Simple Little Pleasures

White Pearl Necklace
My husband calls everyday over his lunch hour.

Everyday he asks the same question, “How was your morning?”

Today I answered that everything was fine. No miracles, no disasters. It’s been a good morning.

Then it struck me what a blessing that is – a day full of the simple pleasures of life.

Sunshine.

A child who finally understood a math concept.

The smell of fresh bread.

The sound of my children’s laughter.

A few stolen moments of quiet with a good book and a cup of tea.

The feeling of completeness when my husband walks in the door after work.

The hum of the furnace.

An email from a friend.

The sweet indulgence of a Dove chocolate bar.

Cuddling with the kids as we watch TV together.

I think L. M. Montgomery said it well-

“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”  Anne of Avonlea

Simple little pleasures – like pearls slipping off a string.

What a blessing!

Photo by Flickr user tanakawho.

Skunk Dance at Midnight

With the many skunk sightings in the last weeks, I remembered a lesson I learned awhile ago and thought you would enjoy the story…

It had been a really, really, really bad day. Nothing went right. The weather was unbelievably hot and humid and life in this old farmhouse without air-conditioning was unbearable.

Everything was impossible.

All was dark and quiet when I gave up trying to finish things and headed to bed. I crawled beside my sleeping husband and lay there with the buzz of fans all around me, sticky, hot and miserable.

A tear trickled down one cheek, then another. It was all too much. I just couldn’t take the noise of the fans and the hot sticky house one minute more. Surely there was no one in the world as miserable as I was!

As the tears started falling, I knew I didn’t want to wake my exhausted husband, so I quietly slipped out of bed, walked through the sleeping house, and went outside.

As I sat on the picnic table by the house ready for a really good cry, something under the yard light caught my eye.

I gasped and froze. It was a skunk.

Now wasn’t that just perfect! I came outside to cool off and have a gigantic sob session; and there was a skunk. I didn’t even dare cry for fear I would startle her, and I sure didn’t want that to happen!

So I sat quietly and fumed. Inwardly railing at God, giving Him my best “Woe is me” speech.

But then, little by little, as the cool night air began to sooth my ragged emotions, my attention turned from my own problems to that skunk who crashed my pity party.

Soon I was engrossed and amazed. This little skunk wasn’t just eating all the bugs she discovered under the yard light, she reveled in them!

In the darkness of midnight, with my yard as her stage and the yard light providing her spotlight, this little skunk performed a dance to rival any on Broadway. She wiggled and rolled and dug, searching and eating. She was so excited that I’m sure, if I was closer, I could have heard her giggle.

She was loving her life!

I could just imagine that little lady skunk in a pink tutu with a bow in her hair. Soon I was giggling, too (inwardly of course)!

So there I was, sitting in my pj’s on the picnic table with the crickets and cicadas in symphony around me, watching a dancing skunk.

All the things that had seemed so overwhelming a few moments before, suddenly didn’t seem so important.

They were, as 2 Corinthians 4:17 says, “A momentary light affliction…”

I started thinking about the things that were right in my life instead of the things that weren’t. Soon my spirit was swaying to the music all around me.

Life was good again, thanks to a skunk dance at midnight.

Deep Thoughts from the Raspberry Patch

Black raspberriesI spent some time in the raspberry thickets again today. The berries are in their prime and look beautiful!

When most people think of berry picking, they see ladies in long skirts with woven baskets in sunny meadows

My reality is quite different. I dress in my oldest jeans, long sleeved shirt and rubber boots and trudge through ravines with an ice cream bucket. (Sorry to dispel your illusions!)

I have learned that the biggest, juicy most abundant berries are not close to the trails, They grow deep in the ravine.

To get these luscious berries I need to walk through brambles, step over fallen logs, reach around thorn trees and walk through wild rose bushes. It is not easy work.

I get scratched, my clothes get torn, I get jabbed by thorns. Sometimes I lose my balance or step into holes I didn’t even see.

Life is very much like that. It’s the hardest times in life, when painful circumstances jab us and throw us off balance, that produce the sweetest fruit.

“My most painful experiences have given me my greatest strength and fiber- what I most needed to mature. Through them I was forced to rely on the Lord, deal with reality for what it was, defer reward- in short, quit griping and grow up! The very things I hated have been the making of me.” ~ Luci Swindoll Cultivating Contentment

Makes me a little more thankful for the “ravines” in my life.

Contentment

“Contentment: Being happy with I have.”

Contentment is not easy to obtain. There are things in all of our  lives that we would love to change, things that we just aren’t happy with.

I ran across a great quote this week:

“Whenever I’m in the kitchen smelling the aroma of beans slowly cooking for our evening meal, my mind goes back to my childhood when this food was vital to our survival. We may not have had many material things, but we never went hungry thanks to beans and corn bread.

This simple meal reminds me that the essentials of life need not be extravagant. We often think that to be happy, we need bigger and better things. And yet, when I was growing up, there was so much love in our family that we just didn’t think about needing anything more.

I’ve never forgotten that period of my life, or that depression-era meal. It remains one of my favorites, and I still enjoy cooking up a ‘potful of the past”‘

~ Oneta M. Whitlock, excerpt from We had Everything but Money: Priceless Memories of the Great Depression

“But Godliness with contentment is great gain.” I Timothy 6:6

Photo courtesy of Carstor.