Monday, July 23, 2012

The EO Award

She rises early, prepares breakfast for her family.  Gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, she is not free to prepare whatever is simple and easy.  Hers is a labor of love in the kitchen, feeding bodies, nourishing hearts, guarding health.  She repeats this for lunch, and then for dinner, day after day after day.  Dishes, laundry, picking up around the house, shuttling kids to and fro, managing doctor appointments, growing her own business, clipping coupons, paying bills, nurturing friendships, digging deeper into God.  Life seems to have accumulated for her new sets of challenges through the years, often in a relentless parade and not often spread out, and yet she only grows more beautiful.  Layer upon layer peeled back through struggle to reveal deeper, radiant beauty. 

She is my hero.

Mom and I were talking about her yesterday, about all the things she faces with grace and perseverance.  And Mom says, "She's my hero," and I think about this and nod firmly in agreement. Yes, she's mine, too, and with this confession a pang of love seizes my insides, squeezing hard.  

My sister is modest, not one to draw attention to herself.  She never has.  I, on the other hand, the youngest child, often loved the attention and maybe still do.  If she reads this, she may be embarrassed, but I don't mind.  Sometimes it does a soul good to be noticed, to be admired, to be thanked.  Sometimes we don't realize that the unremarkable things we do on a daily basis are, in fact, remarkable when done with love.  Another blogger calls this "the extraordinary ordinary" - and this is the stuff of a life fully lived.  

My Sister, I see you.  And you are remarkably lovely.

So, if I could give out an award today (and $10,000 to whisk you away on a European adventure for several weeks) for The Woman I Admire Most For Living Out the Extraordinary Ordinary, it would go to you.  

Never underestimate the impact of your love.

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