Saturday, April 9, 2011

Beauty in the Ordinary

You might have noticed that I have changed my blog name to "Beauty in the Ordinary".  Last week at church, they played a video by Brene Brown on vulnerability.  Ms. Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston.  In her talk, she discussed many aspects of vulnerability, but one of her key points that I can't get out of my mind is to "find beauty in the ordinary."

Much of my life has been spent seeking out the extraordinary.  I must go to an extraordinary school.  I must have an extraordinary job working for a great company.  I have spent so much time seeking success, and often missing the beauty of the ordinary.  I would get so caught up in the rat race that I would forget to slow down and experience the beauty that's all around me.

Now, I have sold my suit, and my days are no longer spent in front of a computer screen typing feverishly or trotting along in the airport with my suitcase rolling behind me hoping that I'll get the free upgrade.  I'm a stay-at-home mom... a rather ordinary life.  But I have learned that I will gladly trade climbing the proverbial ladder for folding my nearly 9-month-old babies' clothes.  There are so many things about my ordinary life that are profoundly beautiful... watching my son and daughter giggle and splash in the bath tub, running through the woods this morning and seeing the fresh new growth of buds and leaves on the trees and thanking the God that created them, tickling Vivienne's soft little tummy when I'm changing her diaper, watching Miles' chest rise and fall as he lies asleep in his crib with his arms up in the "touchdown" position, trying to identify all the new birds I'm seeing eating from my feeder, having my son's and daughter's faces light up when I come into a room, sitting at the edge of the park watching my friend's children play on the playground in the sunshine, even washing my babies' diapers and doing the dishes tonight with Jason after our delicious "breakfast burrito" dinner while a thunderstorm rages outside our windows.

My grandfather, Charlie, used to tell me so often to "stop to smell the roses."  When I lived in Pasadena, I would often walk to my graduate school and pass so many glorious rose bushes in the neighborhood.  (After all, Pasadena is home to the Rose Parade.)  Every now and then, I would think of Charlie and I would literally stop and smell the roses, and I would remember my incredible grandfather and wish he could walk along with me.  He would look at me from under his cap and say,"Weeeeeeeell, hello there..."  I miss him, but his wisdom and love is permanently etched on my heart.  He knew that there was beauty in the ordinary.

Life is beautiful.

My ordinary life is beautiful.


  1. This is a great post, Leslie... So true!!!

  2. WELLLLLLL. That was beautiful. Grand Dad would be pleased. In fact, I am sure he is.

  3. You know, we are birds of a feather. I have been profoundly impacted by that thought from the message last week too. And I've been focused on looking for the beauty in ordinary.
    We need to keep one another accountable to remember just how beautiful our lives are!