A lovely invitation to “An Evening of Beauty” appeared in the mail. The crisp white paper with silhouettes of daisies edged in sky-blue intrigued me. Yet, as I read the winsome words, I felt the color flush to my cheeks. Through my vulnerable mailbox, open to a myriad of requests, announcements, encouraging and frustrating words, I had been accosted by a cultural demand to enslave me to a definition, which lies to women. It demands us to believe that beauty is only as deep as flesh, pulled and manipulated to pretend that years have not aged us, and we are only as valuable as our judge, the world deems us to be. It is not the way we live on the inside that matters, it is the way we look that is the most important of all. Flesh will be dust, but the spiritual heart is eternal, which is worthy of investment?
Just two days ago I’d asked Malachi to pray for me to eat more healthfully and find time to exercise amidst our busy life. He answered, “Mamma, maybe at spring break you can do that…or in the summer. You don’t have time for that with taking care of us and writing.”
Last night Magdalene was dancing ballet late and Dennis’ evening required a welcome celebration for a colleague. So the Middle Littles, Littles and I dined at Burger King. Everyone wore crowns at the table, delighted to feast on delicious hot food and be served by a smiling staff! Someone asked if Burger King and Dairy Queen knew one another. I responded like a thirteen year old, “They are probably star crossed lovers!” Five -year-old Zion spoke wisely, “They’re standing opposite each other on a chess board!”
With no dishes to wash, snoozing dogs on places and cats in hiding, we entered our quiet house around bedtime. Within ten minutes, pajama clad Littles snuggled at the opposite ends of the couches. Malachi, Salome’ and I laid two blankets on the floor, set a bowl of trail mix on the coffee table and some sunflower seeds in a cup. I poured a glass of wine and Malachi lit one bright candle while Salome’ shut out every other light. We turned on CD #9 of the Mitford Series by Jan Karon, our current audio book and listened, our minds held captive to her story written with words of life about a community of people who love and believe in, and seek the best for each other.