice as she also remembered the incident. "Surely the shopkeeper has forgotten all about it."
"He was very mad."
"He had a good reason to be."
"I tried to tell him it was an accident."
"Even Sister Marla tried to explain."
"The poor man was far too upset to listen."
Lindsey looked at her hands on her lap. "His face turned so red, I was afraid he would expire right there. I never heard a person shout so loud or use so many words I never heard."
Sister Jane cleared her throat. "Yes, well, sometimes men use a language all their own when angered. Besides, that was several years ago."
"I remember it like it was yesterday."
"Like I said, he most likely has forgotten the whole thing."
"Still, I am quite content right here."
Sister Jane placed her folded arms back on the desk. "There is a world out there, Lindsey. One where you could be happy, if you but only tried."
"But what would Sister Marla and Sister Cora do without me?"
Sister Jane recognized the truth in Lindsey's statement. All the sisters here at the convent were elderly, a few of them having passed away over the last few years.
Lindsey had been more than a godsend to them. With their wisdom and direction, coupled with Lindsey's vitality and vigor, the convent had been able to meet the growing needs throughout the years.
Yes, the sisters would miss Lindsey when she finally left them.
"As modest as our small church is, it will need a thorough cleaning."
"When is her husband to arrive?"
"Within the week. I already sent a message to Father James."
Lindsey was already listing in her mind what needed to be cleaned, mended, or fixed before Grace's new husband and Father James arrived.
"Timothy could help fix the few things needing immediate attention," Sister Jane suggested.
Knowing that she was not in trouble but that she was needed, Lindsey rose with a briskness that came with youth. With her mind on what needed to be done, Lindsey turned around.
Sister Jane made a quick attempt to grab the handful of parchments that went sailing to the floor when Lindsey's sleeve brushed over the desk.
"Sorry," Lindsey apologized as she retrieved the papers.
"Not to worry, my dear."
"I was thinking of something else."
Sister Jane watched Lindsey replace the parchments, then give the pile a quick pat, as if that would ensure they would stay put. "Why not find Timothy?"
As she stepped through the door, Lindsey paused as she turned back. "I cannot recall Grace mentioning her betroths name."
Sister Jane looked at the letter once again. "Gavin Michaels, Lord Roland Michaels son."