The preacher agreed in his eulogy. He said that after this lady was diagnosed with cancer, sometime other parishioners would call and tell him they weren't going to be at services because they had a headache. "I'll ask Miss Liz to pray for you," he said he would tell them, because Miss Liz would be sure to be there, even with the pain of her cancer. That was usually enough and the person on the other end of the phone would be at services, he said, laughing. It was obvious he loved her very much.
After the funeral, we were all invited back to church for a meal. Our family went, Bill and I and our five youngest children. Bill's extended family doesn't have a lot of children in it. I'm not sure why that is, because it is certain that they love children. But regardless, when this family gets together, my children are usually the only ones there, and they get much attention. This day was no exception.
One thing I heard throughout the day, both by family and people I had never met before, was how beautiful my children are. I have to admit, I agree! Beau was especially fussed over, because he has grown into a man now:
And no, I'm not ready to marry him off, so don't email me pictures of your daughters!! :o)
But then, they are ALL beautiful, pretty Celeste is the only one missing from the first picture:
Someone asked me how I managed to have ten children, and all of them beautiful! I jokingly replied it was because Bill and I are so beautiful, ourselves.
Then last night, I was reading a new book after all the kiddos went to bed. In it, the main character was talking about a family who lived in the hills. She said there were many children in the family, and they were all ugly. At least, she thought so until she got to know one of the sisters. The more she knew her, the more beautiful she became, until this person thought, "Why, she isn't ugly at all!"
I thought about that...
What is beautiful? Here is a dictionary definition:
having beauty; having qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind: a beautiful dress; a beautiful speech.
So it doesn't have to just be a perfect face, it is something that "gives great pleasure.. to see" I thought of three things that are beautiful to see in a child: Good health, nicely dressed, and happy.
As mom's, we are responsible for our children's health. Healthy children are a joy to look at, and usually, a joy to be around. If you are pregnant, are you taking your vitamins and eating healthy, well balanced meals? This is the very start. Once baby is here, are you breastfeeding? Again, as a mommy, it is the very best you can do for your child.
Now that they are older, are you being careful to provide healthy meals? Or are you throwing a box of sugar laden, food colored cereal on the table? Processed lunch meat on white bread? Come on, mom, you can do better for your children...
That food is okay once in a while, but it should be the exception rather than the rule.
How about how your dress your child? Do their clothes fit? I remember going to a foster care meeting one day and I could almost tell which of the foster children were welcomed into the family by how they were dressed. Some were wearing ill fitting, worn out looking clothes that obviously came from charity, others were dressed like well care for children. I'm not saying thrift store clothes are wrong. We went to Goodwill ourselves yesterday. Mary Susannah found name brand Aeropostale clothes mixed in with everything else there. They cost the same amount as the worn out looking shirts. She found a trendy skirt. She is turning into the queen of thrift store clothes. I, on the other hand, don't often have the patience to dig through the tremendous amount of clothes that she does. I was looking for shirts for Luke and didn't find anything I thought was nice enough for him to wear. I've sort of learned that to find clothes for Luke, I need to go to the Burleson Goodwill. I don't know what the difference is, but it's there. This Cleburne Goodwill, however, is great in the book department!!
And lastly, is your child happy? A happy, clear countenance is priceless. A well loved older man who has passed on to glory, Richard Mummau, told me once that a Christian always has a clear countenance. I could write a whole other blog about that, maybe I will someday.
Do your children have a clear countenance? What do you feed their minds on? Are they innocent?
One lady at the funeral told me that Luke was the cutest little boy she had ever seen. I know what she means. While Luke may have funny ears and a skinny body and he doesn't talk much in public, he was born smiling and hasn't stopped since. He doesn't need to talk, his face is very expressive and says it all. He looks like a child who has never seen a bad day. Yeah, he can be naughty, when he is, it's hard for me to discipline him (although I do, honestly) because I don't like to do anything to make him cry or be sad. When the church we were attending made it a rule of membership that the children HAD to attend the church school, I knew I would never be a member. Trying to explain it to them, I told one lady, "I can't imagine that I would have to go all day and not see Luke's smile!" Her reply? "Oh, you will get used to it."
Used to it? I don't WANT to get used to it, I told her. She looked at me like she could not comprehend that...
So momma's, take stock: are your children beautiful?
I think I can hear a lot of "yes's" out there!!