I sat in this chair a year ago, on the last day of 2010, thinking about what 2011 would bring. I wondered, and prayed, and hoped, and dreamed about the possibilities that might happen. It was the closing of a year and the beginning of a new.
I even chose a word.
And early, very, very early in my year of seeking contentment, I experienced one of my most crushing, most difficult, moments as a mother. I was raw, on my knees, at the foot of Jesus in prayer for my Samuel. It was this deep valley with fear, anxiety, and sadness that tried to take root in my soul. I was helpless — watching and praying and utterly humbled in those early months of 2011. It was Celiac Disease.
Somehow in those days of rawness and fighting I began to see life through a different lens. A smallest things kind of lens. It started when I sat in the teeny darkened hospital room while I stared at the monitor that blinked showing Samuel’s pulse, and oxygen, and listened to the steady swish of his iv. I was broken. In that place, a place I never wanted to be, I prayed, Come unto me you who are burdened and I will give you rest. I was weary.
Rest didn’t mean taking away the pain. Rest didn’t mean leaving the hospital immediately. Rest was deeper.
I found it.
Not in the big things, no, not at all.
But, in the smallest, the simplest things of life.
No longer did the big goals seem to be what my heart yearned for — instead it switched to simple and small gratitude. And in that spirit of gratitude I began to live. Deeply. Aware that joy in life can come from the small moments, the gifts, and in the simple joys found in the everyday.
It started with me being grateful for those monitors that beeped. Then for the bed. And the nurses. And labs. And it grew and grew and grew.
In the sweet sayings of a four year old.
Flowers from a Trader Joe’s employee.
A phone call from a doctor.
Rain in the morning.
Prayers from a son.
Coffee bought by my daughter for me with her money as a surprise.
Those smallest things have become beautiful things in my heart.
So now, as I sit here, in the same chair with an entire year spread in front of me I wonder the same wonders as last year. I wonder what the year will bring. But, I will also be aware, watching, looking –
For the smallest finding joy things in life.
For they are the biggest.