Monday, March 21, 2016

Longing for Lovely (And Finding It)

He is good to everyone, and his compassion is intertwined with everything he does. Psalm 145:9 TLB

I pull a sock from a wild tangle and then root through the basket for its match. It's Sunday night and our early Monday morning piano lesson sounds sweeter if the boys have something on their feet.

I'm embarrassed to admit it, as I search and sort, but I'm soul-sad.

I've just watched the final episode of Downton Abbey.

I loved Downton for a hundred reasons. The brilliant storyline that twisted and turned. Characters so real that their plights settled on my own soul. But if I pare it all back, past Lady Mary and Tom and sweet Mr. Bates, I will miss the beauty. The clothes. The hairstyles. The bedrooms with furnishings and fireplaces and that library rich with books and extravagant things. Even the formality of period English life, etiquette and manners and tradition, brought a crisp-lovely elegance to the ordinary.

I long for lovely.

I wonder if a woman's heart is carved this way. I don't know. But sometimes lovely is hard to find when dishwashers and toilets overflow. When the children fight. When the need to vacuum is steady as breath. When real life means the real threat of wearing second day socks.

I match two red Nikes and wonder.

"What are you doing, Mama?" Isaiah asks. He wanders into our school room, steps over heaps of laundry, and sits beside me on the sofa.

"Socks," I say.


Isaiah presses close and we fit, like God knew we would. He leans forward, toward the basket, and begins to sort socks. He matches one pair. Then two. And when he notices that I'm still, he looks up and smiles.

And I understand that I don't have to long for lovely.

God brings lovely to the ordinary. He places an abundance of lovely straight in the center of my day.

It's rarely loud or attention-grabbing.

It's not the shining extravagant that shines of extravagant grace.

It's in the every day. The moments so small that hold His vast love.

Lovely surrounds us because the Lord is present and He promised to never leave. Because He is Creator and creation bears His love. Because He is good enough and kind enough to provide glimpses of glory that override circumstance and bring sustaining grace.

I sit beside my son, together in this task, and know that I don't have to long for lovely.

Lovely is in the Lord.

He's been here all along.