I came across a term the other day that I just love. Gracious living. It perfectly describes the way I want to live my life. My husband and I have one major difference between us... I am high energy and he is low energy. And so he wonders why so many seemingly small things are so important to me. When my kids have a birthday party, I go all out. Not in extravagance, but in considering every detail and in making the most of it. It brings me such joy to make that day special and unique for each of them. When holidays come around, I go all out. I make fun school lunches on Valentine's Day. And cupid comes and visits. We do the Great Pumpkin for Halloween. At Christmastime we donate old toys and clothes to charity. We bake a pass along plate for our neighbors. For Earth Day this year we made some changes around our home to save energy. And next year I'd like to take the kids to a park and clean it up. When we have people over for dinner, I go all out. Drink from wine glasses, even if it's just water. Have fresh cut flowers on the table. Listen to nice music. Light the candles. Sometimes I go all out just to celebrate life. Life is good!
I like to make the most of everything, I suppose. And to me, that is gracious living - finding joy in everything! I think joyful moments need to be accentuated. Some days I wake up with an extra pep in my step, and I just have an urge to try and make that day as special as possible. We might have a nice big breakfast, or go for a nice scenic drive. We might have a cake and candles after dinner. Just because. Party hats are even a possibility!
I had a discussion with MOFs recently about embracing your existence, and I think these are some good ways to do that. What's wrong with staying in your pj's all day and having a bake fest? Watching movies and eating loads of popcorn with your kids? If you ever have an urge to do something spontaneous like that, don't push it out of your mind. Abandon responsibility for just a day and do it. We have a pullout sofa in the playroom and sometimes I like to make up the bed and crawl into it with a pile of books for each of us and just veg. That's gracious living. We have a nice big back yard and occasionally I have the urge to go out and swing, or lie in the grass and look up at the sky. We have a great view of the stars and my kids love to go out there (if the bugs aren't too bad) and stare at the sky. That's gracious living.
I am grateful for life. I have down days like everyone else, but I am grateful for life. And there is so much to be done with it. And enjoying all the small moments is how I show my gratitude for it.
And this is how my children show gratitude for it. As you can see, we are healthy again! Yay!
(You'll need to press stop on my music to hear video)
Our next installment of Woman to Woman is on May 8. The topic will be Tips and Tricks: Getting the Family Together. In today's lifestyle, it's sometimes difficult to get the whole family together at the same time. Kids' sports, music lessons, church meetings and many other things keep families on the go. What have you found to be successful tools for bringing your family together during those times when it seems that everyone is going different directions? If you are Empty-Nesters, what did you do when your children were still at home? What works today for getting together with your children and grandchildren?