Appreciating The Simple Things
Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing that life is made up of little things.
Frank A Clark
I once saw a picture that shared the following inspiration: “In my life, I’ve figured out the secret for happiness. Appreciation for what you’ve got, whether it’s a little or a lot!” The “Author” is unknown but the sentiment must not be lost on any of us. You see, this one quote should give us all pause to think about the things we are blessed to have. I know I have thought about them because of it, but even more importantly, I have been forced to consider whether I am giving those blessings their due respect and reverence! And it was then that I realized that I had never before put pen to paper (or computer keyboard), to document for all the world to know, exactly what my blessings are.
Now, I wondered, briefly, if it really was necessary for me to reveal the intimate details in such a public forum. But then I realized that my honesty might just compel you to really think about your blessings as well, and that it might just be the impetus you need to honestly document for posterity’s sake (and your own), you own blessings, as well! So here goes!!!
I am exceedingly grateful for a spouse who has seen me at both my best and my worst, but who still loves me regardless of the challenges I present! Now I am not a “box of chocolates”, but then again, neither is he. But it is our devotion because of and in spite of all of these things that has allowed our love to endure! We laugh…. a LOT! And for every thing we have in common, we are also allowed the freedom to do things apart from one another. And if you were to ask me what the secret is to sustaining a happy marriage, I would have to say that these are at least a few of the essentials that create the magic!
I am exceedingly grateful for having been blessed with two fine children. For every single moment of their lives, INCLUDING the challenging teen-aged years when we said a daily prayer that we would, one day, witness the successful completion of High School, I have been proud of their kind hearts, their generous spirits, and their unwavering love and devotion to each other, and Dan and me. They always knew that we were their champions and that we would always love them, even if we didn’t always like them! And they reciprocated, in kind!
I am exceedingly grateful for having had parents who made sure that I would have the tools I would need to have a happy life always. They showed me, by example, what I would need to be to be successful and happy and they taught me to know the difference between right and wrong and to always remember that hearts, once broken, are often difficult to repair.
I am exceedingly grateful for having a place to lay my head at night, shelter from the storms, food and drink to stave off hunger and the capacity to keep myself clothed. This did not happen by chance. It is part of the greater picture that included having the opportunity of working in a field that I loved, and of learning what was needed to excel in the workplace, and to prepare for the future when my working days would be over.
I am exceedingly grateful that I am relatively healthy and that most of my “parts” work just fine…..albeit with a little help from both science and man’s ingenuity, such as the filter that is inside me that keeps blood clots from going to my lungs, for the plates and screws that hold some of my bones together and for the eye glasses that enable me to see the smile on my grandson’s face.
I am exceedingly grateful that I am able to pay my blessings forward as a Guardian ad Litem and advocate for children who have been the victims of abuse and neglect in my community. I am grateful that I have the chance to make a difference for those who are too young, weak or powerless to speak for themselves.
I am exceedingly grateful I have been able to witness a new generation come into the world. In Landon, and in every baby that is born, exists the promise that God is giving us a new chance to get things right! And who knows….perhaps it will be my grandson who cures Cancer, or brokers a lasting peace in the Middle East!
I am exceedingly grateful that I managed to find my way back to God. Perhaps I should have begun my list with this blessing, but it seems a bit more appropriate to end my list with Him. You see, just as He is the foundation of support for all of the blessings that appear above this last (but not least) one, He is the very foundation for my life and without my being able to turn to Him every day, all of the rest of the things listed here, really wouldn’t matter anyway! Yes, since He is my first, my last, my everything (gee…..sound familiar?), it is really due to Him and His benevolence that all of the rest of these things exist for me to begin with!
There are so many more things I could list. Having great doctors. Not having any car accidents this last year. Having the cup of coffee that is warming my hands right this second! Not having to use a cane to walk these days. Having my husband survive several serious surgeries over the last two years (and optimistically facing the prospects of a couple of more in 2015). Yes, there are so many things. But the point of this exercise is that we must really CHOOSE to think about our blessings….. every single day. Did you know that actually writing your blessings down for a single week can increase your happiness for a month?
All too often we take those blessings for granted. The problem with that is that we might just not be able to recall what they are when we need them the most. That is why I encourage you all to take a moment and sit down and list your blessings. Simply writing them down and then saying them out loud, will increase their power and afford you a greater appreciation for exactly what it is that they bring to your life. And it will give you a greater appreciation for exactly how many gifts God delivers to our lives every day. And on this nearing celebration of the birth of His Son, isn’t about time we remember to thank Him?
“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.”