Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Decorating for Valentines, What?

It's not really that much...my decorating for Valentines is really just me putting Christmas away but still wanting something festive out.  So I put together a pretty "mantel" on my beautiful iron tree with help from David.
(This is what I call my "mantel" since I don't have an actual mantel. Just, you know, FYI.)

First, pretty flowers from Dave...
 New photos for the "mantel"...
 ...new/old flowers and a thrifted book about flowers...
 ...and especially, a photo of the day Dave proposed...
 That photo was taken after one of the worst weeks in my personal history; on this day alone, I'd had a job offer for Alaska, my first car wreck, and spent about $600 of my own money on safety of flight issues that, as I suspected, my company would never reimburse me for - and yet, the joy in our faces is unmistakable.  Good photo of a great moment in a truly awful time for us both.  Not every photo on the tree has so eventful a story behind it, and for that I'm very grateful.  But I'm really enjoying looking up at this tree full of memories...a little decorating is not always a frivolous use of time and effort, you know.  It is good to remember and to meditate on the graces I've lived.

The good things you have have come at a cost, haven't they?  A strong marriage, strong kids, strong sense of yourself and of God, even a clean, uncluttered house, they cost you something.  It's good to mourn what you've lost, grieve for the grief you've given, forgive for the pain you've received, and wonder anew at the good that surrounds you.  Pictures, flowers, chocolate, sweet cards, all the "cheesiness" of this Hallmark-engineered, marketing-gimmicked holiday...these are all vehicles of grace, if you let them be.  Hope this season comes on you as a sweet time of remembrance and graceful forgiveness and gratitude.

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