Thursday, September 8, 2011

Contentment and the Cardinal Virtues

I love that life springs up everywhere! This is a patch of sweet green sprouting in something--ahem--mostly dead, in our backyard. I love that this is what god does in the lives of his people; make life grow where all was dead.
I don't want to say it too loud, lest I incur the wrath of neighborly weed-haters, but I cherish a secret love of creeping charlie. As a kid, I mourned when Dad cut all the lovely purple flowers in the lawn just when they were starting to get nice. I like to lie in it, and I love it's charming fragrance. I don't like it in my vegetable garden, though you couldn't tell that by looking! So lush, verdant, and luxuriously green.

Happy: I am happy to have good friends in our neighborhood. I am happy my kids have sweet pals. Look at them! The tutu! The sword! The hands held, the valiant smile and the determined chins! Doesn't the picture of childhood in summer just warm the cockles of your heart?

I am happy we are learning so much together. These are great kids, and we love learning together!

They learn whether I want them to or not! For instance, I would sort of rather the learning-via-digging-under-the-clotheslines stop pretty soon. Or at least before the clotheslines fall over! But, oh, you wouldn't beleive the discoveries that have been made in this pit! It has been dug and redug. Bones unearthed, floods, mud games, bridges, secrets galore! I haven't had the heart to put a stop to it yet. Today, Ezra went ankle-deep in delight and mud-lusciousness.
I've been thinking about the four cardinal virtues Leila from Like Mother, Like Daughter talks about: Fortitude, Prudence, Temperance, and Justice. Mostly thinking what a woefully short supply I have of them! Honestly, I had heard of the four cardinal virtues before; my Grandpa Roy liked to extol them. But his weren't the ones listed above-- I won't discuss Grandpa's cardinal virtues in mixed company!
Fortitude, Prudence, Temperance, and Justice. These are solid.
I've done a lot of working on Peace, Joy, Love, and Hope, but they so often elude me. How can one work on peace? I can't generate Joy, you know. I wonder if Fortitude, Prudence, Temperance, and Justice might not give me a handle with which to grasp, to receive the sweet gifts of God.
Fortitude to let go of the doubts and recriminations that steal the joy he's given.

Can I see the beauty, the glory of God in the midst of real life?
Funny: I've seen so many lemonade stands this summer! I love the way they hawk their wares.
I never had the chutzpa to set out my shingle like that, but I think these kids are making bank! My kids far prefer lemonade stand kool-aid to my fresh-squeezed. I think my husband does too! Ha!
Way to go kids!


Leila said...

What a sweet post! I love it all! And I think I WOULD like to know what your grandfather called the four cardinal virtues :)

justamouse said...

what a great post.

Jodi said...

Love the photos and content here. It's a very cool space.

Bethany Ringdal said...

Libby--I love creeping charlie too--I especially like the smell when it's cut or crushed or walked in. Weeding creeping charlie has been kind of a surprise joy in my garden, since it pulls out easily and smells nice. Isn't that just like God? In the kingdom, the weeds smell good.