Monday, May 4, 2015

Such a Treat

My husband's grandparents all died before I met any of them, but I've heard more about one of his grandmothers than the others. She was famous for saying that most everything was "such a treat." Her enthusiastic appreciation of most everything was so strong that the one time she looked down at a sandwich at a restaurant and said, "This isn't very good," the whole family made note. From the stories I've heard, it's about the worst criticism she ever gave.

This last weekend, we visited some of my husband's family in Iowa, including one of his aunts. Though she didn't specifically call anything "such a treat," she lives her life that way. She looks for things to be positive about. She appreciates simple things like visits and the good food at a local diner. She frankly acknowledges the facts of life, such as aging and death, but she's accepted those things and jokes about them without worry.

That's not to say that nothing makes her sad or thoughtful. When those events come, from what I've seen, her method of coping is rooted in her faith in Christ and her trust that God is in control whether in life or in death, in good times or in bad.

This is, of course, the basis of the Christian faith, but not many of us apply this truth in this way, and I'm grateful to get a glimpse into the lives of these women so that I can learn to adopt their resilient joy into my own life. Following their example, I want to live out Philippians 4:4, which says, Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. (ESV)

The cool thing about this mindset is that it is constant, and something that can be practiced every moment. When I looked out at my lawn this morning and knew I needed to mow, instead of bemoaning the upcoming chore, I took the time to notice and appreciate how pretty the purple violets and yellow dandelions looked together. (Now that I've mowed, my lawn is less colorful, but very trim and green.) Other opportunities, such as enjoying my coffee or my lunch, abound, and I hope to take advantage of them for the rest of my life.

What good things have you learned from family?

Your Sister
What a gift it is for a family to pass a happy disposition down from one generation to the next!

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