1. Being Held
One of the most lovely moments of my day is crawling into bed and being held by my husband. Sometimes we talk all about our day, laughing and giggling, and reliving the crazy stories of what we experienced living in a foreign country. Other days we lay in silence, listening to each other breathe, and thanking God for the simple but profound experience of being loved unconditionally by your spouse. There is peace and safety in being held.
2. Long Wooden Tables
There is nothing like breaking bread with those you love around a long wooden table. The table becomes a part of the family, one where daily memories are made, stories are swapped, and food is enjoyed and savored. Growing up, my three siblings and I sat at a wooden table every night where my mom served us home made meals, and to this day, the conversations, the laughter, the serious talks, and the card games, are ever tied to this table. My family just rented a house in Delft, Holland this past month, and to our great surprise the focal point in the house was a long large wooden table. It became the heartbeat of the house where we enjoyed each other and Holland.
3. Fields of wildflowers
I truly believe flowers are some of the most healing aspects of nature. So much beauty can come spring forth from hard and dirty ground. Wildflowers remind us that even with human neglect, God has not forgotten them and is ever watering and nurturing the growth of these gorgeous plants. Last month Kevin and I walked the ground along the Normandy beaches in France, where some of the most horrific fighting during WWII happened. But instead of darkness, we were surrounded by miles and miles of the most vibrant fields of wildflowers. Orange poppies, yellow mustard flowers, and purple shoots were blooming uncontrolled. Kevin and I took our engagement photos in a filed of perfect pink wildflowers, and I cannot but help smile wide with the remembrance of such beauty in our midst.
Wherever you live in the world, candles add beauty and warmth. They breathe life into stuffy, cold or dark places. They remind me that my small little life can make a difference when I choose to shine love and hope into a world of hurt and brokenness. When my husband and I moved into a very poor neighborhood in LA, I always made sure to light candles every night. Almost daily, my neighbors would comment on how lovely they smelled, how they lighted the room, or how they added warmth to our home. When we moved to Nepal, my dear friend send me a very luxurious candle, and in her note, reminded me to burn it when I needed a little “pretty” in my life. Ohhh candles, I adore thee.
5. The Colors and Vibrancy of Nepal
Every day I am surrounded by a world of incredible hues. The patterns and sparkling jewels on a sari glimmer in the sun as I walk down the street to the market. The fruit and vegetable stalls are a patchwork quilt of color…bright purple eggplants and deep maroon pomegranates alongside summery orange papayas and plump yellow mangos. Bright gold bangels jingle as women walk down the street. I feel blessed to live in a place of such living artwork where style and function and beauty weave a pattern of inspiration! (photo taken by Stephanie May)
Katie and her husband Kevin hail from sunny southern california, but are currently living in Nepal where they are working at an aftercare home for girls rescued out of sex-trafficking. Both she and her husband are passionate about traveling, and have lived, backpacked through, and visited friends in almost 40 countries. A few of her favorite things in life include living in community, bookstores, mexican food, heart to heart talks, and of course, the Sound of Music. She loves to meet new people, so please go say hello and introduce yourself! She blogs at http://hopeengaged.blogspot.com