Our family was blessed greatly in 2015. I can’t even believe how the book journey has unfolded. We still stare at each other in wide-eyed wonder from time to time, shaking our heads and shrugging our shoulders. There are no words for it. We don’t even know how to feel sometimes. Grateful, for sure.
In addition to feeling incredibly blessed and thankful, we were also busier than we have ever been. I keep thinking that on this parenthood journey things will slow down. Not so. After the exhaustion of babies and no sleep, surely we will feel a little more in control. Once everyone is potty trained, it will be easier and there will be less laundry. After all the kids can read, homeschooling will get more manageable. All of these little thoughts have proved to be so naive and laughable. So here I am, feeling both blessed and frazzled, happy and haphazard. Which appointment will I forget? Which assignments will we have to skip because it’s just too much? Which day will the soccer uniforms not get washed, so the only solution will be to wear dirty ones? All of these scenarios: not IF, but WHEN.
I’m continuously being reminded that I am not in control. Apparently that is a hard lesson to learn. However, the one thing I always want to remember is that I can control how I view my life. I can look at all these little inconveniences through a lens constantly clouded by disgruntled frustration, or I can choose to see beauty in the little things. I can acknowledge a day as being burdensome and still find something beautiful in it or add something beautiful to it.
Over our Christmas break, I read through Sally and Sarah Clarkson’s new book: The Life-Giving Home. It is excellent, and I’ve come away from it feeling refreshed, affirmed, challenged and inspired. I hope all my mama friends will read and enjoy it when the time comes, and it’s coming soon! I’m gonna go ahead and recommend that you pre-order it. The writing was refreshingly honest in acknowledging that things were not always consistent or easy in the Clarkson home. Sarah so graciously admits that she watched her parents fight for beauty all along the way:
“I saw the days when a homemade meal was an almost Herculean task. I saw the evenings when we didn’t quite manage to get the house in order. I knew the effort it took my mom to bring a sparkle, once more, to the eyes of all those hungry, restless little people around the dinner table, particularly when sorrow was in her heart.”
Seeing that a grown child can look back to remember and appreciate those things did my heart a world of good. Sally’s transparency was equally encouraging.
“…I used to wonder if the work of home building and investing in my children’s lives made any difference whatsoever. Quarreling, selfish moments, and daily messes challenged my confidence that I was doing anything of importance…. It didn’t always seem like they were paying attention, but all of them breathed in the oxygen of our home ideas and have grown up to reflect the values we wanted to instill in them.”
My notes in the margins after this part read: “You too, Sally??” I’m encouraged and resolved to keep on adding beauty to the life I’ve been given. I’m trusting that the Lord will continue to teach me and allow me to grow. I’m hoping my family will always be able to give grace when I fail, but more importantly that they will become people who make the choices to see beauty all around them.
I’ll once again be keeping myself accountable to the task of adding beauty this year, using the hashtag AddingBeauty2016. Come along, friends! The first picture I’ve added is the one I took of my 3 year old, just after I tried to fix the damage she did with the haircut she gave herself.
So much for those braids we had been working on…
I’ve been truly encouraged and inspired by all your posts throughout the last two years. You’ve kept me going with your beautiful lives and your commitment to bring life and light and beauty and rest and safety to all who cross your paths, including mine. Thank you! I truly hope 2016 is a beautiful year for you all.