Thursday, February 21, 2013

Finding Beauty in Messy Family Life

In our busy family lives, how often do we take a moment to honor the beauty around us.

Last night, snuggled in bed, I flipped through my copy of Simple Abundance and was drawn to the essay from January 18 titled Beauty: Opening Our Eyes to the Beauty That Surrounds Us.

Sarah Ban Breathnach writes:

"Gaze into the faces of those you love, set the table with care, and relish the preparations you make for dinner, delighting in the presentation of your meal. Light candles, pour wine or sparking water into your prettiest goblets and celebrate this new awareness. It is in the details of life that beauty is revealed, sustained and nurtured."

Don't you just breathe a little deeper reading this? Doesn't it sound so lovely and peaceful?

It doesn't say:

"Grab what you can out of the fridge. Throw together something they will eat, regardless of its nutrition. Yell at everyone to come to the table. Fight with preschooler to eat. Remind teens to put their knees down and receive an eye roll in return. Gobble down what's on your plate. Then clean up as fast as possible to get homework finished, dishes done, and kids bathed. And, to maintain your sanity and patience, drink an extra glass of wine."

Hmmm...I see room for improvement. I do have to say, that occasionally we stop before eating and do the blessing Rev. Pattie teaches the kids in the Center's Kids Day Out Program. In case you don't know it, it goes like this:

Hand up.
Hands down.
Breathe (take a long satisfying deep breath)
Breathe again (that felt so good we do it again)
Thank you for our food (said together) 

Every time we do that before our meal, it slows us down just enough and usually invites more conversation.

So for today, I intend to slow down, light some candles, set the table, drink out of my beautiful crystal and pray. And when I can't find the beauty or even the peace, God grant me the ability to see the humor and laugh.

What do you do to honor the beauty in your busy life? How do you slow down? Share it with me. As you can see, I could use inspiration.