Every time I turn on the news I find myself wanting to cry: shootings, earthquakes, murder, abandonment, broken politics, and so much more seems to encircle and surround us on a day to day basis. It is incredibly rare, if not almost impossible, now of days to find a story that fills you with hope and joy. Even my major is one that is filled with depressing statistics and realities that there are children dying of starvation every single day, young girls getting pregnant, father's leaving families and so much more. It can weigh you down, make you want to crawl in a hole, and forget how beautiful this life really is.
On the reg. I find it so hard to look at my day and see anything but deadlines, expectations and broken dreams. But, not today. Today I choose joy. I choose to laugh, and be happy, and grateful for the little things that bring me immense happiness in the day to day. Those big, stunning moments, dream trips, and butterflies are wonderful but they unfortunately are not what my every day life is full of. My every day life is mundane, it is mostly quite, it is saturated in routine and until a few days ago that annoyed and frustrated me to the point of utter discontentment until I took a step back and looked around. I emerged from a fog of routine, took a deep breath, and inhaled just how blessed and wonderful my life really is.
So, for right now here are the top 12 things that bring me absolute contentment-that don't need to be added to, don't need some deep earth shattering explanation, but are just full of simplicity and wouldn't have it any other way:
1. The smell of fresh coffee brewing in the morning. It wakes up all my senses and makes me feel all warm.
2. Waking up to a text message from someone who is thinking about you.
3. Beautiful friends from down the street, across the state, and across the country who send me a text message to ask how a big day was without being reminded. People who take the time to listen, invest, and pay attention to those that matter in their lives. "If I paid for my friends I did not pay nearly enough."
4. The way my mommy calls me "little one." I am 21 years old but hearing her say that makes me realize I always have the most beautiful woman in my corner who will protect me until I am 121. A woman who looks at me and knows all the mistakes, heartaches, ill-placed/short tempered words and yet still sees her little one who is worthy of her love-not because of anything I have ever done but simply because of who I am.
5. Classical novels...ya know, back when people knew real literature.
6. Planning my big trip to San Diego to see one of the most cherished woman in my life. The trip itself is going to be AMAZING but the anticipation leading up to the next two weeks makes it so fun!
7. Online shopping with companies like 31 bits, 10,000 villages, TOMs, Amizma, Sseko, Pencils of Promise and so many more that means you can look cute, feel good, and still help save the world...totally worth the extra $10.
8. The soft creases in my bible in the book of Psalms when I feel so overwhelmed I cannot think of doing anything but crawling in bed and crying.
9. Blogs like Traveling Newlyweds, Radiant Life, and Kisses from Katie that are full of people who are just being totally real that make you realize how fun and beautiful and messy life can be...but also makes you so grateful it is not always perfect.
10. Long workouts at the gym. The kind where you just want to collapse on the floor after and you feel like your legs cannot move (or your arms) but you feel so accomplished. It is also incredibly entertaining to watch the men walk around trying to act too cool for school...it makes me laugh.
11. The way fresh flowers look on a vase in the kitchen-full of bright colors and sweet smells.
12. The way the southern sunshine makes everything feel like a country song-slow, down home living, drowsy, ready for a nap!
These are things that I see, feel, hear, experience on a day to day basis...nothing big or ground breaking but little moments I could easily overlook. I am tired of living life from one big moment to the next and missing all the little moments in-between....I want to experience life every single moment of every single day, and that means being aware of every little blessing in my life and cultivating a heart of gratitude and that journey starts today. What are 10 little things in your day to day that bring you joy you may have missed-if you don't open your eyes now you'll turn around and realized you missed your life.