The last 2 years, we’ve learned how to be content with an uneventful life; staying home, indoors, isolated from people. We’ve learned to live a simpler life and to not only be content, but also to find joy in the simple things in life.
Here in the Midwest, it seems that Spring is right around the corner and I’m itching to bust loose and get outside. I’m ready to help put in a garden with fresh vegetables and eat fresh strawberries from our little patch. I’m ready for the Easter tulips and wildflowers to return, to feel the warm sun on my face and arms, and then ready to sweat and complain about the hot temperatures. How about you?
After COVID, I think we learned to appreciate a simpler way of life, of slowing down and getting out of the fast lane. It gave us time to figure out what matters most in our lives. We were no longer busy, and doing and going everywhere. In our isolation, I hope we’ve learned that life is always about the relationships we have with God and others.
19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.Matthew 6:19-21
Let’s get back to the simple things in life, the things that matter: Sitting on the porch with the neighbors. Listening to the next door neighbors’ children playing outside and hearing their squeals of laughter. Watching and waving hello to the walkers in the neighborhood. Getting together for drinks with co-workers. Date nights with the spouse. Bath time with young children or grandkids. Taking time to tell people that you love them. Those are the things you will never get back again. Those are the simple things in life.
Want to see how much you have to be grateful for? Get out a sheet of paper and for the next 24 hours, write down everything that happens to you during your day. There will be, at the very least, one or two things you can be grateful for. Choose to look for things to be happy about. They are there. Focus on those things and then do more of them tomorrow. Build your day around the good things. There are good and bad points to every situation. Focus on the good, not the bad. Make opportunities good ones. Journaling and keeping a calendar are great reminders of how fast life can fly by if we aren’t mindful and intentional.
Here is a partial list of my simple things from yesterday:
- A hot bath in the morning
- Quiet time for prayer and reflection
- Reading a good book, Undistracted by Bob Goff, with a daughter and sharing what we learn with each other.
- A FaceTime call with my son and granddaughters
- Conversations and laughter with a coworker who is also a good friend
- Campfire and outdoor dinner with the husband
- The smell of freshly washed towels hanging on the clothesline
- The smell of campfire in your hair and clothes when you come inside
- Lying your head on a pillow after a day of feeling grateful for the simple things, knowing you will sleep well tonight.
It’s pretty easy to find things to be grateful for once you know how to look for them and start to appreciate them. Number one is to be grateful that you are safe and alive. World events put the simple things in life in the right perspective.
May you find something simple in life to be grateful for today. Let that be your joy. Then ask God to help you continue to find and be grateful for the simple things. Pray for people in the Ukraine and around the world who would give anything to get back to a simpler life.
Thanks for reading along. I am grateful for you. You can sign up on this page to get this blog delivered right to your inbox every week and be inspired to live life to the fullest through character and virtue. And if you’re really brave, share it with someone you love.