Yesterday morning I had the joy of sleeping in. It was the first time in weeks I didn’t have to get up early and hustle out the door to accomplish some early morning task. It was cold and rainy outside, and my bed was warm and cozy–offering to be my companion for the day. And while I was laying there, half-heartedly trying to find the motivation to get out of my snug little haven, I heard the coffee grinder…
Aaaahh, someone was making coffee! Bless him!
The thought of pouring hot java into my favorite mug brought a smile to my lips and gave me the motivation I needed to get moving. As I stood at the top of the stairs, I was greeted by the delectable scent said to myself: This is one of life’s simple pleasures.
And that got me thinking—what other simple pleasures do I appreciate and enjoy? What additional little blessings sneak into my day and fill me up?
Then I wondered how many of these simple pleasures I had missed in my busyness, selfishness, and pride. How many have touched my life that I hadn’t even noticed?
I honestly had no idea, so I decided to make a list of the simple pleasures I experienced throughout the day. And at the end of the day, I was not only shocked by the length of my list, but also by what was on it.
I discovered I’m blessed daily by many simple pleasures; but most of the time I’m too busy to notice them, too selfish to slow down to acknowledge them, and too prideful to be thankful for them.
As I reflected on this new realization, I wondered how different my attitude would be if I stopped and thanked God for each of these little motivators throughout the day–especially on days I’m not feeling particularly motivated, confident, or energetic. I pondered how different my life would be if I allowed gratitude to be one of my primary characteristics as opposed to being task orientated.
I brought all this before God as I confessed my ungrateful heart. I asked Him to help me be mindful of the simple pleasures. And then I asked Him to help me not only remember to stop and appreciate them but also to give Him thanks for them.
So now I ask you: What are your simple pleasures? Do you even know? Or have you missed most them as I did?
Dear One, I want to encourage you to choose a day this week and make a list of all your simple pleasures. If you’re like me, you’ll discover you have a lot more to be thankful for than you realize.
When I started my list, I wasn’t expecting more than a handful of things to be on it. I was wrong! So shortly after starting this exercise, I divided my list into three subheadings: Life/Family; Writing/Ministry; Daughter of the King. These categories opened my eyes to see God’s little blessing in specific areas of my life. How you make your list is up to you, all that matters is being mindful of the ways God blesses you through the little things.
Here is a sampling of my lists:
Life and Family:
- Waking up to fresh hot coffee in the pot
- Listening to my boys talk and laugh together
- Watching my boys play together
- My boys:
- Giving me a random hug
- Asking about my day and how I’m doing
- Inviting me into their world by
- sharing something important to them
- showing me funny videos they know I would enjoy
- playing a new piece of music they discovered and fell in love with
- My man holding me, just because
- My dog, just being herself
- Sunlight glittering on the surface of lake, creating a sea of diamonds
- Plants—seeing them, receiving them as gifts, planting them, enjoying them (Plant Nerd)
- Something that makes me laugh
- A favorite song comes on the radio
- A text/call from a bestie to check in, encourage me, and share their world
- Getting pictures of my godson and his sister
- Receiving a call/text from a precious “daughter” who doesn’t often call/text
- A Vikings Win
- When things “click” and fall into place, the words lineup
- A fellow writer sends a random message of encouragement and support
- A respected author offers an encouraging word about my work or constructive criticism to help me be a better writer/blogger
- Likes, shares, comments on blog posts
- When a reader joins my community by subscribing to my blog
- When a reader tells me how a post encourages, challenges, and blesses him or her.
- Watching those I mentor fall in love with Jesus
- Seeing students worship Jesus
- Getting hugs from one of my “kids”
- When students and others ask questions about Scripture because they’re hungry to know more about Jesus and their faith
As Daughter of The King, it’s when
- His Word becomes Vibrantly Relevant–jumping off the page and into my life
- He answers my prayers for what’s best for me, not necessarily for what I want at the time
- A favorite or new praise song comes on
- I can feel God’s presence in a real and tangible way
- Knowing I can talk to Him all the time, in every season, in every shade of doubt and faith
I don’t experience all of these things every day, but I have yet to go through a day without being blessed by many of them. I used to ignore them. I used to brush them off as no big deal.
THESE SIMPLE PLEASURES ARE A BIG DEAL! They’re blessings from God to encourage us through our day.
So my response to what I’ve learned is: I’m committing to being mindful of and thankful for the simple pleasures in my day-to-day life for the remainder of this month.
I’m curious to see what changes God’s starts in my attitude and perspective.
Who is with me?