The Little Things

For the last few days, I have been writing about the art of self-care as it relates to our journey to cultivating a life of intention and grace. I have talked about rest, nutrition, prayer, time alone, and creativity. Today I want to wrap up the self-care portion of the series talking about the little things that we can do throughout the day to lift our moods and our spirits.

It is easy for women to get caught in the rut of the everyday. Whether you work a job or stay at home, whether you have children or not, chances are your life follows a bit of a routine and that routine can seem a little boring after a while.

Get up. Work out. Shower. Make Breakfast. Clean kitchen. Take kids outside. Do circle time. Do learning activities. Make lunch. Clean kitchen. Do laundry. Read to kids. Straighten house. Make dinner. Clean kitchen. Give kids baths. Put kids to bed. Blog. Read. Go to bed.

Get up. Do it all over again.

Yep. That sums up my life. I’ll mix it up from time to time with a church activity or trip to the park, but that’s pretty much it folks. Nothing too terribly exciting.

But I love it and I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s not to say that I don’t get bored from time to time and fantasize about traveling the world or working at a high-rise in the city.

I think it is important to guard ourselves from becoming discontent with our lives. Sometimes we can neglect the everyday as we wait for “someday” to come. But someday never comes, or when it does, it looks a lot like today, because no matter where we are in life, we are always going to have to do laundry, go to the grocery store, and clean our house.

So how can we help ourselves enjoy the seemingly mundane tasks of the everyday?

First, I think that we have to change our perspective in order to see the sacred in the small, the beauty in the ordinary, and begin to view all of our work as being done unto the Lord. There are several great books out there that help paint a picture of living with this kind of perspective. I recommend One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy, and the “Woman’s Work” by Kathleen Norris.

Second, I think that we have to be intentional about adding little things to our day that bring us pleasure and enjoyment.

Lighting a scented candle to make the house smell nice.

Adding a yummy flavored creamer to our morning cup of coffee.

Painting our toenails a pretty color.

Turning on our favorite music while we make dinner.

Reading a book on a blanket outside in the cool autumn breeze.

Putting a mason jar of fresh wildflowers on the kitchen table.

Having a spontaneous tickle fight with our children.

Relaxing with a cup of hot tea before bed.

Little things.

But these little things can make a big difference in our moods and our attitudes.

Whenever I am feeling like a grumpy mom, I love to turn on Pandora and listen to the Children’s Folk Music station. There is nothing like listening to You Are My Sunshine performed by Elizabeth Mitchell to make all of that mommy grump go away.

Cultivating Intention:

  • Do you often find yourself growing bored or weary with the ordinary tasks of the everyday?
  • What are some little things that you could do to bring more beauty and joy to the routine of your life?

Cultivating Grace:

“We want life to have meaning, we want fulfillment, healing and even ecstasy, but the human paradox is that we find these things by starting where we are, not where we wish we were. We must look for blessings to come from unlikely, everyday places – out of Galilee, as it were – and not in spectacular events, such as the coming of a comet.” – Kathleen Norris

If you struggle with discontentment, I encourage you to pray for the Father to help you see things as He sees them. To see the sacred in the small, the beauty in the ordinary, and the meaningful in the mundane.  And don’t forget about the little things. They can make a big difference!

Always,

Amanda

This post is Day 10 of the 31 day series I am writing on cultivating a life of intention and grace. For a complete index of posts in this series, click here. To read more 31 Days series, please visit The Nester.

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Comments

  1. latoya @ a peacefulcrib says:

    This post is so refreshing but oh so true. My day to day is the same with a few variations from time to time but sometimes when I just do something as simple as taking an extra few minutes in the shower to exfoliate or that cup of tea at bedtime it seems to melt all discontent away. I need to do a few little things today and put a little perk in my Wednesday. Thanks for this Amanda:)

  2. The small things do make a big difference and now I have begun to count on them. My favorite at the moment is snuggling up with my dog before I get out of bed!

    • Amanda Medlin says:

      It’s so nice to just take a few moments to snuggle up under the warm covers before getting out of the bed!

  3. Sue @ BlessedByScents says:

    I couldn’t agree more! It is so important to intentionally take the time to enjoy the little things. If you don’t, you can so easily get drowned in the everyday routine and “sameness” of each day. I read One Thousand Gifts earlier this year and it really opened my eyes to see the beauty in the ordinary and changed how I see things.

  4. I can’t wait to read more of this blog series…but this post made me stop. I’m tired…my eyes are straining from the reading…my shoulders are sore. I think a hot shower and painting my toenails for the first time in months might suit me better. Because…it’s the little things.

    I’ll stop back by tomorrow to read the rest…or later this week…or when I get to it. 🙂

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