I still can’t get over the amount of time I spend with people under the age of two each week. What used to be time spent at a desk and in meetings is now spent on floors, in kitchens, and outdoors (in comfy clothes!). If nothing else, this precious time has taught me to be more open to the possibilities of life outside the norm. More importantly, it has taught me to be grateful for the little things that everyday life has to offer — including little people.
A couple of months ago, a friend of mine was having a hard time processing some pretty significant changes and challenges happening in her life. To say the least, she was too frustrated and sad to hear anything that anyone had to say to her, which was understandable. At some point, however, I couldn’t resist the urge to talk to her about gratitude and the influence it has on one’s outlook. I reminded her that at the end of the day, we won’t always have the answers to every why, but we can choose to give thanks for what’s right in front of us. (Sounds cheesy, but over the last several months, this way of thinking has been huge for me and my sanity.)
With this in mind, I had already taken inventory of the things I was most grateful for that day and I shared a few highlights with her via text. The first included a picture I had taken just moments before our conversation began — one of my kiddos with a huge smile on his face after a long, mid-morning nap. In all honesty, there wasn’t anything special about that particular day; and if I remember correctly, it started out pretty rough — with a tantrum and a whole lot of uncertainty on my part. Nevertheless, in the moment I snapped that photo, I didn’t have a care in the world. I went on to share how my prolonged job hunt had allowed me to meet new people, make new friends, and invest real time in their families; and by the end of our conversation, I could truly say that I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything…
So today, with my whole heart, I am grateful for the trust that has been established between me and my kiddos. The smiles and the laughter. The long walks. The quiet moments before nap times. The milestones. The little arms around my neck. The new friendships. The little hands on my face. The opportunity to study and appreciate so many unique personalities and more.
On days like today — after one of the most challenging weeks of my life — I can dwell on the good, give thanks for the little things, and in faith, move forward.