Wednesday was my husband’s birthday, and he is the latest victim in our seasonal saga of illness after illness (right now, he’s battling influenza B and bronchitis). On top of not feeling well, he’s celebrating one year before a colonoscopy becomes mandatory (yippee!!). I was fairly sure that we wouldn’t see a lot of smiles today.
But you know what? We had an absolutely lovely evening together. We ate his favorite foods. My son stepped up and mixed up cupcakes (mmm…..yellow cake with chocolate frosting). And then 6-year-old Gabby presented her contribution.
She put together her own “birthday party” for her daddy, complete with tickets for each participant with our names on them (of course, the birthday guest of honor doesn’t need a ticket, she informed us). There were games, including “pin the bow on the pretty doggy”, find the black pom-pom, and balloon volleyball. She even had signage and homemade blindfolds made out of construction paper and tape (I can attest that no eyebrows were lost in the playing of the game).
And there were cupcakes, including one special one stacked with as many candles as a 6-year-old can cram into one tiny space. With grandpa in tow, they lit the candles….and three times she proceeded to blow them out first which led to even more giggles.
It was truly a lovely moment filled with lovely memories for my husband and for me.
Finding the smiles and the lovely in life can seem to be awfully difficult, can’t it? As I pulled my paper blindfold off my face, I was reminded of my friend Sara’s quest to blog about finding the lovely things in life, inspired by Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
It is so easy to be caught up in the negativity and to let that rule my life. When we’re worn down from work, illness, struggles and sin, the praiseworthy and good around us is masked by our own attitudes. But oh yes – it is still there, even when we can’t or don’t want to see it.
Tonight, this friend’s wisdom reminded me to see the lovely. What I saw wasn’t a husband that was wracked with illness, but a man completely in love with his children and family. A daughter and son with awesome hearts who love being with their family. The beautiful gift of creativity that God grants us.
If you find yourself mired in the frustration and the struggle of life, would you join me in looking for the noble, admirable and lovely things around you? God has placed them all around us, if we’ll just be open to His leading to see them.
Need even more encouragement? I highly recommend Sara’s blog, Find the Lovely. She’s an insightful woman of God speaking the truth that he’s revealing to her, and I’m grateful for her wisdom so I have my eyes more open to the amazing things around me.
Finding the lovely in life,
– Jen Clark