A Pampered Chef "Partay" was on my calendar for Friday night.
Quite honestly, I am not a big fan of home based businesses/shows such as this, but this was a niece of a friend who is doing this to raise money for the adoption of two African children into their family. I liked the idea of supporting her, even if was just through the purchase of a mini-spatula or petite paring knife.
As it went, my experience there went much deeper than their deepest pie dish (in stoneware, of course!). Through the course of the evening, I met two women from various areas of Pennsylvania. One had lost her young husband only seven months ago (with three children left behind with her) and the other is a wife and mother of four who recently found out she has a form of Leukemia. The circumstances just listed are terribly brief, incomplete descriptions of their life stories but it was quite clear they were no stranger to heartaches and the very 'heavy stuff' of life. We did not have all night, but the time I spent in their presence was precious as I realized I was sharing in the company of women whose vibrant beauty was formed in dark places, places where cheap, artificial beauty knows little about. These women possessed a strength that can only come from a Source beyond themselves, and they eagerly gave credit to Whom credit is due. They were real...nothing artificial or fake came from their mouths, therefore making their outward beauty all the more striking. They were the whole package, fashioned that way by the brokenness of their lives.
It was just one of those rare sweet moments when those who walk with God find their previously untouched paths joined together for a few steps along the journey...and I was a better woman for it.
On the way home, my thoughts were completely different than they were on the way there. They were decidedly less trivial, nit-picky and complaining. I did not wish for their circumstances and yet I know the purest form of beauty comes from one's reactions to the ugly circumstances that happen on this side of Heaven. I had been in the company of women whose beauty went way, way deeper than any found on the covers of Vogue or in the folds of In Style...and what a privilege it was!
Our weekend has been full of runny noses, coughing children, a husband faithfully working on our kitchen cabinets out in his 'shop' (and I am quite impressed with his abilities, even though this is the first time tackling this type of thing), taxi-ing Rick to and from his Lacrosse games, quick neighbor visits in which my eldest little one embarrassingly mooches off of them for food (I'm quite sure they think I never feed him) and just general child watching/training/playing with/laughing at! Christopher is suddenly showing signs of communicating awareness of his digestive functions (sorry, Ashley, I know that is NOT the technical term). I see in my very near future a training potty purchase, but I am not sure what my expectations should be. Of course, in a perfect toddler world, he would be potty trained and taking out the trash by the next baby, but that's only in Heaven, and I believe that, while there are plenty of babies to be found there, the need for potty training and trash taking is obsolete.
My son just found his nuk in the cracks of the sofa (and it is to be used and found only in his crib) and suddenly it is quiet. At this moment, even though I am not being consistent, I am thanking God for those funny looking rubber stops and for the weekend full of beautiful women and a bustling family that He gave to me.