Sunday, October 31, 2010

Beautiful Rituals

When God made the earth, I am sure he could have done it all in one day. 
I think it is odd that He didn’t, but then an “ah-ha” hit me,
as I went walking with Gabe in the fall sun.

  It is has been cloudy and gloomy all week,
so when the sunshine split through the clouds this afternoon,
we all went on a walk, sickies too. 
I thought the fresh air would be good for them. 
Gabe and I had a wonderful time. 
He had to stomp in every mud puddle he came across.





We do have a tendency to get very excited about sunshine, since it is our power source.
  So we were fully enjoying it, and the thought occurred to me
that God didn’t have to get everything done right now, 
in one day, rush it all through so he could get on to the next project.
  Instead, he took His time,
and enjoyed every minute of it,
for at the end of the day, He proclaimed his work “very good.”
This tells me he was pleased with the day. 
He spoke and carefully, creatively fashioned everything into being, in an orderly way.
So should we. 
When I get up in the morning,
there is no reason to slosh my way through the morning
without paying careful attention to the details of beauty and creativity. 
As the Creator God modeled, I should follow suit in my work. 
This is living fully, beautifully, abundantly. 
Dressing in something feminine and lovely,
regardless of where I am going or not going,
smelling good, fixing my hair the way my husband likes it, 
this is the first step in beautifying my morning.

The thesaurus says that to beautify  is to sanctify, hallow, consecrate and bless. 
Interesting.
My morning rituals include my husband’s fantastic coffee,
talking with my Lord. giving him the day,
dressing, and then facing the household duties. 
These I begin with music by the Josties, which is sweet and uplifts me in my priorities.  
Especially on dark mornings, I light candles.
When I think about uplifting rituals that add beauty to our life, 
my desire is to enhance our home life in a way that does not idolize materialism,
so I look to the Lord, and ask Him for creative solutions. 
Singing at the dinner table,
taking turns listing what we are thankful for that day,
holding hands while joining in prayer, 
reading aloud at bedtime,
taking walks together, 
and relishing the gentle moments throughout the day,
are investing in the richness of the day to me. 
Life is so dear.



I am in the process now of asking my Lord how else I might infuse loveliness into our home.
  I am expectantly awaiting inspiration. 
I have an inkling that whatever it is will revolve around deepening relationships, 
since that is what God is all about. 
He is not all about shopping,
or the gathering of stuff,
but cultivating that which is peaceful in us, 
what  breathes honor and enlivens kindness.
   He is not about how much can I fit into one day,
or in living a mundane, ho hum, ordinary life.

Merely gazing at His creation will tell you that.



  
Just as studying God’s creation uplifts the soul, 
so gazing on all sorts of beauty acts on the soul, 
which was made to thirst for Heaven, the ultimate place of beauty.

If we take for granted the beauty of God’s magnificent creation,
our lives will be in more poverty for it.”  -My mom

To continue that thought, if we feast upon beauty,
we will enrich and enhance our lives.  
 
My friend, Enola Gay,
has tea every afternoon with her husband when he arrives home from work. 
She makes wonderful tea, serves it with all etiquette,
on china inherited from generations of tea loving women. 
When I visit her, she shares this elegant ritual with me, 
allowing me to join her in a charming moment of beauty.
  This is the Romance of life that I often speak of;
that of making an ordinary occasion splendid by embellishing it with loving care.




 When we ignore these possibilities in our life, 
we make a choice to detain ourselves, or our family, in privation. 
To me, this would include being so preoccupied with getting things done
that I miss the joy of each day, which is the way I used to live.
That lifestyle fosters irritation, frustration, and depression. 
Our world loves the abstract, the ugly, death, the chaotic.. all in rebellion of Who God is. 
We who are devoted to and love God,
should be obvious about embracing beauty, order, harmony, elegance, and joy. 
It should permeate our daily lives and spill over into generosity toward others.
  In short, our lives should be defined by beauty. 
Simply taking time to gaze upon and enjoy the beautiful is a godly thing to do.

Let the beauty of the Lord be upon us.” Psalm 90:17
I do believe I am liking that verse more and more.

2 comments:

Julianne said...

Jodi,
My deepest sympathy, and hugs to you in the loss of your wee one. I know this loss, our little one would now be 7 yrs old, but alas, he is safe in the arms of Jesus. i think that knowing such grief makes life all the more precious on a daily basis. May you continue to find comfort in the Lord as you draw close to Him.

Jodi said...

Julianne,
I am so thankful for a midwife and a Doctor that love the Lord and were with us through our loss. Then I find out that they both go to your church! Thank you for your words, I will always remember our baby boy and we know one day all sorrows end. But like you, we will mark those days and still think about the child missing from our family.
Jodi