Originally posted December 10, 2007. I just happened to re-read it, and thought it a timely reminder to myself. Besides, you can't go wrong perusing Alice's archives! :)
Alice at Cottage Blessings has recently posted (yet another) touching reflection, this time on how beautiful little things happen in each day that are just waiting to be noticed, even amid the daily (or ongoing) frustrations or sorrows that we all inevitably experience. She mentions how, in blogging about such things, one may be left open to the accusation that the picture being presented is somehow less than real because it isn't balanced by the difficulties that coexist with it; or worse, that the picture being presented is a fiction, created solely for the blog itself.
I don't ever want to give anyone a false impression of perfection, where it clearly doesn't exist. At the same time, we always choose how we see our homes and families, and that in turn influences our own attitudes, and ultimately, actions, toward them.
There's an optical illusion you may have seen, like this one: If you look a the white space you see a vase; but if you look at the black space you see two faces. Both pictures are equally present and equally real, but you can only see one at a time.
I have long loved that image, because it's symbolic to me of how important perception is when I look at my own home and family. I can focus on the mess I can't seem to get to, or the seeming chaos in a given moment; or I can focus on how lucky I am to have this beautiful family, and what an awesome thing it is to be in a position to influence their growth, development, relationships with each other, and of course, with God. I can be a frustrated, angry goof, or I can be a loving, patient and giving mom and wife. I can delight in the little things that present themselves to my heart, or I can wallow in the dreariness of the unending pile of laundry, or the clutter on the counter I just can't seem to get rid of, or any number of frustrations, fears and anxieties that clamor for my attention.
The choice is always mine.
Real joy is often only a tiny shift of vision away.