What do you see?

 



I took this quick picture of our kitchen island the other day. I think it was the morning after my 9 year-olds had their first sleep-over. But, really, the picture might be much the same on any given morning or afternoon. This countertop is a magnet for clutter. I don't have to look at it for long before I feel a rising tide of stress and overwhelm.

I see wet swim towels and pancake batter going bad.

I see my oldest son's dirty shirt, dishes to be washed, and papers that defy categorization. 

I see the lemons we keep forgetting to turn into lemonade; I see a hundred places for the flies who pass through our broken screens to land. 

This is what I see and all of it is true. 

But if I take a deep breath and widen my lens, I also see flowers from a friend (the product of my daughter's first ever summer job). I see silly notes exchanged between my husband and son. I see heaps of fresh produce and a home that's lived in. I see food for our mouths and evidence of friends (for our souls) and the fulness of life lived in the here and now. 

This is what I see and all of it is true. 

The clutter is real, as well as the stress I feel in trying to tame it. The presence and abundance are real too. Both. There is light and darkness here on this kitchen island - blessing and curse, abundance and scarcity. 

I don't seek to pretend one isn't real and cling to the other. I'm not after some pollyanna point-of-view. I'm hoping instead to practice, now and again, the art of widening my lens. 

What more is there to be seen? What's there but not apparent at first glance? How does a wider lens allow a more deeply grounded sense of reality?   

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