I wasn’t sure what to write about, but a comment from my husband was all it took. Samuel was discussing our trip to Gettysburg that we always take, at least once or twice a year. He was talking about the toys he would take (unlike his mom he is not a procrastinator in that way). Which hotel with the best pool we should stay at, etc… Jim said you know “It’s the little things in life” and that is so true! It is the little things. So many times, I focus on the big picture and not the little things. When I started my blessing lists in November, it did help me shift that focus to the little things, the little daily blessings. Some other things last year that helped me focus on little things included the following – and they also made me realize my word intentional. Life sometimes doesn’t just happen – sometimes you have to be intentional in making things happen.
The Happiness Project book. I have re-read this book a couple times (the first time was actually 2010 while at Gettysburg – I told you we love it there). In the book, the author talks about it being the little things in life that can bring happiness. She took a year and INTENTIONALLY focused on things that bring happiness for her. Every month, she chose a few resolutions, while keeping all the ones from the previous month. She even made a chart and marked her progress daily. It was the little things she talked about… marriage, money, friendship, books, etc… She talked about how she would use free cheap pens, even though she didn’t like them because she didn’t want to spend the money on a better pen that she loved. One day, she changed her thinking and bought the pens and everytime she wrote with them, it was a little burst of happiness. She focused on how she changed her morning routine, her relationship with her children and her husband, etc.. Some of the habits she kept and others, she let go because they didn’t necessarily add happiness. It wasn’t a self-help book really, but it was for me. I started looking a life differently. http://www.happiness-project.com/
She released a second book called Happier at Home and I enjoyed reading it when I went away with Jim for the weekend. He sat in state firefighter meetings/classes and I enjoyed a great book. It was a further extension of her book, but truly a focus on her home and family. It was another book full of wonderful ideas and thoughts. Again, she was intentional in changing her atmosphere and her relationships with friends and family. http://www.amazon.com/Happier-Home-Experiments-Practice-Everyday/dp/0307886786
The Five Love Languages – life changing for me for my family. After 20 years of marriage with my wonderful husband, I asked him questions on the quiz in the book to help me learn about him more. I also have the Five Love Languages for Teenagers and asked Mary the quiz questions in the book. I did an entire blog on the five love languages (read it here: https://sherisoulsearch.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/prepare-to-speak-new-languages/ Now when I think about them, I know how I can best show love to them in the language they understand and means the most to them. I was truly surprised at the findings for each of them, and it makes a true difference knowing.
The other author that made me stop and think was Donald Miller. I read his book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. His book was about living a life that made me stop and think about “Does this make a good story”. Do I sell my life short by not absorbing every opportunity. He now has a book called Storyline that will be on top of my list to read to challenge me, in fact, I have it as an audio download so when I can’t read, I can listen. (http://storylineblog.com/
The other site that made me stop in think was introduced to me by my friend Carletta just before summer. The Hands Free Mama (http://www.handsfreemama.com/Topics/the-hands-free-revolution/ ). It is a site of a mom, just like me, who was struck with realizing, before it was too late, the impact of distractions on her life. She took the intentional step and started making a difference in her family’s life.
I also discovered this author, Katthi Lipp, when I was reading a blog. She has several little books that are projects that can be completed in a month. Many of which I will implement this year as I become more Intentional. The ME Project, the Marriage Project, the What’s for Supper Project, etc… (http://www.kathilipp.com/ )
Thanks to the internet, I have discovered some incredible blogs to read when I don’t have time for a book. I have discovered some awesome podcasts to listen to when I can’t read. I have not always filled my time so wisely and praying that my word helps me in that direction!
This past year was so much about the little things in life. Many things I even wrote about – my favorite mug, books I read, songs I heard, time spent with family. I seemed to learn from the little and big things that impacted my life. I took the time to pause and reflect on things that once would have passed me by. I stopped and savored a little more. One of the things in My One Word book they encouraged is to journal about your word and to watch as it unfolded before your eyes in unexpected ways. I know this year I truly discovered that with my word. Did I change everything I wanted to change? Absolutely not! But, did I not get things done because I chose better options – like time with family and friends. Absolutely! I am so looking forward to 2013 and the endless possibilities. My heart is so ready for all the “little things” (the laughter or our children, the acts of service from my husband, the time spent with friends, etc)… and I can’t wait to share them with you.
My 2013 verse: Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. (I Timothy 4;15)
“The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions — the little soon forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment, and the countless infinitesimal of pleasurable and genial feeling.” – Samuel Coleridge