As a mom, life is busy. Often days can be long & exhausting. Something that really helps me through each day is finding ways to appreciate the simplest pleasures, the smallest acts of kindness, and the tiniest details that make the "every day" special.
Yesterday morning I was able to spend time at our church in my weekly women's bible study. The new Spring display in our church atrium was a simple pleasure I was able to photograph and admire with Olivia. I fell in love with the yellow umbrella display on the ceiling & couldn't get over how beautiful all the flowers were. Hydrangeas are some of my absolute favorites.
Afterward, I went to the grocery store. I had V in her stroller and my hands were quite full, so one of the cashiers offered to carry my bags to my car for me. It's amazing how much a small act of kindness can do so much for someone's day.
On Monday, I treated myself to getting my hair cut + colored after 5 (yes, five!) months of waiting; once the beginning of Spring hit, I finally caved. Having a few hours of pampering felt so incredible (1) because I had waited so long and (2) because I rarely put myself first now that I am a Mom (more on that later...)
Afterward, I enjoyed lunch by myself at one of my favorite places - Panera. I had the most delicious soup & salad. Seriously, it was divine. I sat next to a warm fireplace which was absolutely perfect with the windy chill in the air outside. Instead of focusing on the cold weather, I focused on the warm & cozy spot I had. It's amazing how quiet time by yourself and a good meal are so good for the soul. And how if you just shift your perspective, there is so much to appreciate.
Finally, last night my husband brought home a new candy bar for me to try -- Pistachio Chocolate. I am pretty much crazy about pistachios (to put it lightly) and pistachio-flavored anything (find my all-time hands down absolute favorite icecream here). Food gifts always make me feel so loved, especially when they are from him. So simple yet so lovely.
All of this is just meant to encourage you to find simple pleasures in your day that you can be grateful for, that you can appreciate and that you can savor. Train your mind to notice the small details; to shift your perspective and to realize that all the little things are really what make up the big things.
Some of the simple pleasures I have been thankful for lately:
a front row parking spot
sweet texts & emails from friends
finding new recipes to try
a happy baby
a hot shower
seeing progress in our renovation
new hand soap in the bathroom
frozen blackberries for a sweet treat // seriously though, best. thing. ever.
planning V's 1st birthday party
reading in bed at night with a candle burning
opening the windows & feeling the breeze
watching Olivia "furniture walk"
running into a friend unexpectedly
finding a coupon for something I need
choosing a paint color for our new laundry room
counting down the days until my 1st official mother's day
seeing Olivia in cardigans
watching this commercial
& reading books with V all day while she so sweetly and purposefully turns each page
Every day, I consciously seek simple pleasures to appreciate and enjoy. Maybe the day doesn't go exactly the way you planned or hoped it would. Maybe from the minute you get out of bed, the day is chaotic and stressful. Amidst the busyness and stress, the plans and to-do lists, stop and find something to savor. Our days are made up of thousands of tiny moments. When I lay in bed at night, I don't usually think about the "big stuff" I did that day -- instead, I reflect on what Olivia laughed at all afternoon, how delicious our dinner was, or how funny a story was that my husband shared with me. I think about how beautiful the weather was that day (or how beautiful it will be tomorrow), how good it was to see a friend, or how much a certain passage in my devotion spoke to my heart. Those are the little things that make my days special.
And lately I've been noticing that the big stuff isn't what God uses to bless me the most; often, my biggest blessings are found in the smallest details of my day, the simple pleasures hidden in plain sight. And maybe that's how God works... or maybe that's just because I choose to see it that way.