January 31, 2011

Love Notes From God

Love Notes From God

Mary in the Kitchen by Sarah Reinhard – CF105: Food Blogging 101

Do you ever feel ugly? I have been struggling with this lately, both in my appearance and in my attitude.

For me, there are two ways to approach this. I can wallow in the ugliness, letting myself be sucked up into the season of life. Why gussy myself up–do my hair, wear decent clothes, heck, worry about a daily shower–when I’m going to be around people who won’t notice or don’t care? And if I yell at the kids…well, they were misbehaving!

On the other hand, I can consider that my children are important enough to smell nice for, that my husband notices even if he doesn’t mention, and that the other people I come into contact with might need whatever joy, wisdom, gentleness, or hilarity I bring with me.

I’ve noticed that when I battle the ugly feeling in my life, I feel the way I imagine knights in stories felt when they slayed a dragon. Right now, Ugly is my bitter foe, stalking me from the dusty corners, hiding under the couch to pounce on me, and waiting in my late project completion.

A few weeks ago, I shared how I’ve come to see sunsets as love notes from God. When I look away from my kitchen window, where I catch the best view of the sunsets, I have noticed that my kitchen is chock full of love letters…all signed, “Love, God.”

The shelf of cookbooks, full of dust and dogears…a reminder that I don’t have to think of things myself. The electric kettle on my counter…my link to hot coffee and tea at any moment during the day. The drainer full of clean dishes…proof that my mother-in-law just popped in and couldn’t resist the challenge. The changing station in the far corner…a bookmark in my life that will be gone all too soon. The cleared-off table, complete with limited edition–and permanent–artwork embellishments…evidence of calm in the midst of busy life.

My kitchen table is where I pray each morning. It’s where we eat meals. It’s where I do a lot of writing and laptopping lately. Sometimes I just sit down while I nurse the baby and read there.

I feel my connection to Mary the strongest, right now, in my kitchen. So it is here that I turn to her for help in my battle against the beast of Ugly. I hold her hand in the rosary even if it makes me grit my teeth. She reminds me, as she leads me back to her Son, that Ugly is a perspective. She inspires me with the knowledge that feelings don’t have to be reality.

But mostly, she just sits there and listens and points the way to the most beautiful sacrifice of all, the one that appeared to be the worst kind of ugly.

Image courtesy of Linds on Flickr.com.