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Romanticizing Life

I have this habit of making the little things in life appear dreamy and wonderful and magical.

On a date night recently, Bill and I were discussing some of our favorite activities in the home. The topic of baking came up and I shared about how much I really enjoy baking cookies and cupcakes; how I had previously owned a whole cupcake baking tool kit and an over abundance of cookbooks; and how much I loved the scents that permeated the home from the oven.

Dreamiest and coziest thing ever. I must have looked a bit dreamy-eyed because I looked at him and sheepishly said "I have a tendency to romanticize life a little bit."

No judgment from him. Just a grin.

I love finding the beauty in the every day. When I get home from work, I realize there is probably a load of laundry waiting for me, and dinner has to be made and other "adult" responsibilities that come with running a household. What I envision though, as I make the commute home, is cuddling on the couch with my family, all under a ton of blankets, with an easy meal or better yet, lots of snacks, and just hanging out to watch a movie or chat.

Or the holidays. I could go on and on about what I envision in my head about hosting the holidays at my home and and having everyone I love in one place and we are gathered around the table telling stories, laughing loudly and maybe drinking a little too much wine. But glorious all the same because we are all together.

You know that scene in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation? Chevy Chase's character and his wife are laying in bed together talking about the holidays and the family. Clark Griswold shares all of his hopes of having the whole family together that Christmas. His wife, knowing him well, tries to keep him from getting disappointed if it doesn't work out exactly how it plays in his mind.

I am a little like Clark Griswold.

I used to hide that part of myself. I don't know that I really have a good reason why except that it just felt silly to romanticize life. It was more important at the time to establish myself as a strong, capable, hard working, independent woman. Dreaming and fairytales were for babies.

However, I have learned that both can be true. I can be a strong, hard working and independent woman, while also remaining soft and tender and a romantic at heart.

Looking for lovely and living in it sounds rather nice, actually.

I work in a career that is emotionally draining. So allowing myself the opportunity to think of the beautiful things I want in every aspect of my life is, I believe, crucial for our well being. I believe the Bible supports us as well, as it encourages us to focus on what is good and lovely and of noble worth (see Philippians 4:8). In context, Paul exhorts us to keep the faith, to remain in unity and to keep praying in all things and to not give in to anxiousness. I want to love this life God has provided me and to set my mind on those things. There is so much output currently that has us either living fearful or angry.

I want to live in beauty and love.

Just the other day, I sat with three of the kids after dinner on the couch. Nothing special. It was a completely ordinary evening. They were teasing each other while playing a game and giggles were constant. And it was perfect. I had responsibilities. The laundry is never ending. The dishes always need to be done. But I loved just sitting there and being in the presence of the children and watching them engage with one another. A dream fulfilled.

Will it always be like that? No. Not even close.

But who cares? Enjoy it. Cherish it. One day I will be an empty nester and oh how I will wish I had all of those moments back. How I wouldn't think it was so silly to imagine a relationship so close with my teenage daughter and son and my soon to be step-daughters. To continuously fall in with my Bill over and over again, even more than the first day I met him.

It doesn't seem to silly to romanticize my life now. In fact, it seems to be vital. I don't want just good relationships. I want amazing. Fantastic. Wonderful. Beautiful. Ever growing and evolving relationships.

I will take ever present dreamer over the constant cynic any day.

Dream on, my fellow romantics.

Tiffany Rhea

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