It has been a awhile since I have done a "Simple Sunday" post. I'm not exactly sure why, except maybe because here at This Little Estate, we are like most busy families and weekends are anything but simple.
I am, however, so deeply touched when a reader writes in to me and says how a small thought on life and love, that they read in an old "Simple Sunday" post has touched them in their present day.
I love that about writing. Words live on forever, and if they are good and kind, they can fix and help and encourage. I love fixing things around my house, and a lot of the time on this blog, you will see the finished product of something and won't see the mess along the way that we had to endure to get to the finished product.
Life is like that too.
We often compare our day to day life with someone elses and yet we aren't taking into account the whole picture of their life. We aren't seeing what they have been through, what the have endured, what they have had to fix, to get where they are.
I have learned that it doesn't take much to get inspired and to be uplifted when we really need it. Some days, I find myself begging for some inspiration and encouragement amidst my crazy-hollering-daily-mama-life-chaos.
I really, really want some encouragement on those days where I am scrubbing the dishes from the night before and it is somehow noon, I haven't even dressed myself yet and I am already wondering when the day is going to be over and I haven't even begun to live in that day yet.
I'm sure you have been there too.
Those are the days my ears and heart perk up and I am open to all types of inspiration.
On those days the sight of my children cleaning up after themselves can turn my day around. On those days I live for seeing positive thoughts on social media while I hide from my dishes, with my phone tightly clutched in my grasp, while I cower behind the bathroom door. Those small things, they can make my day a million times better.
This week my crazy little family braved the swarms of mosquitoes and the dirt in our shoes and the mountains of laundry we came home with and spent time camping for the first time as a family of five.
We didn't go far, we're not that crazy -- but we went far enough so we could breathe a little deeper and catch some glimpses of God without even searching for them.
God is everywhere I have learned, He is in everything, just begging to talk to me. I have learned that He is in my kitchen on those mornings when I'm still rocking my pajamas, and He is teaching me to slow down and to listen while I scrub away last nights dinner. If I listen hard enough and stop complaining to myself about how much I despise scrubbing greasy pots I can hear my daughter talking in a sing song voice to her dolly babies and telling them how great, and special and capable they are. In those sweet moments I know that there is a God who is somehow leading this broken, easily overwhelmed mama to raise these kids before me and I am doing an okay job. That is most definitely a God-glimpse. It is most certainly not by my doings that they are turning out to be sometimes-little-angels.
If I look hard enough I can see that the mosquito bites we endured while on our "vacation", and particularity the one my child's swollen eye endured, are nothing compared to what other children go through. If my eyes and heart are open I am easily reminded of how blessed we are here in North America.
I mean, I obviously knew this, but I really knew it when I found myself awake, fussing over my sleeping babies, squashing mosquitoes for two hours in the middle of the night. Once I felt confident that we had squished all the big ones, I lay in bed waiting to hear more buzzing in my ear, and praying I wouldn't. While I lay on that awful hard "bed" I began praying for all the other mamas, in all the other parts of this vast world who stay awake and pray over their babies in the middle of the night too. Some who would even be grateful to sleep on anything in our blessed country. The world didn't feel so big in those sleepless moments.
When I laid there in the precious quietness I saw a glimpse of how much God has blessed me. I didn't doubt it, like I sometimes do, in those moments of sending prayers to the heavens for mamas everywhere I saw a glimpse of how much God loves all mamas and all the mamas who send different teary eyed prayers to heaven in the middle of the night.
Sometimes life is anything but simple. There is so much to do, so many thoughts to work through, so much to do, so many little people to dress and re-dress, so many projects to complete the list just gets so long and life just gets BUSY.
Simple Sundays are my small attempt at chronicling my thoughts and gratitude. One day I will forget the piles of laundry and dishes but I want to remember what I learned from them. I want to keep my mama heart and ears open for the joy that God wants to remind me of in the regular-every-day-hiding-in-the-bathroom-kind-of-days.
Thank you sweet friends for reminding me that we learn from each other by sharing our hearts, not just by sharing that awesome project. I truly appreciate the beautiful encouraging words I have received from some of you.
This world is big and vast and busy, but I invite you to slow down at times with me and to look for those glimpses of God in the mundane and the overwhelming. Maybe together we wont feel so alone. Maybe together we will feel empowered and encouraged and reminded that there is a bigger picture and that the Maker of the Bigger Picture cares for us even when we are staring at the to-do-list that is a mile long and elbow deep in the kitchen sink.