by Julie Jaunese
A few weeks ago I had a wonderful opportunity to attend an awards ceremony. My husband, Mike, is a teacher of children with special needs. The mother of his one-on-one student, Taylor, had nominated him for an award. I had met Taylor in the past but didn’t really know him. I knew my husband has really enjoyed teaching Taylor and I was looking forward to meeting Taylor again and getting to know his mother, Janet. Taylor mesmerized me that night. He taught me about the simple things in life and how much I really need to stop and enjoy more, see the little things in life, and live a content life. How could he teach me so much in such a short period of time?
When I met Taylor we were near the front door of the Embassy Suites. It had been pouring down rain outside and people were rushing to get into the lobby of the hotel. Taylor sat on the sofa and clapped and cheered every time the electronic doors would automatically open and attendees would enter. He spent about a half hour just waiting for the doors to open and more people to enter the event. I got out my iPad and wrote on my list “enjoy the simple things” then made a video of Taylor getting excited every time the door opened so I could remember and watch this few seconds over and over. That will be my goal for the summer as I work my 40 hours a week, lead my groups and enjoy having our 15 year old grandson with us for the summer. A time that could feel overwhelming.
We all make choices, don’t we? We can decide each day if we are going to enjoy the day and be excited by such simple things as an electronic door, going to the beach, watching a sunset or perhaps enjoying a walk in the rain during an afternoon shower in Tampa. How about a simple thing like looking at the clouds as you drive home from work? When was the last time you stomped in a puddle? I have some Croc shoes and will be playing in puddles this summer without the need to worry I am killing my shoes. I will try not to even have a feeling of complaint when I walk out to the parking lot after work and it is raining because I will be so blessed thinking that this is another opportunity to celebrate the simple things. I have thought about Janet and Taylor several times this summer. Janet is as excited about Taylor and the little things in his behavior as I was about my girls when they were young. We tend to age and forget about the little things that God shows us that will make us giggle like a kid.
We have a new morning of choices every 24 hours. We have the opportunity to be blessed by the simple things. We have a choice to be happy or to be irritated by something that might not end the way we thought it would. Do you think God isn’t in the mix of our irritation, just waiting to teach us a valuable lesson? A simple lesson! We could find a simple joy in a juicy piece of watermelon, a walk in the falling rain, a wonderful steak fresh off the grill, or an unplanned stop at the frozen yogurt place. Enjoy each minute of the day!
I’m reminded of a quote by Robert Louis Stevenson, “The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.” When we look at simple things, the ordinary things like blinking and breathing, we are reminded of God and how much he cares for us EACH and EVERY day.
What are the simple things you’ve enjoyed today? Share your comments below!
Julie Jaunese has been married to her husband Michael for 42 years. She has two daughters and three grandchildren. She works at Moffitt Cancer Center and hosts two women’s small groups, the Yada Book Club and the Fabulous Fems. Mike and Julie have been part of Grace Family Church since it began with 40 people in a house.