Beauty

The smell of new tires is wafting up my nostrils. I’m waiting on our van. Pre-trip checks and all that. I’m noting the picture of fashion that I am. The old pink polish is beyond chipping off my toenails. The skin on my legs is crying for lotion. My hair is wet from hasty washing after a morning jog. I’m amusing myself.

I breathe in the tires again. I like it. I’m working on being present. I look around the waiting room and marvel at how different we all are. I appreciate the culture I’m living in. Familiar, warm, authentic, friendly.

My chipped toenails and my wrinkled orange shirt causes our family dinner discussion from last night to resurface. What is beauty after all? Sounds deep, right?

Well, it started because my oldest daughter caught a glimpse of a pop magazine the other day. Not a deep start. We talked about appearance versus true beauty. Photo shop, magazine portraits, and models. We discussed appropriate appearance and hygiene versus obsessing over how you look. It’s a tough conversation with four pairs of female eyes looking back at you. It’s simple now. We’re still in the “Yes, you have to brush your hair” stage. When I think about later, I’m overwhelmed. God, the author of beauty, please help. Beauty is a gift. I see it in those pairs of eyes: when Daughter #3 says, “Mom, I just love Jesus.”; when Daughter #2 gently helps the littlest one; when Daughter #1 still grabs my arm for a hug; when Daughter #4 gently pets her cousin’s new puppy; when I catch my husband’s eyes across the table and mayhem.

At another dinner, I will tell them loudly what this tire smell gave me today. We will ask God for beauty daily and God will give it freely. It’s what we were created for.

Although I have been slower about naming the beautiful gifts of life, they certainly overflow daily around here. Thank you for participating and reflecting with me.

Here are a few gifts I caught while being present in the past few weeks (sometimes family peeps highjack my list so I just added theirs in too):

125. Guinea pig faces

126. Smell of clean pillow case

127. Shaun the Sheep

128. Reading books under a cool fan

129. Chocolate-chip cookie dough

130. New garlic press

131. Jumping through sprinklers

132. JOKO…clean and fresh (Daughter #4’s lovie)

133. Night wind on my face

134. Summer vacation (scratched into my list by Daughter #1)

135. Charlie the guinea pig (Daughter #3)

136. “Bump-it” on Daughter #2’s head for school talent show

137. Tuna salad sandwiches

137. Birdsongs in the morning (from my husband)

138. Smell of new tires

139. Bay water and wakes

140. Trip preparation

141. Clean, brushed hair on four heads

142. Local libraries

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