First, let me just say that The Lord sure knew what He was doing when he created a day of rest after a hard week of work! Lately the work days simply blur together in a fog of long (VERY LONG) days, especially for Luke who gets up hours before the sun for his morning PT and meetings. We see each other briefly in the evenings before I go to work on graduate school and dinner. Then, we watch a TV show or two and hit the bed, rarely past 10:00 these days. Our little evening routine is nice because we get to catch up and unwind from the day before the exhaustion sets in to begin anew in the morning.
Since it is the month of Gratitude, I have been keeping a gratitude journal to remind us of all of the things that we have to be grateful for despite that mundane feeling that can creep up when you have adult responsibilities, bills and jobs! I am also trying to surround us with small reminders of the blessings in our lives in and around our home. The things pictured below give us a small boost of joy even on the most difficult days. Maybe you keep a few of these in your home as well?
This plate was given to me at my first bridal shower, and it has the signatures and notes of encouragement several women who mean the world to me. Even though they are scattered all over the country now, this plate provides a reminder of their friendship, love and well wishes for our marriage. Even though we are far apart, I know that they are only a phone call or text message away.
This little platter was the very first Fall decoration that I purchased for our home last year. The message is of course self explanatory, and I enjoy looking at it in my breakfast nook every morning as a small reminder to be glad and joyous for the start of another day and the chance to make a difference in someone’s life! Rather than count the things that are missing or dwell on regrets and missed opportunities, we are to GIVE THANKS in all things for the life that God has given us here and now in this season. This is a tough one sometimes, but it is so true! By thinking of the positive things through my gratitude journal, I find that truly there is so much that the Lord has provided for Luke and I during this first chapter of our marriage.
This mug was given to me as a birthday gift from a sweet friend here in Columbus who knows some of the struggles of my heart on days when I am not feeling so grateful. She is always there for me, as a confidante and fellow Army spouse, and Luke and I are so blessed to have developed a close relationship with her and her husband over the last year. The message on the mug seems so simple, but it is too easy to dismiss the small things, which provide the greatest joy. This week, I found myself getting excited over the treat of a Dr. Pepper in my lunchbox, which provided a needed caffeine boost for the afternoon’s work. I had a blast giving out candy at a fall festival and making macaroni joy with sweet little ones. I enjoyed turning up the heat in my car on my daily drive to and from work to obscene temperatures Luke would never approve of if he was with me. (For those that know me, I am perpetually cold this time of year!) Finally, I rejoiced over the opportunity to get out of the office for lunch with a friend on Friday. Taking time to appreciate the little things can definitely make a big difference in your day.
I have always been an avid reader, and this week I bought a new book from my favorite author and have especially enjoyed reading every night before bed with my husband. There is something about that quiet time and unwinding in a good story that takes your mind far away from little problems and worries. We sometimes share a funny quote or interesting part with each other, and I would not trade this peaceful companionship for all of the money in the world.
My last “Little Thing” around the house is candles. I LOVE the way a candle makes the apartment smell so cozy. Most of my candles this time of year are Fall-themed, and the pumpkin spice or apple cinnamon aroma can really help you to unwind from the day and transition for an evening or weekend together. They are a favorite indulgence of mine, whether I am taking a bubble bath or enjoying a meal with the hubby.
These are just a few of the little things that are very prevalent in our lives right now. There are plenty of other things to be grateful for, such as the health and ability to work and provide for our family, the new opportunities we find every day at work,our relationship with friends, family, one another and Jesus, most importantly. Lately I have especially looked forward to the weekends, where we get to really cherish relationships and the PEOPLE that make up our life here that isn’t always possible during the hectic work week. Last night, for example, we invited a couple over for a cookout and to cheer the Tide on to victory over LSU, and what an amazing evening that was. (ROLL TIDE ROLL!) Today, we are blessed to head to a hockey game in Columbus with some other friends and grab dinner together. I am eternally grateful for the Army, which has brought us to this place for this time to connect with the people He knew that we needed in our lives.
Although this year brings a new challenge for for us as the holiday season approaches, and we will be staying at Fort Benning for both Thanksgiving and Christmas for the first time ever, we are trying to keep a positive focus on the chance to start our own traditions as a married couple. While we will certainly miss our traditional celebrations with extended family, we are thankful for the amazing friends here who will be helping us to celebrate, and that my mom is able to make the trip down for Thanksgiving Day. We will try to see my Dad and Luke’s side of the family as well at some point in December or January.
My point of this post is finding little ways to celebrate the joy of life every day, so I wish you much joy and happiness this week and always. If you took the time to read this post, THANK YOU for being a part of our lives and taking time out of your day to keep up with our little journey. 🙂