A season of little things
Life is made up of different types of seasons, and regardless of my general feelings about the current season I'm in, I'm here, living in the midst of it. At any given point, I can look at my life and think, "Why is nothing happening?" when in reality, so many little (wondrous) things are happening every day. I'm reading again, which feels like getting back into the routine of talking with a good friend more often after falling out of touch for awhile.
I'm savoring my way through one book, in particular. And I love this excerpt from it, Jan Karon's These High, Green Hills:
Cynthia came in quietly and set a cup of tea before him. He kissed her hand, inexpressibly grateful, and she went back to the kitchen. When we view the little things with thanksgiving, he thought, even they become big things.
In a season of small things, I want to see the significance of the little things. There will be seasons in the future (I'm sure) where I'll wish for a day to just enjoy the little stuff, for space in my mind to notice the way the light hits the kitchen table, and the way Nicholas always comes up behind me, to hug me when I'm brushing my teeth. And here, where I am today, in a season of little things, I want to make an effort to savor it. When I take a moment (or several) to do so, the little things can cause thanksgiving to spring up in my heart, and a thankful heart is not a small thing at all.
Here are my "little things"
- sorting puzzle pieces by shape
- making homemade fruit snacks/"jello jigglers" as we called them when we were kids (I added 2-3 T honey after the gelatin dissolved, because my 100% cranberry juice was so tart)
- making homemade lotion for Nicholas (see my pinned stories on instagram for the recipe)
- starting a batch of sauerkraut
- knitting on scrappy socks and my green sweater, but mostly on fingerless mitts for my mom's birthday
- enjoying tea and oatmeal, as a nighttime treat
- reading my book, tidbit or chapter at a time, and laughing out loud at the way Jan Karon describes her characters. It feels so good to be reading again.
- curling my hair for the first time since last January
- finishing puzzles
- listening to a sermon together
- talking on the phone with my mom today, on her birthday (happy birthday, mom! <3)
And yesterday, we spent an entire day together. With our morning coffee, we started piecing together an "extra difficult" wooden puzzle with reindeer pieces. We had smoothies for lunch, and I talked to my brother on the phone for over an hour, while Nicholas played games with some friends. In the afternoon, we went to his barbershop for his haircut (& some knitting time for me). And then we went to The Backspace, to order our "usual" and to sit at the bar, close to the the brick oven fire where they cook the pizza. It was like sitting near a fireplace on a chilly night, and you can watch the staff prepare your food, which is our favorite. We ordered the exact same meal we always do, plus an americano to share. We were home by 7pm and watched The Office together and cozied up under the quilt we reach for about 50 times a day this time of year.
It does my heart good to write these little things out, because if I don't notice them, I miss out on the opportunity to notice all the little things God provides every day* while we're waiting on Him to provide the big ones. Noticing the presence of little joys helps keep the heart from dwelling on the absence of things you want, but don't yet have. This, I think, is the first and biggest lesson of the new year so far.
What are your "little things"?
*See also, my post about January manna.
Starting sometime in the fall, I made a point to be a bit more creative and find new to us trails to hike on and explore. Since then, we have found several new favorites for when we are in the mood for a hike, regardless of the season.
2022: A year in review
Welcome to my annual post of our life in the last year – a review of all the big and little events, travels, habits, heartbreaks, and joys. These posts require a lot of time and energy, in part due to sifting through all the posts I wrote in the last year, but also because these posts spur me to reflect and sit with the previous year for a moment, before stepping into the next one.
2021: A year in review
Every January, I assemble a blog post of sorts that catalogs our year. Largely organized in list-form, I touch on the big and little things, events and thoughts and experiences that shaped our life over the last year. I do find this incredibly helpful as a sort of reflection, a glance back on the Lord's faithfulness, to show me, time and time again, that He is a good God. And with that mindset, I feel less encumbered as we continue on into the new year, more ready to face a full year of new, fresh days, with the heart attitude that regardless of what the days will hold, mundane or exciting, difficult or good, I can walk into the future with hope and trust in Him. Plus, I do enjoy looking back on a lot of the little details of our life, the ones that make me smile or think, Oh, yes! We loved that! What a little joy in our life.