...some days are all about family...in a special way...
Today has been spent in the most lovely way. The Preacher and I treated our hard-working daughters and their hard-working husbands to a day off, on us. We all loaded up, two-vehicle-caravan-style, and first had breakfast at "The Crack". After that, we took off to the mountains, and when we reached a certain spot in our Smoky Mountains National Park, the kids and grandkids unloaded from their van, and set up camp- chairs in the back of "PopPop's twuck". (That is what Timothy calls the Preacher's truck...)
We drove this way through Cades Cove three times, and had a fabulous day. At one point, the Preacher and I just looked at each other (over the tops of two little heads - grandson and granddaughter) and smiled. Both babies were in the cab of the truck with us, while their parents all four were laughing and cutting up in the bed of the truck. The babies were madly vying for their PopPop's undivided attention, and it was....heaven.
Then we went to a secret spot, location of which shall remain in the family, otherwise it isn't a secret. Photo ops galore. There was no place on earth...no exotic location...no waterfall, no seven wonders of the world, no seashore, no castle in Spain...no place we would have rather been, than right where we were...breathing in the fragrance of literally thousands of flowers, and enjoying the company of these like-minded children of ours.
We ended the day (frazzled babies - the grandson was so punch drunk, he made us laugh till we hurt) at a nice "sit-down" restaurant, where we treated these beautiful adult-children to dinner. They have labored with us day and night for weeks, now - they have worked long and hard to bless the people of God with a fabulous, usable basement space at the church building. As parents, we wanted to say "thank you". Not as "pastor and wife"....we wanted to say thank you as "mom and dad".
Which brings me to two questions that have been changing my life this year. (I always walk in something a very long time before I teach about it or chirp about it or act like I know a thing about it...)
There are two questions I have come up with, that, if you ask them, and act on the answers your heart gives you, they will change your life.
1. Where can I create beauty?
...sometimes this can be as simple as "fold that pile of laundry"...other times, as fulfilling as "make a charcoal drawing and collage and painting and title it "Achsah"...and then, question number two:
2. Who can I love better?
...this question carries no guilt, no obligation. This is not a guilt-driven question. This question involves infusing beauty into just one relationship, that day. Who could use some little extra loving from you today? Who needs you? How can you love that person a little bit better than ever? Most of the time, the answers are very simple.
I have been asking myself these questions every single day, for a long time now. The answer to that question for today was for the Preacher and I to do just what we did. He and I created beauty - in that we created a memory that will last a lifetime. And he and I loved some people just a little better.
And just for today.
And I will do it again tomorrow, I promise you.
I also promise you, if you ask yourself these two questions, your days will gain a clarity and a beauty to them that perhaps you haven't experienced in quite that way, ever before.