We like to go for drives. Probably because it’s the only time when our three kids are strapped into one place and we can have a conversation. Might not work for all families, I think it depends on the kids – for now, our kids are pretty good in the car. And if they’re too crabby, sometimes we turn up the music, turn up the heater and they get so cozy they can’t help but fall asleep. When we drive, we explore. Go down roads we’ve never been down, back roads, country roads. There is a lot to see in our neck of the woods. We are also HGTV nerds so we love to look at houses and neighborhoods…I don’t know why…we watch a lot of House Hunters. (Have you ever watched? It’s awesome…especially the International version…searching for villas in Tuscany? Ha!)
On this day, we talked about seasons as we drove. How there are some seasons, both in nature and in our lives, that aren’t awesome…they can be cold and bleak. But, in their own way, they can also be beautiful. It’s not an original thought. As we drove in the snow covered country, though, we saw the beauty all around us during a season in our city when a lot of us are not always completely stoked about the weather :) I realized that if I’m always surrounded by my own attitude of complaining about how cold it is, it will be harder for me to see how beautiful this season is and appreciate it for what it is before it’s gone. I think there are a lot of times in life like that too.
Right now, our house is a little crazy. My days are crazy. There are toys everywhere, more poo to clean up then I care to on a daily basis, hours of uninterrupted sleep are a thing of the past, but this season is beautiful.
If I let myself get bogged down with an attitude of complaint and dwell on the things that make my days hectic or less than glamorous…I miss the beauty of a baby’s belly laugh at my freak out that I have poo on my hands again. And yes, I had poo on my hands but oh how I love that laugh. And it’s worth it. Or when I’ve been up for the 3rd time in the middle of the night with one or more of my kids but the baby just can’t seem to sleep that night without her arms around my neck. I am beyond exhausted, but how long will I get to feel those little arms around my neck and her warm breath in my face? And see her dopey, sleepy smile when she looks up after smacking me in the face in her sleep. There is exhaustion, there is pain even, but there is so much beauty too.
Our kids are growing faster and faster and faster. I can’t get a handle on it. Every day they are bigger; every day they are more independent. One day soon they won’t want snuggles from me as much. I’ll be forcing them to give me hugs and the opportunity to snuggle with them during naps and bedtimes will be passed. So I’m working hard to see these hectic moments for the beauty that they contain.
I happened across Proverbs 31:25 the other night when I was going over Proverbs 31 again, I haven’t really noticed it before. It’s been in my head since.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; She can laugh at the days to come”
This is what I’m thinking: IF I live in every day as much as I can, enjoying the beauty that is there to savor…then the future won’t be as scary because I can know that I did my best to enjoy every phase for what it brought to my life. I WILL mess up and get frustrated. I WILL apologize to my kids for yelling and/or being impatient again. I will need multiple attitude adjustments a day and it will take STRENGTH at times. But I can also try to grow during the more difficult seasons into the person that the Lord is guiding me to be with the situations around me. I can use those experiences to round out who I am and be more prepared for the future ahead of me. I can purposefully look for joy and laughter in all situations. Hopefully, we will forge a family that will grow together through rough times and laugh when possible because we actively look for the joy and beauty where we are at, even when they are not the easiest things to find. So I think I will be praying for this as we continue on our adventure.