Choose Your Little Things
Is it easy for you to see the beauty in the details? Can you do it in the midst of suffering?
When I'm in a happy place, it's pretty easy. I went to Waco, TX last year to visit Magnolia and see Jon Foreman in concert. (My sister can get me to do anything!) I went with three of the most special girls in my life. On our first morning there, we got (fake) tattoos, which was unbelievable considering the company, and it made me insanely happy. I stopped in the middle of the vendor fair (that's a bazillion Joanna and Chip-crazed people) and just felt an overwhelming wave of blessing. I blurted out,
"I'm at a new level of happy!"
It's all I could think to say. I was seeing the beauty in the details and I didn't want to rush right past it.However, when I'm in pain or exhausted, I have to sort of help myself out. I don't want to miss the beauty that surrounds me. The little acts of kindness. The blessings in the pain.
In this current phase of my life, I am physically weak, emotionally fragile and prone to doubt. So, I've started being very intentional at seeing the little things. My friend, Cindy, has been helping me with this. She has been encouraging me to embrace the SLOW that my situation has forced upon me. To not be in a rush to add things back to my schedule. To treasure the handful of very best friends I have and invest my time and energy there.
So, that's what I've been doing. And I love it! Last night, I stopped moving in the middle of a buffet line at our friends' house to really see the people around me and smell the fragrance of the grilled food and listen to the music playing in the background. It was a moment that filled my soul with one word: blessed! That's the beauty I don't want to miss.
I'm trying a new thing: to drink my mid-morning coffee outside in my backyard. I had to add some soft pillows to the metal patio chairs (my ribs still "talk" to me), but just the act of going outside is slowing me down. The various shades of green, the wind on my face, the birds hopping around, and my dog enjoying his sniff-fest... it all fills me up. I wish I had learned this one sooner.
I've started tweaking little things. I changed my phone's lock screen to a hand-drawn wallpaper reminding me of Isaiah 61:3, "Beauty from ashes." I used an app called Every Day Spirit which has almost 1000 images, inspirational and scriptural. I can change it any time I want. And I do! Based on what I want to feed my soul each time I open my phone.
Another thing I'm noticing is that there is a soul-language that cuts through the clutter in my mind and speaks directly to my heart. Music. No big surprise. The lesson for me is that I can USE that. I can choose the music that my soul is craving to bring me hope and peace and comfort. Chris did this often for me in the hospital. He played music for me in the ICU when I was intubated and couldn't talk. I was writing notes on a piece of paper but I wasn't even supposed to be conscious. It was a horrible few hours when the meds and the computers weren't keeping me sedated properly. I was agitated and they were trying to get me to calm down but I couldn't. He hit play and didn't even realize it was Keith Green playing. But the music immediately spoke through the meds, through the panic and straight to my heart. And I calmed down.
Don't miss it!.... That was a blessing.
I think God has written a love language into each of us, uniquely designed for the shape of our soul. My friend Allison, who is with the Lord now, used to talk about gardening like it was a love affair. I get it now. It was her soul-language. God spoke to her heart through the act of weeding and caring for tiny growing creations. My friend Kristen sees art with eyes I don't have. It's her soul-language. Olympian Eric Liddell said, "God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure." Running was his soul-language.
What is your soul-language, the thing that cuts through the noise in your head? How can you use that to see the little blessings God is gifting you with every single day? Do it! Don't miss any. little. thing.