Sunday, February 5, 2012

Soul Food ~ Beauty for Ashes.....Why I Blog

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.....


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 my daily life.  Right where I am.  So can you.


I am morning person.....weird I know.....and my favorite season is fall.  A two for one deal!  Cozy 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's my life.  Special daily moments are within your reach too.....


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?


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 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 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.


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 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.


I am proud to boast that my parents have been married for 40!  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 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.


  1. I guess my comment that I just typed somehow didn't get delivered, so I'll try again. Love this Blog and all the beautiful and interesting and funny thought you come up with! Always look forward to them with great anticipation!
    I have so many beautiful memories collected over these 77 years, but I will post my very favorite for you this time! The most beautiful moments and memories are of the wonderful family God has given me--my husband, Harold, my children, Diana and Bryan, and when they grew up and married more beautiful blessings added to the list! Now we have 2 children + precious spouses, 4 grandchildren and their God-chosen spouses, and 7 great-grandchildren (so far)! Each addition has brought their own unique blessings to our lives and joy to our souls! Watching each one 'discover the world' along their journey in life makes us feel forever young (in heart) and filled with joy and wonder at how God plans and arranges the lives of those who allow Him to have first place! He says in His Word, :"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you"...Mt 6:33--We are very thankful!

  2. I enjoyed reading your blog and I feel like I got to know you a lot more though the things that you shared.

    How about this for a beautiful dear Dad just turned 95 and he has learned to play Angry Birds!!!! I am not kidding! My husband installed several other games for him to play on the computer and he learned those as well. He is an amazing man and we have so much that we can glean from him each time that we are together. My Mom had a stroke about 14 months ago, but my Dad continues to care for her in so many ways. (They have been married for almost 56 years.) It is a wonderful heritage to pass along to our children.

  3. This will be our first spring in our new home. The previous owners loved flowers. I am eagerly watching
    as I see things beginning to sprout in the beds. Will
    they be tulips, crocuses, iris's or what? I've always
    been enamored with hydrangeas ever since "It's A Wonderful Life" made them popular. (Mary shouting to George, "I'm
    over the hydrangea bushes). God has kindly blessed me with two hydrangea bushes. I've never had them in my yard before. I love to wake up to the sound of birds singing. I spotted my first Blue Jay yesterday, and the other day we had 3 morning doves on our patio. I took note, because I've heard they mate for life. I was wondering what happened, and just a few minutes later the fourth came in for a landing! I love spring!

  4. a P.S. for my comment--forgot to add, but intended to---our family knows our favorite word is "together" and our motto (that we have on a placque on the wall) is "All Because Two People Fell in Love"! We remind each other of that 'motto" almost daily! <3

  5. beautiful things:
    hugs and kisses from my hunny and kids
    a smile
    an encouraging word (or more than one for that matter!)
    God's grace extended to us

  6. I LOVED reading all your beautiful things.....thanks for sharing friends!