Beauty

Tomorrow I meet with my 7th grade Girl Scout Troop to learn about the media and notions of beauty. This made me think about things I believe are beautiful. Like most people, I find rainbows, sunsets, and nature beautiful. And, who can say a baby is anything but beautiful? However, as I age, I am discovering beauty in the simplest and often overlooked things in life. The result of this reflecting is the list below:

I Believe that Beauty is…

The angelic voice of my oldest child belting out a church hymn—
“Let us build a house where love can dwell
And all can safely live,
A place where saints and children tell
How hearts learn to forgive…”

The deep creviced wrinkles adorning the face of the aging people around me. Every moment—moments of joy, pain, sorrow, burden, torture and love—carved deeply on their faces telling their own unique stories.

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The smell of coffee brewing in the early morning as my family (including the dogs) slumbers snuggled in their beds.

Christmas lights.

The feel of my puppy’s silken ears and the sweet smell of her breath as she licks my cheek.

The scent of a baby wrapped in a towel fresh from a bath, earthly and godly all at once.

The radiant sweetness on the faces of my children as they sleep—no worries about homework and grades, no grumpy pouts from exhaustion—just peace, glorious peace.

Clean floors.

Old pictures of family, especially black-and-white photos of generations past. An ancestor who ran a bike shop in the 1800s, my mother as a child posing with “Happy Chandler” the Kentucky governor in the 1940s, my grandfather racing cars with Henry Ford, my grandparents’ wedding photos from the 1920s. All are simultaneously awe-inspiring and mundane.

New spring buds waiting to burst.

The crow’s feet around my husband’s eyes when he smiles simultaneously showing and hiding his sense of humor. Is he planning something devious or just enjoying a joke he just read?

Watching my daughter’s intensity at home plate—dusted in orange clay with bat in hand slightly bouncing over her shoulder and eyes silently challenging the pitcher to give her a good one.

A little girl in her First Communion dress.

The first bite of a Thin Mint fresh from its emerald Girl Scout box.

The excitement in my son’s voice as he describes his latest creation on Mindcraft.

The subtle hints of fall—God sweeping his heavenly arm across the atmosphere clearing away humidity and mosquitos and blowing in crisp cool air, providing respite to the heat-weary Southerners.

The carnage of wrapping paper spread throughout the house on Christmas morn.

The sounds of laughter, splashing, and calls for “Marco” and “Polo” in the dead heat of summer.

Women from all walks of life and neighborhoods gathering as one to steadfastly and gently offer prayers and meals and cleaning and love to a friend who is only days away from meeting the Lord.

To be continued one day…

Kids Say the Darndest Things

My 12-year-old daughter was complaining to her grandmother and I about how much work it is to brush her very long, very beautiful, naturally blonde hair.  She has to brush it after her shower.  She has to brush it in the morning. Trying to take her concerns seriously, I said, “Well, if you want to be beautiful, you have to work at it.”  Then, her grandmother and I said at the same time, “That’s why I’m not so beautiful!”  We laughed and tried not to say jinx.  Then, my daughter said, “That’s not true, Mom.  You wear prosthetic nails.”

I laughed and laughed.  “Prosthetic?” I said “Where in the world did she get that?”

“Well, they aren’t your real nails, are they?”

Hummmph!  I guess she had a point.