Tuesday, January 6, 2015

the vanity.

a story.

As a little girl I had a vanity with a bench in my room.  I remember being very young sitting on the bench screaming as my mom combed out my long straight brown hair (much like another little girl I know). I remember looking into the mirror wondering what I would look like when I was grown up. My parents got the vanity when we lived in Nebraska and it went with me through several different moves. As I got older we painted it pink and covered over the strawberry fabric on the seat for a more grown up looking floral. I remember countless hours playing "hairdresser" in my room with my two younger sisters. As the  bossy older sister I was always the hair dresser and they my clients. I combed, curled, braided and primped for hours. As a middle school teenager I can remember sitting on the bench curling my bangs and trying to scrunch and hair spray them into place just so. Exclamation perfume, hairspray and my little jewelry box collection sat on the vanity's top.

Just recently I was reminded of this vanity when a friend of mine posted a picture on instagram of her childhood vanity that she refinished. "I wonder what ever happened to my vanity?" I wondered to myself. I had last seen it when I moved out of the house for college. For some reason it had never made the move with me.

Over Christmas break I got a phone call from my mom. 
"You will never believe this" she said excitedly on the other end. A friend of mom's shares her love for thrift stores and bargains and they have had several yard sales together. Her friend had brought over a small vanity she had recently purchased at Salvation Army to show my mom. My mom stood in amazement as she pulled out of her van... my childhood vanity. 

My parents had gotten rid of it when they moved to the farm 15 years ago. And now here it was. The vanity had been painted over white but at places you can see the old layer of pink showing through. Careful inspection of the bench shows the same strawberry fabric underneath.
My mom was calling to see if I wanted it.

I did.

We rearranged the girls room to make home for the vanity. The girls right away went to work putting it to use doing each others hair. 

It is a small thing but it was one of those little reminders of God's love coming to me in the form of a childhood vanity. He works in crazy ways to show us He cares about little details...memories... things that are important to us. I pray that this vanity would provide fun for the girls and that as they look into the same mirror that I did as a girl, they would know they are beautiful and loved. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

the unseen blessing

Last night as I was tucking the girls into bed Sarah leans over to me and tells me she was reading my little goal book. This is a small journal that a few years ago I started to write some life long dreams in and where Mark and I record our new years goals. It had been left sitting on the counter. 

" I was reading your book. Well, in it you said you wanted to work on controlling your temper and I think you need to work on that. And actually Daddy too."
She said it smugly, seemingly ready to start a fight.

I wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry. I smuggled a smile.

"You are right. That is something we will work on this year. Actually..." I said, "I think that is something everyone in our family could work on.

"Actually... you are right" she said, "Good night."

It had been somewhat of a doozy of a day well, actually a week. Sickness had a paid another visit to our home in the form of a violent stomach virus. All seven of us got it to some degree, some worse than others and the sickness in our house lasted a week. By the end we were all feeling a bit stir crazy... and irritated with one another.
 I don't remember a time where I have felt so sick. I didn't make it out of my bed in two days except to use the bathroom which I did frequently. Mark took care of me and the kids for those two days and then succumbed to the sickness himself. He climbed into bed with a fever just as my chills and aches diminished.
 It was a rough way to end Christmas vacation.

Today was back to school and everyone is healthy again. I could feel a little bit of anxiousness creeping in due to the fact that Christmas break is over. In some ways I am so ready to have some regular routine but there was so much anticipation and excitement in December and now it is is just regular life. But I think so much of it lies in how I see it.

If there was a any blessing in the sickness it was the gift of perspective. When I could finally eat and drink normally four days later it was almost like getting a new lease on life. My health and my body is something I so much take for granted. When I was lying in bed I just wanted normal life...to eat, drink, cook dinner, play with the kids, run errands...uh get out of bed.

 I need to remember that.
The beautiful gift of the normal everyday life.