Boring to Beautiful

Boring to Beautiful, Rock it!

The table was metal mesh; a beige outdoor umbrella added extra protection from the sun.  A weeping willow tree brushed faintly across the cover as if exploring a canvas.  I was greeted with a hug from my friend and her 10 year old her daughter, Emma.   I would say they are my “framily”.  I love that phrase from the Sprint commercials! 

A shiny black mug filled with coffee waited for me.  I loaded it was cream and some sweetener and leaned back, soaking in the moment.  Today was my birthday and I was feeling special, cared for, important, and with all those things in place you can’t help but feel loved. 

The conversations began.  If I had been 10 years old sitting through boring adult topics, ugh!  This 10-year actually listened!

At one time she commented, “Sue, did you say you were moving?” 

“No, I’m not moving Emma. “

“Great because I just couldn’t live without you”

When I shared how old I was, she said with conviction,  “No way, I think you look like you are 30 and when you wear that flurry (don’t you love that word) brown top, you look young.  I think you might look like you are 20”. Now I’m 56, so wow, I’m sitting up a lot straighter. This is becoming a day to remember!

The reality here is that Emma thinks I’m pretty amazing and if she knew you she would find your “wonderfulness” too, how cool is that? 

We all ate and our sweet 10 year old did eventually get bored.  The sun was hot and the conversation had distanced itself from her.  It was now time to grab the hours of summer and mold them back to a child’s dream.  We hugged, shared “I love you” and parted ways. 

As I left I thought….we need more people like Emma in the world. You know these people; they make you feel good about yourself whenever you are around them. They allow the quiet beautiful thoughts about you to be freed to become sound in words, floating effortlessly into your heart.  They uplift, encourage and elevate.  The thing is, we can all be like Emma, so will you join us in creating a wave of uplifting words and speak the sound of beautiful to someone today? Then take a moment and share with us how you have rocked your Emma-likeness.

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Tripping into judgement

Tripping into judgment

Yesterday we arrived at the beach.  Throughout the drive in my impatience, I had to tell myself to notice the greens of the valley; homes perched on rolling hills and the warm air sweeping through the car deadening the voices in conversation.  I had wiggled my feet, crafted various sitting positions, all with restless excitement.

We eventually arrived at the cape cod rental. The car door flew open and the dogs jumped out.  We tripped our way towards the front porch awaiting the greeting of calm beach colored walls; the dogs however, went to the house next door.  Yikes! A couple obviously enjoying the mundane job of weeding had their peace shattered.   There it was, the ultimate plaything, a cat on a leash. Dog heaven! The kitty couldn’t move, crouched ready to jump with no place to go.  The couple in annoyance raised their voices and said “get your dogs out of here!”  Holding each by the collar I sheepishly walked home.

You can see it, right?  My head hanging, I walked pitifully into this lovely home, lathering negative thoughts through my brain.  “I’m irresponsible, I’m a bad dog owner”, not only that, I felt judged (how easily we can get to judgment).   They made one comment and it had crawled under my skin. I labeled them, the grouchy neighbors.

Initially, I could have put many meanings onto this situation, one being that in my excitement I made a mistake.  Maybe the meaning was, this was an opportunity to practice taking responsibility, be humble and let the words I’m sorry flow from my mouth.  Maybe I could have agreed with them about those pesky dogs, agreeing can deflate so many situations.  Maybe the meaning is that I had an opportunity to introduce myself and spark a relationship. Maybe it was a reminder to me that accepting imperfection is freeing.  And in the end, this was an opportunity to be Christ-like.

My conversations to myself, my murmurings, my discontentment have so much power.  If I feel judged then I am probably a person who also judges. Imagine the ways we could lift each other up today if judgment was left where it belongs.

 

 

The Bowl

Blue, green, white, red, black, yellow all clumped together. Uneven edges softened and curled in no forced direction. Colors, dark enough to offer the feeling of intensity, yet light enough to let the light shine through. A couple of cracks sit at the bottom where two types of glass pulled apart in the cooling process. A couple of small holes where yellow and green and blue never did connect. Each color is different than the next, varied by light and dark, overlapping and sitting alone. A slice of sparkling copper color lay like a treasure at the bottom of the bowl. It sits slightly steady on the table and will rock slightly if you tap it.

It lacks the consistency of a store bought bowl. The perfection. The symmetry. You might say it is not useful. Maybe some would wonder why it holds such a place of importance, the one of only a few items displayed in my living room.

This is my life, crystallized in a piece of art. The moments in time where healing has yet to occur in the holes, the cracks of imperfection that allow love to enter. I love them the most. The light, and even the dark allow the sun to shine through to warm the heart if I will let it. The feelings of unsteadiness as I learn a lesson God has placed before me. The fun of the meshing of color and crazy ways it moves through the bowl, motion, laughter, the smiles that cannot be posed, the snapshots of life creatively displayed.

This is my second bowl. The first one was broken just months ago as I clumsily moved a book and knocked it to the wood floor. I took the pieces to my artist friend and she added new and melted it back together. It sits, sharing with me life, wondering what is next. I'm ready.

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The broken lens

The broken lens…

You know those old pair of glasses or sunglasses you have that are all scratched and no matter what you do you just can’t see anything clearly? This is the exact same way I used to look at people, no matter how hard I tried, I always saw people from a distorted lens. For whatever reason, I felt entitled and even “better” than the person next to me. It was so easy to see faults and “scratches” in people when really it was the lens that I was looking through that was broken. It was my problem.

Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them.” God created us in HIS image, which means we reflect him. What I continue to learn is that to see people through clear lens we have to know who God is…and he is BEAUTIFUL. Listening to the song “You’re Beautiful”  by Phil Wickims in the car other day, I was reminded once again to view life through this lens.

If we are created in God’s image and we know how beautiful he is, what does that say about each one of us?

My brother helped me put on a brand new pair of glasses, God’s glasses and see everyone for who they are…beautiful. I admit, years ago I would drive by a homeless person and my immediate thoughts were, “maybe you should get a job” as I kept on with my life not giving it another thought. New perspective has changed me. Just the other day I drove by a homeless man and I felt drawn to him. I stopped and had one of the most amazing, real conversations. As I walked away his one request was, “hey buddy, my birthday is in a couple days…can you remember me on my birthday?” I truly believe that if we can see people for who they are, it will not only change our perspective but their's as well.  

Let’s stop focusing on the obvious “scratches” that we see in each other, and look at people through new lens, God’s lens.

Never forget that you’re beautiful, because you were created by a beautiful creator! 

-Beau's Brother 

 

P-Town 208