7 Little Things

Mom in the leaves of November
Mom in the leaves of November

The past few weeks have been chaotic. I’m sure this feeling is familiar to almost everyone reading this. If it’s not one thing that comes up, it’s another. We are in the process of building a home, and that in and of itself is a consumer, maybe not so much of our physical time, but more of our mental time. There’s a meeting to schedule, a decision to be made, someone to check up on. I asked my husband last night how on earth we managed to stay so busy. His answer was probably the most realistic: life. Life keeps you busy. And in all of this busyness, it’s easy to forget all the little things that make up life. So tonight, I wanted to take a minute, sit down, and write about a few little things that I want to slow down and appreciate in my life.

1. I appreciate everything about November.

The food, the holidays (Thanksgiving and my wedding anniversary!), the weather, the colors, the call to reflection – it’s all ingrained in this month for me. November is probably one of my favorite months of the whole year. The weather beckons you to sit down, grab a good book and a cup of coffee and curl up for the evening. No longer can you go outside and bask in the sunshine at 6pm, no longer can you take super long walks in the fields, no longer can you busy yourself in yard work for hours on end at the end of the day; instead, this month beckons you to come inside and fellowship with one another, reflect on life, and dig into a good story.

2. I appreciate real books.

I have been reading on a kindle for over two years now, and I adore the convenience of it, but there’s still something special about picking up a real book. The smell of the ink on the pages. The sound of the paper being turned. The feel of the book between your fingers, daring you to keep reading. The sight of an entire story to be devoured. A weekend engulfed by a good book is irreplaceable to me.

3. I appreciate God’s grace.

This isn’t exactly a little thing. It’s a BIG, overwhelming thing. And ‘thing’ seems too light to subscribe grace, but I’m capturing my running thoughts, so just go with it. As a Christian, I take grace for granted sometimes. We should never take grace for granted–ever. This week especially, I have really been aware of God’s grace on my life, and I’m overwhelmed and thankful for it. I praise God for it. I thank Him for it. I don’t deserve it…ever. In so many aspects of my life this week, God’s shown up and and pointed out His grace. It’s mind-blowing. And tonight, I appreciate it.

4. I appreciate my husband’s faithfulness.

My husband. He’s one amazing man. No, seriously. I know every wife says that (and they should), but my husband isn’t just amazing to me as a husband: he is amazing to so many people in so many ways. And for some crazy reason, he chose to be faithful to me as a husband. He’s faithful in loving me daily even when he’s exhausted from work. He is faithful to work. There have been countless times when I’ve (wrongly) begged him to skip out on a project at work because of some crazy whim, but he doesn’t. If he has a project, he’s dedicated. He is faithful to his walk with the Lord. He is faithful to his convictions. He is faithful to his beliefs. He doesn’t waiver. He is steadfast, strong, and sure. And I appreciate this aspect of him so much.

5. I appreciate my mom and dad’s generosity.

They have blessed so many people over their lifetime. A book could never contain the amount of love they’ve shown to people in just my short lifetime. They inspire me so much, and I wonder if I will ever be able to be like them, if I ever will be honored enough to be like them. I’m proud to be their daughter. I’m proud when people tell me I remind them of my parents. They are incredible people.

6. I appreciate sleep.

I never feel like there is enough of it, but the hours I do get, I greatly appreciate. As a kid, I hated going to sleep. I thought it was such a waste of time. Why sleep when there was so much to do? But now that I’m an adult, there’s something so magical about sleep. God designed our bodies to rest in the evening, and I’m learning to fully appreciate that. I’m learning to wind down and enjoy crawling in bed to sleep. For me, it’s easy to look at it as something I have to do, so I can get to the next morning and start all over again, but I’m learning (slowly) to really appreciate its benefits.

7. I appreciate getting to know my brother as an adult.

I have one “little” brother. Well, he isn’t little; he’s just three years younger me. Even though he’s been taller than me for years, and he’s looked older than me for years, in my mind he’s always been my little brother. There’s a video of me holding him in the hospital the day he was born. I was dressed all in pink and beyond excited to finally hold and kiss my little baby brother who I was convinced was going to be named Oscar (I was a Sesame Street fanatatic). My hopes were crushed when my parents named him Dakota, but the name suits him much better than Oscar. I see that now. Overall, we’ve been close over the years. We’ve had our ups and downs like most siblings, but, in general, we’ve always known we can call each other when we want. But now, for the first time ever, we are getting to know each other as adults and not as kids. We accept that we’ve both grown up, and we are beginning to see each other as the adults we’ve somehow become. We nod to our shared past, but we take each other for where we are now in life. I respect him where he is, and he respects me where I am. We don’t agree on everything. We give each other a hard time about a lot of things, but we are learning to appreciate our individual points of views as adults. He’s obsessed with fitness and diesel trucks. I’m a book-obsessed, nerdy writer. Dakota and I are polar opposites, but we are enjoying spending time together. I’ve just now really learned to love and appreciate this phase we are in.

Those are my seven things for this week. I’m going to try to start doing this once a week for my own sanity. When I stop and reflect on the things I need to be appreciating, it helps me feel more grounded. The busyness doesn’t feel so consuming.

What things can you appreciate this week? What little, obscure things affect your daily life that you rarely stop to think and reflect on? Sit down and take five minutes to breathe. Reflect on all the little details that make up your busy life, all the things that make up the background noise, all the fillers, all the forgotten moments. The things you would miss immediately if you no longer had them.

Appreciate life.

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