There is magic in the mundane, you just need the right lens to see it. Most people, I’d hazard to guess, just see a pile of laundry that desperately needs to be folded in this photograph. Today I see the magic. I’ve been given the gifts of a husband and children: this laundry reveals I have been entrusted with the care of other’s hearts. I’ve been given a home with electricity and running water, hot water even: this laundry reveals my basic needs are provided for. I can physically perform all the tasks required to complete laundry: I’ve been given the gifts of health and strength. The laundry is never done: I’ve been given a gift that keeps on giving, as long as I have the eyes to see it.
I’m releasing a BIG exhale as we enter into December this year. We reached month twelve! We started the year with many unknowns and have had so many prayers answered. I’m sure I’ll reflect on year end as we keep moving through the month.
For now, though, I turn my attention to things that bring me comfort and JOY.
I’m excited to decorate the tree, wrap packages, sip eggnog and feel festive. I didn’t last year – not really.
Here are my favorite things for this month!
- Calligraphy by Emily Howell
This talented calligraphy artist created a beautiful banner for me with my new tagline. She also makes custom designs and would be happy to bring your favorite phrase to life. Beautiful artwork with vision and purpose. Emily also blessed my family with a beautiful book honoring my dad after he passed. She captures family treasures and transcribes celebrations. I could continue gushing her praises – check out her work for yourself.
2. Eggnog Lattes
I found this idea on Pinterest for gift wrap and I think it’s gonna look great. These little stars making all gifts feel festive. If you don’t feel like going home-made, just click the link.
My favorite Christmas movie. Because Love is all around. And I mean Bill Nighy…. his character is too funny. If you really love Christmas – the extra syllable. Gah! Get’s me every time.
My mom has this beautiful nativity scene. When I was growing up, my brother and I would pick out one character each year to add to her collection. One year a wiseman, another year an angel. We may have even replaced the baby Jesus once. I didn’t understand the beauty of the set until I was older. Last year, I got the base set as a gift, and I’m touched to carry on the tradition of setting out the set among my Christmas decorations each year. Maybe my kids will play with the figurines and act out the Christmas story with each other – just like I did with Sam.
Cookies – did you say? I almost forgot.
I look forward to making gingerbread snowflakes using this Snowflake Cookie Cutter with my momma. I’ll probably stick a package of Walkers Shortbread and a bottle of scotch on the mantle in honor of Dad. He sees you when your sleeping you know.
How are you making your home sparkly, festive, and fun?
It’s pretty simple this week. I choose to share a poem.
Because I’ve never met an eggnog latte I didn’t like.
You come a teasin’ every November first
in pretty red cups, taste buds ready to burst
But you know my rule, hard deadlines a must
no holiday drinks til turkey bones turn dust.
With each pass by coffee shops, a favorite of places,
your scent escapes wafting right in our faces.
The vanilla beans mixing with nutmeg and spice
taunting, ‘You know just one sip might be nice’.
You beckon me bashfully right in the door
breaking rules, pushing boundaries just a little bit more.
“One eggnog latte” this woman requests
ignoring her scruples and feeling distressed.
The coffee comes quickly, in that beautiful cup.
One sip. Sigh. Two. Now drink it all up.
You may be bad for me, BUT you fill me with cheer.
How many magic concoctions will be consumed this year?
Oh yes, I have them too. Big, fat, ugly, warty doubts that sit on my heart and squash my finger’s desire to type. Little wispy doubts that wear tutus and dance among my strands of hair, swinging along and whispering as they pass by my ears. “You shouldn’t write” they say. “Your stories, your truths – they are going to keep you from getting a job, or make your friends run the other direction. Give it up, no one tends to give a damn.”
I wonder, almost daily, if it is worth being vulnerable on the internet. I doubt the sharing of my tears, my heart, my hopes and my grief on this space. I filter my failures and minimize my successes.
And then, beautiful people like Anne Lamott give a Ted Talk and post on Facebook and I remember, once again, that I’ve got to. I’ve got to write.
So today, my beautiful thing is Anne Lamott’s reminder that she shared. Take that world, I’m going to continue telling my story. I don’t want to feel like hell.
I personally like #6 on her list. Take heed world, take heed.