We have talked many times about simplifying our lives through downsizing the space in it….rooms, houses, yards and, then, mainly the “stuff” that resides within it all.
There is, however, another type of downsizing and that is simplifying our blessings. Just like we don’t need so much “stuff” (in the sense of material things in our lives) we also don’t need to ask for more blessings than the basic ones we need to envelope and feel God’s presence and love.
I was thinking the other day that I ought to have a large, plain wooden plank with painted or carved words Simple Blessings on it. Then underneath these two simple words…I would list all my family and friends’s names. Quite simply it is the beloved people in my life that make my life. Everything else could disappear and I would be saddened at the loss…but as long as I continued to have the support and love of those around me, those most precious to me…life would continue to be beautiful and fulfilling. I could be happy with all the other imperfections in life.
Brooke forwarded this email message she got from one of her daily devotionals and it echoes the conversation today.
A social studies teacher asked her students, one day, to list what they thought the present-day Seven Wonders of the World were. As she collected the sheets from the students the teacher started counting the votes for the different selections. It was then she noticed that one young girl was still holding her selections while staring down at her desk.
The teacher called on the girl to share her selections aloud for the final tally. Instead of hearing the usual choices…different thoughts emerged leaving the class silent and thoughtful.
…”While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one quiet
student hadn’t turned in her paper yet, so she asked the girl if
she was having trouble with her list.
The girl replied, “Yes, a little. I couldn’t quite make up my
mind because there were so many.” The teacher said, “Well,
tell us what you have, and maybe we can help.”
The girl hesitated, then read, “I think the Seven Wonders
of the World are:
1. to See
2. to Taste
3. to Touch
4. to Hear
She hesitated a little, and then added,
5. to Feel
6. to Laugh
7. and to Love
I remember one of my college professors in an educational/teaching course I took at Erskine College gave us a piece of advice that has stuck with me ever since:
“The teacher that teaches best…teaches least.”
When teachers let students figure out answers on their own…the students end up teaching the teacher. True learning takes place for everyone. (In fact those were my favorite learning days at school!)
So until tomorrow…Those things we overlook as simple and “ordinary” are truly wondrous. This is a gentle reminder that the most precious things in life cannot be built or bought. God gave them to us.”
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
The basket “chair” flowers and the barrel flowers are loving the return of the rain showers on and off again…a pattern that looks like it will be sticking around awhile. For these flowers the rain is definitely a simple blessing.
Eva Cate and Jakie’s lemonade (with many diverse other items) stand was successful but short-lived…not for lack of business but heat and rain. Still it kept them busy setting up and that was what John and Mandy needed while trying to unpack and wash clothes. Paradise gone…reality here! *Love your t-shirt Eva Cate!