Monday, August 30, 2010

Refrigerator Redo

"If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning... Face it, friend. He is crazy about you!" ... Max Lucado

Recently, a friend shared a picture on her personal blog of her kitchen sink filled with dishes. I was moved by her vulnerability. As a young woman, I remember the stress filled thoughts of someone dropping by to find my home in less than perfect order. It seemed there was an invisible and unwritten standard I aspired to that held me captive to that sink full of dishes or basket of laundry. Thank goodness for dishwashers. Most of us will admit to stashing dirty dishes hurriedly in the dishwasher or stashing that basket of laundry inside a closet, upon hearing the doorbell ring or learning someone was about to pay a surprise visit.

Unfortunately, my years as a young mother were filled with thoughts of "what would people think?" I seemed to equate the acceptance of others with what they thought of me and the way to procure their favor was perfection. Although I was taught at an early age how to properly clean a home and have always strived to keep things neat and tidy, I found myself envying that woman who invited me into her home with such a warm and accepting attitude while things around us might seem to be in some state of disarray. As I pondered these thoughts, I saw the focus was on our relationship not the "everything is in the right place" mind set I seemed to have cultivated.

Becoming a grandmother has set me free from many of the chains of the past. It seems I have been given the opportunity for a "do over" and focus on the relationship I have with these beautiful treasures from heaven. How do I know I am free from some (notice I didn't say ALL) my tendencies toward perfection? I still continue to find minute particles of confetti used to decorate at my last tea party with my granddaughter. The summer reading crafts made last year at the library still grace my window sill, becoming my own, as HGTV might say, style statement. But, the most bold statement of all is my refrigerator. Lately, I find I am picking up one or more art pieces while opening the door to get a glass of milk. While I may be overdoing the showcasing of memorabilia, I find it hard to remove the memories and the relationship statements of my favorite artists.

You see, only last week, my granddaughter pointed to the painting she and I made together months ago. Though my art education is limited, my heart heard her inner question. Do you remember our time together? My grandson's Mother's Day card describing me as "pretty as a zebra," still makes me laugh sometimes when I'm feeling frumpy and need a reminder that beauty comes in all kinds of packages. I learned very early in the grandparenting experience it is not about the outward appearance. My outer beauty nor that of my house have very little bearing on my relationship with my grandchildren.  These most beautiful of God's creations accept me unreservedly, even complimenting me on days when I least feel I deserve it.

We all need acceptance. We all crave relationship. As I stare at the pictures and notes hanging precariously by magnets on the front of my refrigerator, perhaps its not a statement of style but a statement of acceptance. My grandchildren's value is so tied into the things they experience and share with those they love. The value I place on our time together and the things they design and create also create an atmosphere of acceptance for them. In turn, it feels like acceptance and relationship to me. As a grandmother, I've learned from my grandchildren the importance of acceptance in relationships.

No matter what our size or shape or the condition of our kitchen sink, laundry basket or fridge, remember to:

Make much of the little things.....

Hand out lots of compliments

Give plenty of hugs (look at the size of my hands!)

Share beautiful moments... they become memories

Always stick together....

and my favorite and most comforting thought from my grandson...
Never lose sight of how much others need to find you are there for them.....

and finally...

Start early planting seeds of acceptance... the world doesn't waste any time
taking shots at who we are supposed to be in this life... 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, simply Wow, I have been so blessed by reading this. Thank you so much Robin!


Please leave a comment if you have questions or thoughts about the content shared in this blog.