It's a word that has meant different things me to over the years.
As a 4 year old, it meant my baby doll, Betty, who went everywhere I went. She could open her eyes and make a muted "crying" sound. She had short, matted blonde hair and a blue and white dress. And to me, she was lovely.
At 10, lovely was a new pair of roller skates, the kind with 4 metal wheels. I wore the wheels out skating up and down our street in San Antonio and making figure-eights in the drive way.
At sixteen, lovely was a new car. A red one. And freedom to go anywhere (except at night and only with my Dad's permission).
After college came a new freedom, a scarier freedom, of being on my own. And the loveliest thing to me was my very own paycheck. Paying my own way. Doing it on my own with very few withdrawals from that money tree that Daddy had growing in his back yard.
Then came the amazing loveliness of marriage. And then a baby, who is growing into a confusing, dramatic, lovely young lady.
And the older I get, the loveliest of all are the people who share all of it with me. The friends and family who can look back and "remember when" and who are making those "remember when" moments with me now.
Look around you. Find the loveliest thing in your reach. Maybe it's the man you sleep next to at night. Or the extra hour of sleep that comes from "falling back." Maybe it's the roof over your head. Maybe it's the Bible on your nightstand. Maybe it's some great Tory Burch flats (okay, superficial, but they ARE quite lovely!). Maybe it's that you paid your bills this month. Maybe it's your little girl's laugh.
Regardless of where we are in life, most of us don't have to look far to see lovely. But if you can't see it in front of you, look back. And think about the loveliness you have walked through. And think about those who walked through it with you.
The mind is an amazing tool. It's the highest quality camera we can own. We should all spend some time flipping through the pages of its photo albums and being grateful for all of the things it brings to mind. And deliberately continuing to fill those pages with the small, sometimes seemingly insignificant memories of rainbows, time with friends, playing in the rain, and belly laughs.
For long after the mind has dulled, and its pictures have faded, the heart will still be amazingly full with a lifetime of memories that were... lovely.
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