Sunday, May 8, 2011

Beauty and Gratitude

I have learned over the past several months, that beauty and gratitude go hand in hand. The more I look around at this life that I have been given, really look around at it with eyes wide open, the more beauty I see. When I take the time to slow down, to take moments in, to capture the sights and the sounds of particular moments, I can't help but to see the beauty that is all around me. Beauty in the sunshine, beauty in the rain. Beauty in the freshly cut grass, crops being planted, the barn across the way. Beauty in my husbands smile, my daughters laughter, my little boys baby soft skin. The list of beauty that daily surrounds me could go on and on. And the more that I open my eyes to seeing beautiful things, the more I am filled with gratitude. Gratitude for the gifts. Gratitude for my life.

Today was an especially beautiful day, and I found my heart overflowing with gratitude. My husband and my children always do an amazing job of making me feel blessed, honored, and loved each Mother's Day. On Friday night, Boss surprised me with two new furniture pieces that I had been wanting, an entryway piece, and an old fashioned writing desk. While I had taken Emma and Kate to a play, Boss and the big girls picked up the furniture from the store and had it all in place by the time the little girls and I returned that evening. I see beauty in Boss' thoughtfulness and in the way that he serves me. My heart fills with gratitude.

On Saturday, Boss served me breakfast in bed. And then he told me that he would be my house slave. He walked around for several hours with a hammer and nails, fixing this, lowering that. I see beauty in the way that he cares for our things. It is such a wonderful place to call home. My heart fills with gratitude. That night we went out to supper and then came home and had a family movie night. I see beauty when we are all together, five people tied by blood, four others woven in to the fold by heartstrings. All of us together because of God's grace. My heart fills with gratitude.

Today I awoke with a cold, an aching ear, stuffed nose, soar throat, chills. But there was still beauty all around. My children gifted me with jewelry, good behavior and chore coupons, and cards. Boss gifted me with a sweet note filled with words that moved me. There was beauty in their love. Church was wonderful, lunch quiet take out at home. After lunch I took some much needed medicine and a two hour nap. I awoke to a bedside bouquet of tiny yellow flowers, picked with love by my daughters. Beauty. I spent the evening on the front porch enjoying the gorgeous weather. I came in to find two hand made mothers day cards from two teenagers, thanking me for being there for them during this hard season in their lives. I hope I am teaching them to see the beauty, too. My heart fills with gratitude, and I do not deserve this life that I lead. But I am grateful.

In reading Ann Voskamps book (I mentioned it previously), I have taken up the challenge to count one thousand gifts of beauty in my life. And the challenge has changed me. Because the beauty has always been there, all this time, but my eyes were never opened to see it. But now I see the beauty everywhere that I look! And my heart is grateful. More grateful than it has ever been. Thank you Boss, Emma, Kate, Jack, and big girls for making this a day of beauty! I love you all.