“Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot.” –Ecclesiastes 5:18
Sometimes a girl just needs a good book and a hot cup of coffee to put a smile on her face. It truly is the little things.
Because let’s be real, life is difficult.
God reminds me to enjoy the gifts He has placed in front of me each day- a breeze on a humid afternoon, laughing over a goofy joke with my husband, enjoying a new flavor of coffee, listening to the radio, painting my nails, or getting caught in the rain.
I need to be reminded to slow down and enjoy life.
And I need to be reminded of it often.
Very recently, I did get caught in the rain while on a walk.
It was one of those days where I was tired, my house was a mess, my baby wouldn’t nap, I didn’t have time to prepare a real meal (string cheese & chips, anyone?), and the to-do list in my head kept growing. Going on a walk seemed like the only logical decision to possibly calm my baby, keep my dog entertained, and gain back some sanity.
My neighbors probably thought I was insane when I left my house with both my son and dog in tow because clearly rain was approaching, but I just needed to get out of the house for a bit (mom-life).
We walked for maybe ten minutes, until I realized rain REALLY was going to come at any second. Literally, when I made the decision to turn around, it started to downpour.
And I started running.
And unexpectedly, laughing.
I realized how ridiculous I must have looked in that moment as I ran.
I was the lady running in a downpour, pushing a stroller with a baby that clearly wasn’t shielded from the elements, and my short-legged dog was trying to keep up.
Adding to the hilarity, my dog would decide to stop without warning. We would be running full-tilt, when suddenly I’d get jerked to the right, and I’d almost tip over the stroller. All because my dog felt the need to stop and shake off excess water, in the middle of a downpour.
So the laughter kept coming, and it became a needed release from the day.
After reaching the front door, still laughing, and the rain continuing to pound down even harder, I decided to stop and watch my son enjoy the rain. I took him out of the stroller and we walked back in the rain so we could experience it together.
It was a special moment just to stand there together and watch him see, feel, and fully experience rain. I saw his eyes study it, and his face crinkle as the rain touched his cheeks. He watched my gesture as I showed him rain in sign-language before we quickly moved back into the house to dry off.
The cutest moment came later when we had probably been back in the house for about five minutes. My son was crawling around on the floor and suddenly stopped to look up at the window, reaching out his arm he attempted to make the sign for rain. I picked him up, and we went to the window together to watch the rain, and I showed him once again the sign for rain as he reached his little hand out to touch the glass.
I recount this story as a reminder to myself to be flexible, laugh a little, and enjoy the little moments. Because, as my pastor accurately and opportunely reminded us a couple weekends ago, “in the end, it’s the little moments that add up to becoming the big moments.”
I don’t want to be the mom with the memories of trying to be the perfectionist, trying to keep everything unnaturally organized, or stressing because I didn’t finish my to-do list. But rather, I want to be the mom with the memories of laughter, appreciating a moment, and enjoying life, even on a difficult day.
This moment in the rain, was a special moment. It was a beautiful gift that God gave me to experience, and I’m so happy that I slowed down and took the time to appreciate it.
Because I can easily see another rushed and aggravated version of myself in this situation. The perfectionist in me easily creeps back in, and I find myself aggravated with the day not going according to my plan.
I know the part of me that would have taken this rainy moment, and made it part of a “crappy day”, rather than a precious gift. And I’m sure there will be future days, where I’m rushed, negligent, and anxious. So, I hope this reminder will serve to help me slow down, be thankful, and turn to God in the stress of life, so that I can see the gift that is before me each day.
And enjoy the little things.
I can’t say enough good things about this book and how it brought me to realize the importance of slowing down, living in the moment, and not always planning for the next one. I started reading it back in the spring and just finished it at the end of this summer. It’s not that long of a read, but it’s one of those books where I just wanted to read about a chapter a week, so that I could really apply it to my life. Each chapter emphasizes the importance of relationships and getting away from the distractions that pull us away from what really matters. I know I can easily be distracted by to-do lists, e-mails, social media, my appearance, and get taken away from what really matters- relationships. This is definitely a book I will read over and over again because all of it is such a good reminder! Even if you’re not a mom, she has another book called, Living Hands Free: 9 Habits to Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, and Loving More. I haven’t read it, but I would bet it’s probably just as insightful.
If you’re a coffee drinker, and you love the fall, you have to try Paramount Coffee. My sister initially introduced me to these two coffee flavors a couple years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Literally, even if it wasn’t fall, I would probably still drink these coffee flavors. It’s the perfect amount of fall flavors in a coffee beverage, and it saves me from spending about $5 on a pumpkin spice latte at a local coffee shop (even though they are sooo good). I purchased these two bags at a TJ Maxx and a Home Goods store. I’m so happy that I continually come across them each fall. It adds a little bit of happiness to my day at about $3.99 a bag. Yum!
Scent is such a powerful sense, and the right perfume can really make me feel good at the beginning of the day. I received the DKNY Be Delicious Green Apple perfume as a gift back at Christmas, and it’s the perfect scent for fall (or any month). It’s fresh and has a romantic aroma that doesn’t make it too fruity. If you ever experienced the Bath and Body Works apple-scented lotion from way back in the day, this is a similar aroma. It still has that apple-scent, but there’s a layer of femininity and romance that make it a nice perfume to wear going about a normal week.
MOPS or Mothers of Preschoolers is an international organization that helps connect moms of young children. It starts back up every fall, and I can’t say enough good things about this organization. They allow moms to come together, talk, laugh, cry, discuss, eat, craft, pray, and connect. I love my MOPS group because it’s run by some wonderful, Godly, caring women, who are organized and willing to go out of their way to support and love moms right where they are. We just had our first MOPS meeting this past week, and our MOPS leaders did such a great job of organizing the morning, making child care accommodating for moms, and even providing a gift to everyone on the first day. MOPS, International also sends a quarterly magazine with membership. If you haven’t heard of it, and you’re a mom with young ones, I highly suggest checking them out and finding a MOPS group in your area!
So, I have not tried this activity yet, but I have done the Paint Nite and had a blast
a few years ago. I got an e-mail about Plant Nite which involves creating a tabletop garden while enjoying a drink with friends. This sounds like a lot of fun to me, and a nice way to socialize while growing in my gardening skills (I’m very much a beginner). Some of the designs and plants are super cute. Has anyone tried this? I’d love to hear some reviews on anyone’s experience.
Thanks for stopping by, and I’d love to hear about some of your current favorites for the fall. Have a wonderful day!