Two of our three daughters came for the weekend with three of the four grand kids.  It's always a delight to spend time with them.  It though always causes me to reflect a bit - to remember life when I was their age, when I was raising my own blood daughter.  Technically the two that came aren't mine by blood or longevity even.  But, they are my daughters through love and I do so love them.

I loved that as I cooked Friday night they sat at the counter bar and we talked and laughed while Doug entertained the grand kids.  It was natural and unstrained.  I loved the free for all conversation that covered lots of different things.  They laughed after asking me if I had ever made this particular pizza they were watching me assemble; hot pepper cherry jelly, a thin smattering of peanut butter, grated onion, a roasted red pepper I had just taken from the oven, fresh cured green olives and some grated mozzarella cheese on homemade dough.  I replied, "No, I'm making it up and it might just taste like shit!"   

Their visits always cause me to remember to seize the day - the specific and particular time of life you're in because it all too quickly morphs, changes and eventually fades away.  I tried to urge them too as well, recounting what I felt and thought at their age.  They remind me of how fast life is.  How quick kids grow up and the cycle of life repeats itself.    How was I this age when I can remember being their age!

I always want them to know they are beautiful and tell them so.  Beauty is not just what my eyes can see, but what their personalities do to my heart.  In both senses they are beautiful and bring beauty to my life.

Hopefully they don't think I am a know it all, but rather I hope they feel encouraged in their journey of being a woman, raising kids, trying to work, parent, maintain and spark their marriages.  That takes a lot of energy and their presence reminds me how important is to tell others behind us in life they can do it and to empathize with the hard parts.

It made me think about God.  His desire for us all.  His love that seeks so powerfully to encourage us in our journey of life - to remind us that we are things of beauty - to empathize with our struggles and get excited over the joy of being present in the moment.  I pictured myself at my own counter sitting as God Himself puttered in the kitchen and I visited.  It made that feeling of God's love for me deepen a bit further.

Their visit made me think about all the have to's in life.  How easy it is to see routine as drudgery sometimes - work, kids, finances, groceries, etc.  How life really is just day after day after living - like a big long elementary school paper chain.  It's less about what I accomplish but how I view all the things in my paper chain - finding joy in them.
Their visit made me miss my blood daughter even more than I already do. I haven't seen her since Halloween and won't see her until June sometime.  

I was thankful for my paper chain. 

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