I am up early on this cold fall morning….reading a book I have waited patiently to come out. It’s called Allegiant. The last in the series from Veronica Roth called Divergent. I feel the sting of sleep in my eyes and my muscles feel the need to be stretched, but still I curl up under my blanket and read the words on the page, or screen I should say of my Nook. And some how this computer beckons me. It calls me to talk about beauty. I felt the sense, the urgency, of it last night, but I kept on reading and then tiredness crept over me and sleep came. But this morning I felt no relief from the call, so I figure after a long summer of activity God must need me and some others to hear about beauty.
I feel it in the air. Do you? Christmas is coming. Maybe its the occasional snowflake I see fall from the sky. Maybe its the briskness of the air lately. Maybe its just that Christmas beckons me. Why? Because for so many reasons I love it. It’s innocence. It’s love. It’s the joy of seeing someone open gift that you spent time picking out just for them. It’s unwrapping the sweetest gifts that were ever given to me…
1. Joel, we were married on November 25, Black Friday…one of my favorite shopping days of the year got a little sweeter in 2005. There was no shopping that year, and even one of my best friends, Jenn Novotny gave up those deals that year.
2. Emme, she was born on December 21, 2011. Sweet girl whose smile and laugh and beauty steal my heart.
3. Jesus. He was born on Christmas day, chosen historically as December 25. My Savior, the sweetest voice I have ever heard calming me, calling me, enabling me, leading me.
All of them the sweetest gifts given to me by the sweetest God and Daddy I could imagine. And I am crying because sometimes I fail to see their beauty every day. And they are beautiful. A lot of times I don’t allow myself the luxury of tears or the time to sit and think on the wonder of their beauty either because I am too busy or because I might be overcome by their beauty. But there is a time for tears because so often we see but don’t see; we hear but don’t hear; and we live but don’t live. Those statements seem abstract and oxymoronical, a word I just made up. But how often do you see your children and the work they create for you and lament it? Or how often do you see your children misbehave and get frustrated that you have to help train that child? Or how often do you see your spouse and instead see their needs as another set of demands you feel incapable of living up to? Or how often do you see God and ask Him why about all the evils and not rights in the world instead of seeing Him for who He really is…your loving Father who leads you to life and wholeness abundant?
It’s because we see, but don’t see. It’s because we hear, but don’t hear. And in doing so, we live but don’t live. Your life was meant for so much more, but we have learned to trust our knowledge and our senses more than our heart. Our parents and their parents have taught us to look at situations, assess them, and choose the wisest, natural path….leaning on our 5 senses and mind to help us make those decisions….choose the best college, choose the job that makes the most money, choose the most beautiful and sensible mate, choose the biggest, fanciest house and car we can come by, and work and work and see and see but don’t really see and hear and live. You know all those things make sense, but at the end of the day of the year, something for me was missing. I was aching. And I thought it was my daughter who would feel that void for me, but it wasn’t.
It was my heart crying out telling me I was dying inside because I lost site of beauty, I had lost site of belief, I l had lost site of trust. I was no longer living out of my heart I was living out of my mind and my senses and I was lost. I had lost the most important part of me, the part where Jesus lived. The part that gave me the eyes to see and really see, to hear and really hear, to live and really live. And in doing so, life was no longer about accruing things, although I still have a flesh and still have moments of questioning things. But my heart is worth a far greater price than any job or house or car or amount of money could ever pay. It’s who I am, and in there, in all of us is beauty. That’s where Jesus is written on all of our hearts.
It’s how my friend Erin can watch 8 children, clean up her house a zillion times each day, change 24 diapers daily, still spend quality time with her 4 kids and teach them and not miss the joy of the day. Does she remind herself? Yeah, she does because your heart can get lost if you don’t keep talking to it and sometimes don’t keep reviving it. But in there is joy and unspeakable and full of glory because God put it in you. It’s why so my friend Lena keeps believing that her family will be whole and well and financially provided for in the mist of a trying situation with an adoption hearing facing their family. It’s why I look at today, and I ignore the question can I do this? Can I be an involved mom who loves my daughter and still take care of the women in my life that God has called me to encourage and love my husband in a way that is relevant to him? And maybe those things seem small to you, but what is the dream in your heart?
Our dreams aren’t the same just like we aren’t. But your dreams are beautiful and worth living. Don’t sacrifice them one more day or the beauty they hold for you. This time of year hold so much beauty for me, but its not just this time. It’s the whole year. I pray that God reveals more beauty to me each day, and I take the time to see it, hear it, and live it. Because it makes all the difference.