Right now "Beautiful Things" by Gungor is ringing in my head. It is my theme song for this year. I have been pondering this week, on things that are beautiful to me.....things that rank in the tippy top. I am reflective on this too.....
"God sent me to announce the year of his grace-
a celebration of God's destruction of our enemies-
and to comfort all who mourn,
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
a praising heart instead of a languid spirit."
~Isaiah 61 (The Message)
This is why I blog.....
To give bouquets of simple fun.....encouragement.....
To send messages.....of laughter.....
To announce grace.....beautiful things.....
Let's focus for a moment on these..... here is a list, of seven beautiful things. To me.....
7) THE GIFT OF FIVE SENSES
Just like a preschool curriculum focuses on learning through the five senses.....have you embraced the beauty around you through sight.....smell.....taste.....hearing.....and touch? It is simple, and your environment is saturated.....I actively look for gifts through these five treasures.....in my daily life. Right where I am. So can you.
6) EARLY MORNINGS IN THE FALL
I am morning person.....weird I know.....and my favorite season is fall. A two for one deal! Cozy slippers.....my favorite chai, or coffee.....crisp morning sunlight.....and my loves all tucked in their warm beds, for another hour or two......until I start banging pots to prepare soup for dinner. Sound idyllic? It's not.....it's my life. Special daily moments are within your reach too.....
5) MY LIFETIME TOUCHSTONES
I have a small handful of special friends, in my life, that have given it a rare beauty. The majority of these treasures, are a few hundred miles away......and a couple of them, thousands. It makes my heart ache.....almost daily. But, we have learned to focus on the quality of our friendships, instead of the quantity. I am in communication with most of them, on a regular basis, though it doesn't always soften the emptiness. I always wish they were right in the room with me.....where I could touch them.....share with them.....laugh with them. I am willing to sacrifice miles, to have the beauty they have instilled in my life.....than to have never had it at all. Who are these special ones in your life?
4) BIKER MAN
While we may not have a love story, or marriage that would be a best selling novel.....or a Hollywood screenplay, what I do have is a husband who is:
~a pursuer of moral character
~a hard worker (I would rather be married to a work-a-holic, than to a sloth!)
~a good provider
~one who takes opportunities to grow.....to be a better husband and father
~a good steward of what we and others have
~a respecter of life and creation
Sound boring? It is called contentment. Contentment is beautiful. I choose to be thankful for the 80% of the fine qualities in my man.....than to constantly focus (a hem.....NAG!) on the 20% that may be his shortcomings.....and may never change. He is who he is. And, so am I. Would I want him nagging at that 20% in my life? NO! This practice has not always been easy, but has eliminated a lot of stress in our home, as I have chosen to do this......it has given us a quality and depth in our relationship, that is rich. Do an 80/20 inventory in your home.....or with those you are closest to, or work with. You may be pleasantly surprised at the corner you may "finally" turn, in your relationship.....or at the break-through that you have been waiting for.....the problem may lie with you.
3) NEW LIFE
I was privileged to be present at a home birth, of one of my old friends, back in 1998. I will never forget it. It was not planned that I would be there.....I just happened to be there.....the action started..... and things went really fast. The dad, a nurse, and I delivered that baby, in a little apartment outside of Detroit. The mid-wife didn't make it......until an hour later. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed.....of course outside of the first precious moments with my own baby boy. I have since been privy to experience moments of new life occurring, right at that second.....the emerging of a butterfly.....or puppies being born. That was fun! As home-schoolers, we had the advantage to drop everything one day, when a friend called to tell us that her dog was in labor.....and to come NOW! Of course Scout put his six year old reality check into the moment.....when the first puppy came he shouted horrified, "she's pooping her babies!" Nice. Anyway, how can one deny, that there is a God.....when witnessing new life?
Unless you are "fluffing" during a deep belly laugh (or maybe you and yours would think that is funny....."to each their own").....then laughter can be so very beautiful. It is healing for the soul. Scout's middle name means "he shall laugh." While we didn't realize it at the time.....naming him that was prophetic, and would eventually be accurate. He is so goofy, and keeps us on our toes......but it isn't his attempted and failed comedy routines, that he thinks are hysterically funny.....it is what he finds funny, and his total abandon to laugh, that gets us going. Usually, we don't know what he is laughing at. We are laughing at him laughing. (I have a post in draft on what makes me laugh..... so more about that later) What makes you laugh? Find something to laugh at today.....You Tube could be a good starting point.
1) MY PARENTS 40TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY....TODAY!!!
I am proud to boast that my parents have been married for 40 years....today! Not many can say that now-a-days. Of course they haven't been without their challenges, over these past four decades. I have not been married half as long as they have, yet I have been married long enough, to know that sometimes there is no fancy formula to a successful marriage.....it comes down to good old fashioned hard work and the choice of.....COMMITMENT!!! By the time Scout is married, he will have a legacy of two generations, of long standing, successful (not perfect) marriages. My parents.....and his parents.....what more beautiful gift can you pass to your child?
I would like to challenge you, to think about some beautiful things in your life. I want to hear them!
Post about a beautiful thing that you are going to focus on, over the next few days......and in honor of my parents 40th anniversary, you will be entered for a chance to win Gungor's album "Beautiful Things."*** I posted this song on my Facebook page last week.....go there to listen if you would like.....but don't forget to share with me at the bottom of this post!
If you have trouble thinking about a beautiful thing.....go look in the mirror. It will be staring back at you.....that is always a good place to start.
***One post will be picked at random on Tuesday, February 7th. So sorry.....January 2012 prize winners are not eligible. Your post may take a moment or two to appear.