Wednesday, January 2

Finding joy in the little things...

One of the best ways to counteract discouragement is to keep track of the blessings that we have. I know this is not a new concept in any way, but it is one that I need to be reminded of daily.

Several years ago, a dear friend gave me a blessing box as a gift. It was simply a wooden recipe box filled with empty 3x5 cards. She explained that whenever I thought about something to be thankful for, I should write it down and put it in the box. This tradition started many years ago, and each time I would write on a new card, I would review all of the previous cards. It is amazing to see how many things there were to be thankful for.

Sometimes the card includes the name of a new friend, a long time friend or a family member that brings me joy when we are together. Sometimes it details a longer interaction where I did not want to forget even a single detail, like a meal with loved ones where you just linger for hours at the table, or a special date with Brent. I have noticed that when I stop adding blessings to my box, (literally or figuratively) or when I allow myself to dwell on the negative things or the "have nots" how quickly I can become discontent and discouraged. It doesn't take long.

I have had the privilege of taking care of a sweet little girl named Amanda and her two brothers, Joshua and Jordan for the last year. One of the things I love about Amanda is the sheer delight she shows when we are sitting down to eat a meal together. It doesn't matter what we are about to eat. Her eyes light up, and she becomes downright giddy. She smiles from ear to ear as she offers me a handful of freshly squeezed blueberries that have been pressed through her little fingers. I also love to watch her laugh when she discovers neat things like bellybuttons! We have talked for minutes at a time (not hours, due to our short attention spans) about bellybuttons! Her laugh and smile are contagious. Her ability to make the ordinary things in life extraordinary inspire me.

I am humbled by the way that children love to imitate adults. In this case, I want to be more like Amanda and some of my other little friends when it comes to showing gratitude. I don't want to settle for just being content with the blueberries that I have been offered in life, but I want to be delighted and in awe of everything that God has given me to enjoy.

Thank you for visiting! Have a peaceful day :)

"Thankfulness is how you think; joy is the abundance it produces." (quoted by Debi Pearl)

Proverbs 15:15 "For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy of heart, every day is a continual feast." (I think I speak for Amanda when I say that we love the food analogy in this proverb)


Lisa said...

Hey Friend,
I love the idea of a blessings box. If I had one, there would be a card in it with your name.

Have a wonderful night.
Lisa :-)

Dawn said...

Thanks for such a lovely reflection, Darlene. I so needed to read this today.

Love the Blessings Box idea too.

Love ya!





Italy trip

I have been going through my pictures, and have enjoyed looking at this album of Italy. I was able to go over last year to attend a conference. This was the first time I have been back in twenty years. The pictures are made up mostly of places we lived as a family. My brother and I were able to go together, and we were graciously hosted by some friends of ours from language school in Perugia. I feel such a sense of nostalgia when I look at these pictures. I miss Italy so much. It was strange to go back as a tourist knowing I would be returning to the US after such a short time. Tonight I made cookies with Nutella in them, and I remembered how much I enjoyed the simple pleasures. Fortunately, you can find it here! Saturday, we are going up to my brother's house to celebrate a late Thanksgiving, only we will be making homemade tortellini instead of turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!