“I like our life.” Hearing these four simple words made me breathe a bit easier and made my heart happy as my daughter said them to me. J said this to me several weeks ago while we were out for an evening walk together and honestly, after about a month of dealing with craziness, this was exactly what my heart needed.
As a single mom, there’s so much more I want to be able to give my daughter that life just has not afforded me the opportunity at the moment. In many ways, over the past four years, our lives have been downgraded quite a bit materialistically speaking, but it has been upgraded in the small moments—the moments that truly matter.
I often try to put myself in J’s shoes and see life from her perspective. I know my now 14-year-old has experienced her own set of storms and trials that include her parents divorcing, her father remarrying so soon after, and the issues with her father the ensued after all was said and done. And then of course there’s just managing life which included (pre-COVID) homework, studying, practices, rehearsals, and mom giving her chores (I’m sure that’s her favorite). She made it through middle school pretty unscathed (which many of us know is a blessing in itself) but I know personally, she’s been through a lot.
This summer hasn’t been the traditional summer for us. Like so many others, we haven’t traveled anywhere, we keep our outings to a minimum, and she hasn’t been able to have sleepovers with her friends. Much of this summer has been me, her, and my boyfriend spending all our time together, watching Netflix or Hulu, working out, and on occasion, her mom forcing her to read a book (yet again, her favorite). We do weekend dessert runs, and often laugh at the silliness of our 2 dogs. During the week, J and I go for walks, have spur of the moment hour long talks, and she keeps me up to date on the latest TikTok videos. If I’m being honest, there hasn’t been a whole lot of big things to look forward to and many days have been very mundane and routine, so hearing her genuinely say, “I like our life” truly made my heart so happy.
About a week or so after she made that comment, we went to do some shopping to get some necessities for our new apartment. We decided together that even though we will only be in our temporary home for six months (see last few blogs on why we’ve relocated temporarily) we want to still make it feel comfortable and homey. She was immediately drawn to a picture at the store that simply said, “It’s the Little Things,” so I bought it for her, so she could hang it in her new bedroom. It made me think of her previous comment and how very true that is. (Also, the inspiration for this blog.)
I’ll be the first to admit there’s nothing wrong with “big” things in life. We should all have a dream list of things we would do if money weren’t a concern. Mine would be to travel and to travel freely and comfortably—domestically and internationally. I also want an off the hook kitchen! Don’t care if it’s in a house I’m renting or buying, an apartment or a condo, I just really would love a nice kitchen since I love to cook. Yours might be a certain car, buying a new house, buying a certain brand of clothing, or simply retiring so you can go camping every weekend. Personally, I think we should all have a “dream big” list of things we would like to do or have. But at the end of the day, it really is about the little things.
We’re living in a time where we’ve become much more materialistic, individualistic, and competitive. Life has become about who has the biggest, the most expensive, and the most popular. God wants to bless us and give us the desires of our heart, yet I truly believe He never wants us to lose sight of the little things.
His word says, “Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalms 37:4 NIV). In Ephesians 3:20 (ERV) He tells us “…He can do much, much more than anything we can ask or think of.” God loves us THAT much that He truly wants to bless us. Yet, I also know and believe that He wants us to appreciate the little things.
What are the little things for you? Even though life looks drastically different for many of us than it once did, I can guarantee you there is always little things to love and appreciate in life. And if you can’t think of any, you have the power to create those moments and change your perspective.
I encourage you this week to spend time thinking about and appreciating “the little things.” I truly hope to one day be on an airplane flying to different countries and experiencing the beauty of different places (waaayyyy after COVID is over btw)! I look forward to the day where I can invite friends and family over to feed them after cooking a great meal in my off the hook kitchen. And I pray you get that “dream big” moment as well, no matter what that may be.
Life may not be what or where you want it right now…I totally understand! Yet, to truly get the most out of it and experience true joy and peace, I believe we should all take time to remember life really is about the little things. 🙂 )
“Whoever can be trusted with small things can also be trusted with big things…” (Luke 16:10 ERV)