When Beauty Becomes Commonplace...

Today I sat in the midst of Lincoln logs and read a story about a red rocking chair to (semi) attentive ears. I talked with my two oldest boys about their need for new beds because their limbs are just about to bust through the bottom of their toddler beds. Today I explained adoption to my 3-year-old daughter and listened to her very wholeheartedly exclaim, "Well, we need to get a baby girl at the store!" (Maybe my explanation needs some work...:)). 

And in two days my baby turns 1.

My heart feels full, yet heavy, all at once.

I love these years. I never thought I'd love these years as a Mommy of so many little ones, but I do. I seriously can't think of anything else I'd rather do today than be their Mom, and be here with them. I want to soak in these moments. 

Today is a gift. Even in the midst of a sea of oatmeal on the floor, clingy teething babies, mornings starting too early, long bouts of whining, discipline and teaching moments abounding, today is a gift. 

I don't always see it this way, but this milestone of Samuel's first birthday is making me feel a bit nostalgic. It's wild how beauty can be taken for granted when we grow accustomed to it. I become comfortable with this mom thing, and these four little miracles, because doing life with them is so commonplace. I wake up, I see them, I care for them, I feed them (again and again), and I put them to bed. Repeat, repeat, repeat. But there are a million little moments that are awesome in the midst of that realistic portrayal of a Mom's life. I don't want to miss these moments. I want to see the beauty.

I want to soak up all the crinkly noses as they giggle, the smooth feel of their skin, the tender, honest words as they articulate their hearts, the look of pride in their eyes when they see you try your best. I can be so tempted to move on to the next thing, and miss the beauty before me.

I'm challenged, yet again, to keep counting my "gifts". I need to stop, and record, and acknowledge the sweet moments, the graces, I've been given. Active thanksgiving fights to keep the true beauty of life afresh. I see I have to fight harder than I thought. To develop a heart that is continually offering thanks, I must go beyond journaling my "gifts" for a year. I want to live a life of thanksgiving, not just a committed year. My eyes dart to and fro and my heart settles in less-than-lovely places. I want to persevere to see the goodness, to live thankful.

I'll be pulling out my thankful journal again today to actively seek the beauty in my days. For today, my heart feels like it may explode seeing all my gifts and the only thing fitting is to give thanks to God for His goodness. 

Yet I know days will come when goodness will be hard to see through the muddle of my dark thoughts. On those days, too, the only thing fitting will be to seek the beauty and give thanks. 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."


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