The Good Stuff

It’s the little things that make life grand, isn’t it?!

A glass of iced tea on the back deck …

The sweet giggle of a delicious child …

a kind text message from a friend who lives far away …

The smell of fresh-cut grass …

A good book and a cup of coffee …

Dinner at a friend’s house …

So often, in my life, I have made the mistake of living for the big moments … for the red-letter days of promotions, bonuses and celebrations. When, in reality, those giant occasions are not what life is made of at all.

Life, at its finest, is built upon heartfelt smiles …

Long walks on a country road …

An unexpected phone call from a loved one …

If graduations, publishing contracts, and standing ovations were the building blocks of a rich and meaningful life … my life would be tenuous and without much foundational support. 

But because the real stuff of life is as close and as dear as the morning song of the bird out my kitchen window … the companionship of my daughter on my daily run …and the treasure of reading a well-loved devotional book ... I find my life to be a rich repository of all that is good and substantive.

The glory of applause is momentary … the accolades of achievement are fleeting … the once in a lifetime events are rare … but it is the simple pleasures that give life sparkle and joy.

If high-power business meetings and hall of fame moments are what you have built a life upon … perhaps you need a new architectural plan. If you live for the adrenaline rush that only championship games and trips to Hawaii bring … perhaps your adrenaline is bought at too high a price.

“Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5

Paul reminds all of us … in every generation … to learn the contentment that is found not in achieving but in belonging. Contentment is a learned behavior and not a knee-jerk reaction to life. Contentment requires choosing … listening … processing … and submitting oneself to the miracle of an ordinary day.

“ … For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” – Philippians 4:11

When I look back at the substance of living that created a healthy childhood for my children, I realize that it was popsicles on a hot summer day … laughing at a shared family joke … and praying every night before bed that brought security and happiness into our home.

Oh … we cheered like fanatics at the championship ball games … I cried at 5 high school graduations … and we celebrated every birthday like royalty … but those moments did not define the life we had been given.

What made life worthwhile at 8120 Stillbreeze Drive was reading a book together in the evenings … and catching fireflies in the backyard … and singing around the piano. Those simple yet valuable choices gave us a strong foundation of life at its finest and its richest.

Perhaps living inside a regular day in which nothing of earth-moving significance happens is at the heart of all that is truly meaningful and extraordinary.

The glory of life is found quite simply in the ordinary moments. The treasure of a life well lived is acquired not in getting but in giving. The substance of all that is good and rich and meaningful is found in a thousand minute gifts that are easily overlooked if one is not careful.

Rather than looking for gold at the end of the rainbow … enjoy the rainbow.

Rather than aching for your baby’s first step … enjoy his or her little arms around your neck for one more day.

Rather than emphasizing the importance of performance-based living … be content with the company of those you love the most and know the best.

Do you want to know what I am doing right now? I am on a plane traveling to a distant city to appear on a television show in order to promote my new book. Big stuff. A grandeous moment for sure …

But sitting in front of me on this flight there is a 2 year old named Cameron with brown eyes who wants to play peek-a-boo with me … and so if you will excuse me … peek-a-boo and giggles await.

The truly important stuff of life …

Subscribe to Carol's Blog by Email