If you're like me, you tend to feel sorry for yourself every now and then. You know, the house is in shambles, the kids aren't behaving too well, your hair won't lay flat, your skin looks like it belongs on an adolescent kids' face, and your hubby is grumpy because you're grumpy. To help me get out of my periodic slumps, I began keeping a list on the computer entitled "The Little Things." This was suggested to me years ago by a wise older woman in my MOPS group. She suggested we keep a Happy Box, in which we could include thank you notes, birthday cards, funny cartoons, things our kids said that made us laugh, etc. The Happy Box was meant to come out when we had a bad day and couldnt find anything to be thankful for. Because I'm not organized to have a box at this point in my life, I'm settling for a list. Today, my list consists of the following:
1. When I went into the new coffee shop down the street, I got a free panini sandwich because the owner was testing their new machine and wanted my opinion. It was my favorite, turkey swiss, was delicious, and best of all, FREE! Talk about being in the right place at the right time.
2. I tried to book a hotel online yesterday but had computer problems. When I went on today, they happened to be having a "sale" and I saved over 50 bucks! Whooppee!
3. My son made a new friend up the street, which makes me happy, because he's happy.
See, nothing big. Little things. But sometimes these are the very things we miss, we take for granted, because we're too busy throwing a pity party for ourselves. My friend Lynda, who now has six children, always has a wise word to share. Several years ago she shared her testimony with our MOPS group, and talked about the concept of these small blessings. She told a story about going to a restaurant with her small children, having one quarter for a gumball in the machine, yet when her son put it in, two came out. A small thing, again, but it made her son's day, as he was able to share the other one with his brother. She also shared how she had specifically prayed for a CD player (these were the days before iPod) and her husband won one a few weeks later at his company party. These stories have stuck in my mind for years.
Sometimes these little things are bigger things, and sometimes they're just a gumball. Sometimes they're tangible, sometimes just a heartfelt hug that makes our day.
Maybe you already have a Happy Box, or want to start one. Go for it! If you're like me, a simple list in a Word Document works too! Or a pretty journal, where you can write your thoughts. Whatever your route, don't forget to remember the little things.