A friend wrote a blog post recently about the discipline of celebration, the beauty of choosing to revel in the days that are camel-colored, instead of just the saffron or sky-blue colored days.
My mother excels at this, and it is one of the things she labored to impart to me. She wanted me to know this more than how to fold a fitted sheet or iron a collar. And only once did she throw spaghetti through the air and make it stick to the cupboard in an effort to to teach me the finer points of pasta. But almost daily, she displayed life like an easel and pointed out the beautiful shades and textures hiding in the shadows of the trees.
She guided me through life like a docent, the world her museum of wonder. She is the curator of appreciation itself.
Tonight I raise my glass to Mom and to all the things she would’ve noticed about today: the beam of light across the room as I woke, for the sun on my toes as I sat on my balcony and read my Bible, the freedom of a calling that allows me space and silence to study the Word, for the girls I meet with weekly who enrich my life with aspects of His character to admire and worship in Him, for the way it feels to have my whole body exhausted after cleaning up from a 5-hour party.
These are all easy places to find beauty. But I’m just a novice at this. My mother could look at a trash can and appreciate its form and usefulness.
These are willful choices she makes in the midst of a flurry of family members, phone calls, sharpening chainsaw blades, shampooing hair, mowing the lawn, singing in the church choir, visiting friends who are shut-in at their homes, making up games with her grandchildren, feeding the horses, making the perfect crumbly-sweet cornbread, and calling the only one of her children who lives far away.
It takes effort and wisdom to see the reality of things but find hope and joy in the midst of it. It’s more fun to be blissfully unaware. It’s easier to be cynical and dismissive. But the strength to look at someone who is hurting you and say, “I believe in you” … that is my mother’s strength, come down from the Father. I pray it lands on me and I never recover.