I don’t think I will be the first to tell you that life is often filled with hard and trying times. Is that a surprise to anyone? Often if we spend most of our time in the social media world and not in the real world we might get the sense that life is always gorgeous. But, it is filled with cloudy days, dead flowers, blow out diapers, and sometimes lots of tears.
And at times we might find ourselves completely helpless when it comes to some of the things that make our days darker: cancer, sickness, death, unemployment because of a downsize at the office, a broken marriage because of our spouse’s infidelity, a broken relationship because of lies and anger and gossip. Each day holds different things and its hard to always known what’s coming at us.
But, with the things that I can control – I want them to be pretty things. I don’t know what your pretty and life-giving things are. Will you fill me in? What are things that brighten your day and make you smile?
Here are my top ten pretty things – or things that are life-giving to me:
1. Flowers. Trader Joes is my perfect place right now to get live, fresh, pretty flowers. This week it was 9 white roses for 5$. I work it in to my food budget. It is well worth it.
3. Friends that breathe life into me. There are certain friends that my husband knows if he puts me around them for any period of time than I come back with my soul deeply encouraged. One of those is my mentor. One of those is my best friend. Some are sweet friends that live in other states. Not only do we like to do fun things together, but I love being a part of their lives, knowing and being known.
4. My boys smiles. I will be the first to tell you that parenting two toddlers is hard and tiring work. Often days I cry about something. But, when I’m kicking the ball with my younger son or reading a book with the older – or just holding their hands – or see their excitement as we get cookies at Publix – their smiles are contagious.
5. My husband. I’m learning marriage is not what I thought it would be. I thought I would hang out with my mister more. You know in the dating and engagement phase you spend much of your time together. Well, when you get married, for most people, it is different. My mister works a lot to provide for us, or we have engagements at church or photo shoots or errands to run that pull us apart. So, when we get to sit down and eat food together on the couch while watching West Wing – or walking around ATL or traveling to a beach somewhere together – that is definitely a pretty thing in my life.
6. Photos. One of my tag lines for my photography is “something worth remembering” that I stole from a paragraph in an Emily Freeman book. That’s why you want to take photos right – to remember that moment. I love looking at them. Some of our engagement session with a sweet friend are hanging on our wall right now and I remember that day 4 years ago this month like it was yesterday. There is definitely more intimacy in our marriage now – but we love remembering those days of awkwardly posing and being close to each other – and wouldn’t have it any other way.
7. Clean. This is tough for me, but my husband is rubbing off. Saturday night we spent about 90 minutes working on our downstairs: cleaning, decluttering, being together. I knew that would make him more happy than anything else – and that is one of the reasons it makes me happy and is a pretty thing.
8. Creativity. Any time I can be creative: whether its in the kitchen, behind the lens, or with a pen in my hand – its a pretty thing. It is refreshing to my soul.
9. Fitness: When I am in shape (or being healthy), my whole life looks better. My mom told my husband that before we got married. And he is seeing the reality of it as right now, after two babies and two moves, I’m finally back lower than the day we got married.
10. New scenery. Pretty things that God created – so much of the world I’ve not seen. Whenever I can explore something new and see something I’ve not seen – especially with my mister – oh, it is definitely a pretty thing. We absolutely love to explore together. I know we will enjoy involving our boys more as they get older, but right now that is still something we love to do mostly on our own.
I’d love to hear about your pretty things.