As most of you know, nature is very important to me.

And I want it to be just as important to my children.

Yes, we already spend 90% of our days outside, but we don’t always stop and look at the little things below (and above).  So, I’ve decide to devote every Thursday as our day to spend as many hours as possible observing and cherishing the gorgeousness around us.

Today, we started in our very own yard.  Our yard is not really all that [collectively] impressive, but as we spent TWO hours observing each detail, I gained a brand new appreciation for our little yard.  And so did my boys.  They couldn’t stop talking about all of it as we sat down for lunch.

I’ve been in a little (okay, BIG) funk lately, physically speaking.  And I’ve been really hard on myself about the way I look.  We don’t have a ton of money for me to devote to myself.  I can’t just go out and shop for new shoes all the time; I can’t get my hair done on a regular basis; I don’t have all of the latest fashions hanging up in my closet; I don’t have a large collection of makeup; my body isn’t as svelte and lean as it once was.  But you know what, I DO have many intangible qualities within me that hold so much more weight than any material possession.  I learned a valuable lesson today, and I’m going to apply it to my every day being.  I may not be a physically gorgeous being.  But I do possess those little gems that only a pure eye can see.  If I compare myself to the natural beauty around me, I’m able to see myself in a much healthier sense.

I’ve also been talking to my boys a lot lately about having love and respect for those around them.  I want them to appreciate everyone, regardless of their physical appearance, ideals, opinions, etc.  And as we were walking through our yard, I was telling them that everything in nature comes in all kinds of different colors and textures.  That’s what makes the world beautiful.  And Miles said “just like people”.  I’m so glad those little lessons are starting to resonate through my 4-year-old!

I feel so much more enriched today.

I know this experience was an answer to my heart-felt prayers that I’ve been expressing for a while now.

And I’m grateful for this tender mercy.