Today was a lovely day.
The loveliest kind of day.
My favorite kind of day.
We woke up in one city knowing we’d be going to bed tonight in another. As I write this, we are currently on the road toward home. Toward our children. I miss them so much I could burst. I can’t wait to kiss Finnley’s squishy cheeks and watch his toddler bouncy sprint as he races toward me, arms outstretched, as is his customary way. And I can’t wait to squeeze Judah until he wiggles and asks if I would let him go yet. I can’t wait to hear his breathless stories of the past two days as he searches for the right words in his limited 3 year old vocabulary. I can hardly wait to see them. I’ll see them in about 3 more hours. We’ve been driving for about 4 1/2 already.
(p.s. To check out photos of our family, click here!)
But letting their Papa and “Boga” (as Judah started calling my mom when he was only 1) watch and care for the boys so we could escape together and alone for a couple of days was well worth it. The trip actually started off rough. We got into a big fight. I fell asleep still mad at him—something I promised myself when we got married that I would never do. Mostly, I’ve kept that promise. We even told each other we might as well go home the next morning as we knew this would be a failure of a trip. But in the first early hours of the next morning I prayed for the Lord to redeem our day and trip. To make the cost of the trip, to my parents, to our children, and to our wallets worth it. For the most part, grace won between us yesterday morning. But we were still somewhat crabby. Not mad at each other anymore. Just crabby. So I kept praying for God to bring life from the ashes we had made of the trip so far.
And, thank You Lord, He answered my prayer.
Yesterday we ended up killing time at a couple different Starbucks. We let our iPod’s charge at them. And we spent more money at them than we’d spent there in the last four months consecutively. All for the sake of love. And time wasting.
Actually, we had every intention of hitting the world-class local art museum, but upon arrival, we learned they were closed for the day. After a near depression set in, we decided to head for “Uptown” and browse through the shops in that trendy area of town. We felt we got a bit of a museum-fix by walking through CB2, Design Within Reach, and another high-design furniture and interiors boutique way out of our budget (a sofa there was going for 16k!!). We got to see the works of Charles and Ray Eames, Mies Van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and several other renowned furniture designers. We gawked at a few pieces in DWR that were well above our price point, but stunningly, exquisitely beautiful. There was this sofa there that, from its side, had this amazing wooden and smooth frame, square angles, and bright orange upholstery. The coordinating coffee table was divine. I closed my eyes for a moment to picture it in my own living room. Almost took my breath away.
After our jaunt around Uptown, we landed at a hole-in-the-wall, mom-and-pop owned, eclectic french restaurant. We ordered an “amusement” (appetizer) of whipped brie with foccacia and balsamic. We paused, closed our eyes, and savored every bite. For our entrees we each ordered different steak meals. Mine had a delicious pepper sauce on it and came with Pommes Frites (french fries) with saffron aioli sauce. I die for aioli sauce with fries—especially sweet potato fries. I make a “chili lime aioli” that brings a savory tanginess to sweet potato fries that always leaves us licking the bowl clean. Any ways, my husband ordered a steak with homemade hollandaise sauce that was to die for as well. We lingered there, after the meal, in total relaxation and contentment. Then we stopped at the grocery store for a tiny cup of “skinny cow” ice cream to share. Not quite my favorite “Phish Food” by Ben and Jerry’s or “Java Chip” by Starbucks, but much kinder in the calorie department.
Finally, we ended our night watching the independent film “Listen to Your Heart” about a musician and a deaf girl’s love and life story. It had a good plot line. However, the script was a bit “cheese-mo” as we say. But I definitely went to bed with a happy sigh and smile on my face nonetheless!
I should add that right before dinner, we decided to head outdoors for a walk around a beautiful in-city lake. We got no more than a fourth of the way around it because we were dressed for the art museum and everyone else was dressed for jogging. I mean it seemed that the entire city of Minneapolis was jogging at that very moment on that very lake. Few people were running alone. Most of them were running in “swarms” as we called them. So finally, we felt too lazy to be allowed on the path, and resigned ourselves to a 4-block car ride to our delicious restaurant.
Even though we knew we had to go pick up the kids the next day (today), we decided we would still stop at the art museum for a couple hours before we left. We ended up staying an hour and a half longer than we were supposed to, and had only seen the tip of the iceberg at the museum. We headed on up to the Modernism floor, and we could hardly peel ourselves from there. In just a few hours, we marveled at the works of folks like Wassily Kandinsky, Kierchner, Francis Bacon, Max Ernst, William de Kooning, Arshile Gorky, Andy Warhol, Henry Matisse, Braque, Caillebotte, Gaugin, Mondrian, Picaso, Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Degas, Frank Lloyd Wright, Berthe Merisotte, Dali, Chuck Close, Seraut… and so many more. Just in the last 140 years, it is astonishing the ways the world and art has changed and advanced. We were commenting on the genius of people like Picaso and Seraut and Van Gogh, impressionists, pointillists, cubists and more who had the guts to create the work they did in the era they did. They were laughed at. Ridiculed. Ignored. Told they had no skill or talent. Yet they pressed forward, daring to be innovative. Daring to challenge the norm. Daring to view art differently. Continuing in their convictions when no one else did.
My husband and I are always drawn to stories of such people. Like Margaret Thatcher. Like William Wilberforce. People of conviction, who stood by their convictions despite great oppression, persecution at times, and ridicule. They made decisions that didn’t seem to work at first. They made them based on deep conviction for what they believed was right. Not based on what everyone else thought. They were usually alone, or had few joining them. And in the end, truth won!
In the end, many of these artists paved the way for thousands of artists to come after them and do something new and exciting and outside the box. And in total freedom.
Conviction. It’s a daring thing. It can be a deadly thing. It’s a beautiful thing. It can be the wrong thing, too. But if its founded in truth—particularly the absolute Truth of God’s Word—then it is always the objective and right thing. Even when no one else seems to agree or get it or like it. Or when you feel like the only one standing firm on it. In the end, we do know that “every knee will bow, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil 2:10-11). In the end, everyone will know and acknowledge the Truth.
Maybe that’s why my husband and I always like stories with deep conviction. It’s so exciting to see truth emerge. In victory. I don’t know. But the stop at the art museum inspired me. On many levels. We left promising each other we’d stop every time we made it to town. I left wanting to be an artist now more than ever. And we left happy. Content. More in love than ever. We shared a lot of good and oddly intimate moments at the museum.
Yes, it was a happy anniversary.
And in two days I’ll post another HappyFamily illustration!!
Until then, sweet things. Until then.
Love and Blessings to you!