appreciation, beauty, good, life, ordinary, thankful, time, Uncategorized

Appreciating Beauty in the Ordinary

There isn’t enough time to stop and observe what’s around us. Life is go, go, go.

I’m there.

Really, I am.

I’ve got to find time to work, do all the regular household stuff and car maintenance, take care of four kiddos, and write. When it’s not summertime and the kiddos are in school, add to that, being on the road a minimum of three hours a day, that’s if no one’s sick, there are no check-ups, and not counting extracurricular activities. And, then there are lessons to chauffeur and act as a (music) practicing partner. I wear multiple hats — barber, housekeeper, chef, chauffeur, nurse, music practice partner, judge — with no time off. I’m on duty and on call, at the same time.

And, some of those jobs, like cutting hair, I’m not great at doing. But, it needs to get done, and it’s got to be me. As for jumping into the role of judge, I love using skills I’ve learned from studying logic and philosophy. But, nothing, nothing has prepared me for figuring out what really happened, at least not all the details, in many of the situations. All I know is, the ever elusive, I didn’t do it, must have done many terrible things and seems to escape with quite a rap sheet without any repercussions in this house. And, it continues to instigate mayhem.

But, I stray from the topic at hand.

As I said in a previous post, Beyond Competing and Winning, I mention a bit about how my life is hectic not to brag or compete for the most hectic life award. Rather, I want to say, I get it.

Life is busy.

But, if we stop and admire the beauty around us, life becomes that much more wonderful.

I’m going to share some of what I’ve stopped to enjoy over the last two weeks.


I’m extending my hand (figuratively, if you’re not into physical contact), and see through my eyes for a few moments.

Lily Chang © 2018

  • I took these three photographs at a birthday dinner my dear friend, Amy, was throwing for one of my kiddos.
  • The cake was simply amazing, tasty and beautiful. And, she had multiple food restrictions to work with. It had to be gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free. The ice cream cake was delicious.
  • As for the cat, I had the perfect opportunity to shoot Sasha, and so, I did.


Lily Chang © 2018
  • I love going to weddings. And, this one, Hawa and Matthew’s wedding, was no exception. I wrote a bit about it here: A Wedding to Remember, if you want to hear more.
  • I was taken aback by the details on the mother-of-the-bride’s dress, scarf, and hat. It’s gorgeous. I wondered whether it’s Liberian and she had made it herself. This lady’s pretty amazing, and I wouldn’t put it past her to have created it.

Lily Chang © 2018

  • I took these on our way into the public library. There’s nothing like trying to snap half way decent photographs with four high energetic kiddos. But, I got some.
  • The metal sculpture is fascinating. I’ve never sculpted metal, but I imagine it to be challenging and tough.
  • I had never noticed cacti blooms. The yellow one looked almost like cellophane, it was somewhat translucent and shiny. The pink ones were just as breathtaking.


Lily Chang © 2018

The kiddos and I went to a meeting the other day and saw this beauty.


Lily Chang © 2018

The four kiddos and I had gone grocery shopping. Doing any sort of shopping with the kiddos is always an adventure, full of I want this and I want that. And keeping them from disrupting other shoppers — by running in front of them, weaving in and out, being in the way — is, well, a full-time job in itself.

By the time we were done, I was done, too. All I could do to keep myself sane was to look around and see the beauty around us. That certainly beat focusing on how slow the check-out line was moving or how hard simple shopping was.

I spotted a beautiful orchid in the checkout lane.


Lily Chang © 2018

I’ve been doing different stretches and exercises for the pain coursing through my forearms and some of my fingers. Yesterday, I went to my massage therapist to work through my almost intolerable pain. Turns out, the cause is likely caused more by my rotater cuffs. Anyways, I enjoyed this view on my way out.


Now, it’s your turn.

I’m throwing a challenge at you.

Maybe you’ve never taken the time to do this before. If that’s the case, let’s take it slow.

Once a day, find something in the ordinary, where ever you’re going or whatever you’re doing, that fascinates you.

And come back here and talk about it in a comment. You don’t need to include a photograph, unless that’s your thing.

Blessings to you.

And, I look forward to hearing about your findings soon.

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