A Lesson in Gratitude, or, How the Little Things Became the Big Things

PoohI’m sitting here in my tiny little kitchen that I don’t own…gazing out at my cozy little loft with the turquoise carpet that someone else picked out long before I ever arrived here…watching my sweet kitty, Prince Hairy, stalking a bug across the room, carefully following the bug’s path so he can “protect his domain.” (He never actually harms the bug, he just likes to monitor the bug’s every move.) Steam rises from my coffee mug, a gift from a church that only a year ago I could have never imagined I would one day speak at. I had my oatmeal in a paper bowl today, because I don’t have a dishwasher and it saves time and my manicure to not have to wash dishes every single day. I’m 35 and I don’t own much of anything, save my precious VW convertible and a few pieces of furniture – some antique, some old hand me downs that would have been discarded long ago had I not rescued them from certain demise. This isn’t where I pictured my life at age 35, when I closed my eyes tight as a little girl and imagined myself in a far off future complete with the grown-up version of my Barbie Dream House and my perfect Ken doll mate. And neither is it my life at age 30, when I was completely wrapped up in the latest hot spots and being a member of a private club and rubbing elbows regularly with the “it” crowd of Nashville. This is a life that from an outsider’s eyes, might appear banal and mundane and completely average. But as I gaze across this room at my giant thrift store red chair that’s so perfect for snuggling down into and reading all night…and my white twinkly lights strung so carefully above the fireplace…and my candles and books and movies and passions in life all surrounding me and enveloping me like a warm hug…overwhelming gratitude wells up in my spirit and tumbles out of my eyes in the form of hot tears. And for a moment I can’t speak and I don’t want to move even a muscle because I want to hit the pause button and stay right here in this moment of clarity and beauty and peace and thankfulness.

I’m finding, friends, that the most precious and sacred things in life are the most simple things. I’ve done some really cool things in my life and met some of the biggest celebrities you can imagine and had access to star-studded events and walked red carpets and yet, not one moment of any of that brought me the deep soul contentment that sitting here in my glasses and pajamas in my little imperfect and yet perfectly ME loft does. Look around you today. Look closer at your life. The beauty and magic and wonder is all there. Only it’s probably not where you expect. You’re waiting for the grand moments and the pomp and the circumstance and all the while your life is standing there waving at you in all of its colorful, disjointed, simple glory. Don’t miss it. Don’t look past it. Happiness is here. It just arrived quietly while you were searching for it in all the noise.

 “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things…” ~Robert Brault

17 Responses to “ A Lesson in Gratitude, or, How the Little Things Became the Big Things ”

  1. karina mauricio
    October 29, 2014

    Thanks for the reminder!

  2. October 29, 2014

    This is beautiful Mandy!! Thank you, I need to pause and do this all so. So much we take for granted every day instead of realizing the simple fact that we’re alive and breathing and should be thankful. Amen 🙂

  3. Tiffrbug
    October 29, 2014

    Beautiful. And truth. Thank you for another inspiring post. ♡

  4. Krista
    October 30, 2014

    Wonderful and so true. I’m 41 years old and still searching for my someone special, but when I come home at night to my beautiful place and all of its creature comforts, my books, movies artwork supplied mostly by my talented Father I feel calm and comfortable and happy. Home is where the heart is and I am truly grateful for it. Thank you for putting it into such beautiful words!

  5. Greydi
    October 30, 2014

    I love it!

  6. Mattie
    October 30, 2014

    yes ,mandy,you are right .the most wonderful things are tight in front of us and we take them for granted everyday .I am so thankful for my little house,all its sweet lvoely things that I have collected over the years ,my books ,my cats ,my naeighbors, my family and friends ,mu wonderful children ,and although its not what I would cont… tochoose ,even my job ,I am thankful I am thankful that G-d provieds everyday ,everything I have need or want of ,food/shelter/clothings /and peace of mind to lay down @ night and not worry a missle or bomb is gonna go off over my head (not yet anyway) .but its the other little things that sometiems G-d reminds me of ,like a flower pushing its little head out of he concrete as i am stopped @ a red light ,or the sound of a baby laughing, or my cat purring in peace and contintment,the sun shining on my face ,or the beautiful way G-d paints the sky every morning or @ dusk. just the simple things in life are the most awesome. thank you for that reminder Mandy.we are among most ppl blessed.

  7. Bahia
    October 31, 2014

    OMG! Story of my life. The problem is that I was waiting to shed the 5 extra ponds to be happy .. or that my tan would be one shade darker to be perfect .. when you lose everything you thought made you special, you discover that happiness is in the tiny little things .. like when your cats snuggles with you for no reason .. It is good to feel that i am not alone in this. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Jodi Massengale
    October 31, 2014

    This stirred my soul and enveloped me in peace, grave and contentment. Where God is, there’s peace, there’s hope and there’s love! Sounds like you are exactly where you need to be in this moment…resting in Him. Thank you for sharing your truth. Thank you for showing up and writing from your heart. #SWCrew

  9. November 1, 2014

    Thank you mandy. I’m 14 years old and one thing you said that made me feel happy inside was this quote learn to be alone and to likeit. There is nothing more freeing and empowering than learning to like your own company

  10. Anette
    November 3, 2014

    This is lovely and made examine my life and the little things that I just smile about!

  11. November 4, 2014

    Ah that is a lovely reminder! Thanks! ☺️

  12. Cathi Bates
    November 6, 2014

    Thank you so much touched me needed to read this today- be grateful for what I have instead of what I dont have. So easy to focus on the negative.

  13. November 6, 2014

    I loved reading this and realizing we ladies, have so many experiences and thoughts in common! Today, I had the opportunity to allow a friend spark my dormant and abandoned passion for poetry. I’m SO grateful for the small gifts that mean everything and remind us of how blessed an amazingly loved we are! God smiles when we do what we enjoy and even go back to our childhood’s favorite things to do.

  14. Carrie
    November 6, 2014

    Wonderful post-I love following you on Facebook-you GET being a dingle woman!! Thank you!

    • Carrie
      November 6, 2014

      Single! 🙂 lol Sorry!

  15. Katwana
    November 6, 2014

    Love this it brought tears to my eyes and a smile on my face. Thank you.

  16. Leeanne
    November 18, 2014

    So beautifully said. Thank you. I needed this x

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