the gratitude challenge. #littlethingsmatter

The little things matter.

Today, today on this week of Thanksgiving I am choosing to see the little things, the joy moments tucked in a life of busy. We talk about adopting it,  sweet moms, in the midst of our days – this finding joy posture of life. Yet, so often it’s easy to live life on hold – waiting until this fixes or we have things the way we want them or until tomorrow – to let ourselves really live. I know, I’ve done it. I’ve lived on holding waiting for things to get a certain way and then missing out on the simple, beautiful, little things gifts found in today.

Let’s not live on hold. 

Let’s live today in the midst of crazy, normal, hard, beautiful, challenging, crazy, sad, ordinary days. And in that process of finding joy I challenge you to connect those joy moments with gratitude moments. It’s really a matter of perspective. So today, today, we’re about perspective. It’s about slowing down in the middle of a season that has the potential to make us crazy with busy and us pausing to be thankful and grateful. It’s a gratitude challenge.

This is my list of gratitude. 

I am grateful for little boys who wake in the morning, just a bit too early, who come to find me sleeping, ask if I’m awake, and tell me that they love me. And for daughters who love to cook and play games and watch silly reality television shows with their mother. And for moments around the table where we all just laugh and smile. And for the silly faces they sometimes make.

I am grateful for a family that loves me in the midst of the busy, who supports my book and speaking writing ventures, who cheers for me when I travel and cheers for me when I return, and who does the quick mom is coming home in thirty minutes let’s straighten the living room clean. I am just so thankful for an amazing family.

I am crazy grateful for the abundance of gluten free food. Let me write that again. I am thankful for the abundance and always lowering of prices gluten free food. All of this gluten free food is a blessing and makes life normal for my sweet Samuel. And with that I am humbled to be a voice in this world for gluten free/Celiac Disease awareness. What a blessing to share that life can be beautiful and to bring a message of hope.

I am unbelievably grateful for dear friends, amazing business partners, and a team of people who believe in me and encourage me in this writing, speaking, and book publishing journey. I know, without a doubt, that their investing in me truly has blessed this process and helped in grow in unbelievable ways.  Friends matter greatly and I have amazing friends. Life is a grand adventure for sure.

I am grateful for the freedom to write, the internet, the time and space to write, and most of all the community of mothers that has developed in the process. Each email, comment, tweet, like, and all of that blesses me. But more than that, to see a group of women rise up and say I am enough is a beautiful blessing in the midst. I love the interaction on the Finding Joy facebook page – how it is a page, a place that is full of mothers who know there is no perfect, only real, and support each other and love others for their bravery.

I am grateful for the opportunity to travel to Haiti this past year. Traveling there shook my perspective, opened my eyes to real joy, and changed my life. I am thankful for the women that I was blessed to work side by side with and how they taught me to truly appreciate the little things in life. I mean look at that little face – he was thankful for so much that I had forgotten to see – I will simply never see the world through the same lens.

I am grateful for the little things – the sun that shines in the window in the morning and dances on the floor in my living room, the John Deere blanket that Samuel carries around with him, the red cups at Starbucks, the box of crayons that sits on my table every single day, listening to sweet stories from my six year old, the ipod with the Oregon Trail on it, my favorite black boots that will need to be replaced, warm gloves, coffee in the morning, and the gift found in normal. I am grateful for today. And in that, want to live today with joy.

Little things matter.

In the midst of the busy, my challenge for you, right now, is to stop, and to write down your gratitude things, perhaps ten little things that matter or ten amazing big things, down. It’s easy to race through the day seeing everything we should be doing or could have been doing or forgot to do or need to do and to miss all the amazing things that we’ve done.

Don’t miss the beauty, the joy, tucked into the crevices of life. It’s the head on the shoulder moments, the I love you’s that are whispered, the notes from a friend, the smiles in the store, and the moments where you just keep on trying, loving, giving, fighting, and still seeking joy, good, and beauty.

Ten things. Write them down. Share them with me. With your friends. Challenge them to do the same. Spread gratitude.

You can do it.


to receive finding joy via email simply click subscribe.
All photographs used by permission and credited to Hannah Nicole.
Images and original content are sole property of Rachel Martin and may not be used, copied or transmitted without prior written consent.

11 Responses to “the gratitude challenge. #littlethingsmatter”

  1. November 27, 2013

    Rachael Lucas Reply

    This was just what I needed today… I love your posts. It’s been a year of huge highs and lows, and as I approach Christmas I’m finding myself taking moments to reflect on how quickly time passes. My children, my babies – they’re no longer my four under six that all fit in a bathtub together. Now they’re 13, 11, 9 and 7. I’m taking time to treasure the moments.

    I’m grateful for your blog, and for the reminders it has given me this year. Thank you.

  2. November 27, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    Thank you for sharing Rachael and for the very kind and sweet comment. 🙂



  3. November 27, 2013

    Jedidja Reply

    This Dutch mom still enjoying your lovely blogs 🙂 They help me to practice the art of slow down. Yes, every little moment matters. Each day has a gold rim. Let’s be happy with the time we receive from God.


  4. November 28, 2013

    Lynn Reply

    Life can definitely change in an instant. We should ever be thankful for each second of each day that we’re given. Between reading the post and writing this I found out my daughter’s boyfriend was attacked at a bus stop for his phone! What makes it worse is he ran after him/them an got it back! He could have been killed! Thankful for the Lord sparing the foolish! It was just a phone!
    Know that I’m always here praying!
    Romans 8:35, 37-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    My email address

  5. November 28, 2013

    Daniel Efosa Uyi Reply

    hey nice post mehn. I love your style of blogging here. The way you writes reminds me of an equally interesting post that I read some time ago on Daniel Uyi’s blog: How To Be Nice To A Girl And Make Her Like You .
    keep up the good work.


  6. November 29, 2013

    Lynn Reply

    Know you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Any time you can hold a baby…
    Psalms 46:1-5 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
    My email address

  7. December 1, 2013

    Lynn Reply

    I’m thankful that a friend asked me to pray for a woman named Diann Hunt several years ago. She was an author. She was an amazing woman. She was wrapped in her Savior’s arms yesterday for her journey Home. I had over two years to lift her up in prayer and share comforting Scripture passages with her. I am so blessed!
    What comfort to know that God is our refuge, no matter what we have to go through in life! Praying!
    Psalms 46:7, 10-11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.(10-11) Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
    My email address

  8. December 1, 2013

    Anonymous Reply

    What an inspiration you are!!! I’ve being reading this post in pieces over the last few busy days, and started reading Ann Voskamps book, and I AM THANKFUL!!!! I am thankful for God’s always present love, a loving husband two beautiful healthy boys, the sun when it shines in on us, the inspirational music God has gifted others to share with us, the safe community we live in, the friends God brings into our lives just when we need them, the healthy food that is readily available for us to eat, the healing of my sons eczema, the quiet moments when I stop to notice them…praise to God!

  9. […] for my home and the air and the stuffed cow and hippo my son forgot. Thankful and slow.  Check out The Gratitude Challenge at Finding […]

  10. March 3, 2014

    Carrie Reply

    I was just telling my baby that I’m thankful for the washing machine as I was carrying him back to the rocking chair to finish feeding him. This was after pausing the feeding to see why the washer was beeping in the middle of the cycle. I am so glad to have a working washer and dryer in my home. I’m also thankful for the baby who is now sleeping, curled up on my chest. And I’m grateful for the invention of the tablet that allows me to communicate and keep up on certain things while holding the sleeping baby.

    BTW, what store has the child size shopping carts? I have not seen those in my area of Michigan.

  11. December 23, 2014

    Erica Reply

    My little boy’s sweet chubby arms around me. The privilege of watching my first-born girl become an amazing woman who i’m so proud to mother. Bedtime snuggles. The post-it note stuck to my computer monitor that says “Mom is the best person in the universe”. Airplanes. That moment when you’ve had ENOUGH with your child and then they say or do something, and somehow all that frustration just melts. How chocolate just makes things better. When someone is randomly and unexpectedly thoughtful and kind. Releasing tears you didn’t know were there. Getting back up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.