Do you ever take the time to reflect on all of the blessings in your life?
I think many of us would say that we probably do, at least from time-to-time. Whenever I think about my own blessings and even take the opportunity to thank God for them through prayer, my focus is pretty predictable.
I have been blessed with a strong faith, an incredible wife, great kids, good health, a productive career, close friends and a fulfilling ministry of sorts here at Engaged Marriage.
These are all very important and valuable blessings, and I certainly have much to be thankful for. However, only recently did I realize that the items on this list have something in common: it’s the Big Stuff of life.
What About the Little Things?
I have often observed that kids really enjoy and appreciate the little things in life. After his nightly prayers, my son will often add-on something he wants to thank God for giving him. A few evenings back he said, “And thank you for Daddy hitting me in the head with a stuffed animal when I was hiding under my covers.” He has actually thanked God for that moment numerous times since then. He hasn’t lost his appreciation of the little things.
This idea really hit home during a recent homily at Church. Our priest (a huge Colts fan) was telling us that his sad week following the Super Bowl was turned around by an incredible blessing that made it one of his favorite weeks in recent memory. Wow, I thought, this is going to be big news!
He went on to share that he had recently been invited to dinner at a parishioner’s home, but the real magic came after the meal. When the family’s young daughter was getting ready for bed, she had approached him and asked if he would read her a bedtime story. And he did.
And THIS was the huge blessing that had turned his week around! He explained that this was first time in his 41 years of life that he had been asked to read a bedtime story. It was obvious that this meant a great deal to him, and he thought it was just so cool that he had been given the opportunity to share a book with that little girl.
His homily went on to talk about some deeper issues related to the beatitudes and our choices to feel woe vs. blessings when we encounter things in our lives. However, I had taken away the message I needed to hear with that simple introductory story.
Think of All We Take for Granted
The story shared by the priest could have just as easily come from an infertile couple or a mother who had lost their child. Or even an empty-nest couple reflecting on how much they miss having their children at home.
I have the opportunity to read to my own kids most nights before they go to bed. I don’t give it a second thought. In fact, I sometimes get annoyed when they want an extra story and I think of all I need to do after we get them to bed. Talk about taking them and their youth for granted!
When it’s put in this context, I can think of so many “little things” that I take for granted every day. In my marriage alone, there are many daily “minor” moments that I would miss deeply if they were taken from me, yet I have become complacent in my appreciation for them:
- Kissing my wife when we head to work each morning
- Saying and hearing “I love you” at the end of our phone conversations
- An email from her wishing me good luck before a big meeting
- Little “brush by” touches when we squeeze by each other in our small kitchen
- Exchanging a smile when one of the kids does something sweet
- Snuggling up in bed on a cold evening
And of course this list could go on and on. It’s truly the little things that make our relationships and our lives so special!
So, what “little things” do you take for granted every day? Have you had any experiences that raised your appreciation of these moments?Photo by meddygarnet