Sunday, August 26, 2012

This Life is Beautiful

Do you remember the movie, Life Is Beautiful?
It is one of my favorites.
There was some criticism of the movie when it came out.
Some people thought it was trivializing an extraordinarily tragic event.
I disagree.
Instead, I thought it showed the amazing opportunity each one of us has as we walk through this life.
We have the opportunity to make life beautiful.
Even in the midst of unspeakable horror, beauty can be found, and beauty can be made.
I think it shows, and takes, tremendous courage to be that kind of person.
Could you do it?
Could I?
The challenges I face have no comparison to life in a concentration camp.
In fact, I can't really call them challenges at all.
Annoyances, perhaps.
At times, irritations.
But not really challenges.
It's easy to go down that road, though.
I know I'm not the only one who has said, "why is my life so hard?", when it really isn't hard at all.
Instead, I'd like to be the kind of person who says, "my life is beautiful," and then really live it that way.
Aaron was terribly sick this past week.
He had a 102-103 fever for 2 days, and when he woke up Friday morning his tonsils were so swollen he could not speak.
I had been checking on him through the night for fear he couldn't breathe.
(it's happened before with James, so I'm wise to this stuff now)
I had also been up with David a lot.
And Lilly.
Both of them, of course, had a bad nights that night.
Isn't that always the way?
I was back up at 5am to head to my workout, but didn't go because it didn't feel safe leaving the kids when Aaron was semi delirious and couldn't even get out of bed.
I could feel the beginnings of a pity party stirring in my soul.
I admit, I even felt a little jealous that Aaron got to stay in bed and sleep for 2 whole days.
How sad am I?
Then I saw this.

(from here)
It was the nicest kind of slap in the face.
It was just what I needed that morning.
I am lucky enough to live a way of life that I love.
But sometimes I forget.
Sometimes I allow myself to get bogged down in the mundane and I don't really live.
"Not today", I thought.
The 5 of us took Aaron to the doctor later that morning.
And since we had an hour or so on our hands, we did one of my favorite things: 
we walked through a little bit of life together.
It was nothing fancy.
A stop at the library, a peek in the cheese shop, stopping to take silly pictures, checking out bikes, admiring old signs, and sampling some cookies.
And as we walked down the street together, I relished it.
I love to be with them.

How fortunate I am to spend every day with my kids.
We have fun.
We laugh.
We learn together.
We explore.
We dream.
We observe.
We adventure.
We talk.
We talk a lot.
This is the life I always wanted.

Really what I want, is to make the most of these moments that I have been given.
This sums it up quite nicely, I think.
And if you are thinking, "I can't possibly do this," fear not.
You don't have to do it alone.
"For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret to being content in any circumstance, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  Philippians 4: 11-13

It's a new week, how will you live it beautifully?
Here are some beautiful things to try: go outside, lay on a blanket, and read aloud, have afternoon tea with someone, take a walk and collect things, make cupcakes together and give some away, write a note to someone and tell them 5 things you love and admire about them, buy coffee for a stranger, smile more, put away your distractions for a while and give your full attention to the people you love.
What else could you do?
Love from,

PS. If you'd like more inspiration from ordinary people living extraordinarily beautiful lives, while in the middle of utter darkness, you should read 2 of my favorite books:
Both books are incredibly sad.
Yet they leave me feeling hopeful and inspired because they are the stories of real people who managed to find and make beauty, while enduring hardship the likes of which I have never known. If you need to have your world rocked a bit, I suggest you give them a try.


Denise said...

Greta, I've not read either book you mention, so they will go on the "To Read" list. Have you read Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl? He was a Jewish psychotherapist whose experiences in a concentration camp taught him his philosophy for life and treatment: that we can live meaningfully in any circumstances, must choose our attitude even if we have no control over our environment. Good stuff.

Betsi* said...

I love The Hiding Place! Corrie and Betsie Ten Boom are two of my greatest heroes. I constantly tell myself "be thankful for the fleas".

Tiffany Joan said...

beautiful post...thanks:) . Evidence Not Seen is on the top of my fav missionary must read book list... I'm punched in the gut every time I read it. I got to hear Darlene speak and wow she was truly inspiring.