I couldn’t think of anything much to blog about this month because I’ve been holed up at home, writing. I thought about getting out. But then I looked outside and it was still February. So I began looking around my little writing hole, for inspiration. Here’s what I found:
This photo of the house where my father was born sits on my desk reminding me just how far my people have come, and that I owe past generations both gratitude and continued hard work–clearing the path for future generations, as it has been cleared for me.
This julep cup reminds me how blessed I am to live in Kentucky, and for that matter, the United States–because that’s what makes clearing the path even seem possible.
My daughter drew the below picture when she was six; it reminds me not to spend SO much time clearing the path that I forget what’s important to her–still.
(For those who can’t make it out, it says, What Makes a Good Mommy: loves to play, a smart brain, a great smile, a good heart, stands up for me, sweetness, and pretty clothes–the clothes thing must’ve been more of a suggestion, since most of mine were–and still are–debatable as “pretty”.)
Here’s a piece of pottery my daughter made in the second grade, for Mother’s Day. It was supposed to be a ladybug, but the legs, polka dots, and antennae fell off in the kiln. When my daughter enthusiastically unwrapped the piece to show me, she promptly burst into tears. “What is this?!” she cried. I quickly responded, “It’s a belly-button-bowl and I’m proud to be the only mama in the whole wide world who owns one–thank you.”
My belly-button bowl reminds me that our mistakes are part of our unique experience, part of what makes us…well, us…and to embrace all that is unique, in others as well as myself. (I make a lot of metaphorical belly-button-bowls. A lot.)
These are the orchids my husband brought me two weeks ago for no reason at all. They remind me that even when I get it all wrong, he still loves me, and that God is still getting it all right. I can–and should–always take time to delight in God’s glorious creations.
At a wedding reception, my father tied this little bell onto my purse in the middle of a family tiff. It was his way of saying, “Hey, lighten up.” It’s a message worth repeating. Daily. (I can be a little…intense.)
This is a photo of my mother giving me my first bath; it reminds me that a mother’s love, like God’s love, is unconditional. I don’t have to do anything to earn it–I don’t even have to be capable of holding up my own head. This kind of love just is, and it’s really the only kind worth having and giving.
This card from my sister reminds me how blessed I am to even have a sister, because a sister understands your history, and therefore you, like no one else on earth–and she usually loves you anyway–mine does (thank you).
The cough drops remind me that in absolutely any situation there is joy to be had, to look for the joy, find it, take it, taste it. (My grandfather, Poppy, always had two things: overflowing joy and Luden’s wild cherry cough drops.)
Finally, this is my favorite photo of my daughter, taken by my friend, Sandy (http://www.sandrareaganphoto.com). To me, it seems like we just did that photo shoot last week, but in fact, more than a decade has passed. So, this picture whispers, “Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock…”
Life is ever-changing–and short–so I can’t afford to waste a second of it: Clear the path! But not every waking minute. Take time to count blessings, to revel in the warmth and sweetness of family, to embrace human imperfection, and to delight in divine perfection. Lighten up! Laugh! Find the joy! Take it! Taste it! Tick tock!
Perhaps you’re feeling a little uninspired, too–after all, it’s still February. If so, I encourage you to look around. Inspiration is everywhere, maybe even–and especially–on your very own desk.