The other day, my six-year-old took a picture of me trying (and failing) to enjoy a nap on the floor. If you have young children, you know the drill: when scrolling through the photos on the phone, you come across shots the kids took on the sly. They are often hysterical and usually blurry.
I immediately saw the flaws in the snap my middle girl took of her mother: messy hair, splotchy face and...did that shirt make my stomach look three months pregnant, or is that just me?
But my six-year-old had other thoughts about the picture.
"You look so cute, Mom. So, so cute." My daughter gazed at the photo with what could only be described as complete adoration.
I peered at it again. Same flaws. Same bad lighting.
But this girl, the one who looks most like me in a sea of Scandinavians, turned to tell me how beautiful I was. She only saw the good.
She did not see the woman who frequently feels like a mothering fraud. She did not see the mom who sometimes can't wait until 8 p.m. when two-thirds of Fenske daughters are tucked in for the night. She did not see the mom who wonders when she will get her shit together and please God? let it be today.
So, in that moment, I vowed to be more like my Kindergartener. I decided to emulate her child's joy in what is right in front of her face. And what did I see? A tired mom, sure, but also a beloved daughter of the King.
I decided to look for beauty. I chose to look for the lovely in the unexpected moments of life.
When I see my husband, let me choose to love on him so well it takes his breath away. Let me look into his eyes. I won't recite a to-do list. I will listen. I will enjoy him.
I will make that call to the neighbor down the street like I have been promising to do for weeks. I will offer love for her difficult situation.
I will get down on my knees for some issues that are bugging me. Prayer is the best way to sort through every stitch of life, instead of useless what-ifs?
I will ask that lonely woman I know to coffee. Not to fix her problems--I can't do that-- but just to let her know someone is thinking of her.
I will not see (and sigh about) the carpet peeling up from the well-trafficked hall carpet. I won't dream of a new patio where now there is only grass. I won't fear the due-in-six-weeks tax bill. I will lift my face in thanksgiving.
Everything is not perfect and everything is not as I would have it, but it all comes from Him and today, I will be thankful. I snap a mental image of my life. There is but one thing to say: "I am loving you right now."
Sign up for The Penzy. I write posts every once in a while.
Today's Lovely Thing
From Sea Urchin Studio. Loving the playful mermaid illustration by Sara Ardeleano.