I've been thinking; thinking of how hard it to be purposeful about my live sometimes, to live consciously, even when I have so much to be conscious of it's still hard. How hard it can be to not be swallowed up by the bog of daily minutia! Sometimes just living daily aware of the little gifts is a struggle. But I think I'm a better person when I do. So I started thinking about all the little things that inspire me...inspire me to happiness, rejoicing, contentment, giving, loving, and patience. It's amazing how small they can be, and yet some of them are so big. Noticing the good things in my daily life helps me to live so much better in the big things. It helps me keep life in perspective.
I can't help loving lists, all sorts of lists for everything...and that's where my thoughts ended up. So here's the list of things big and little that inspire me (to help me stay focused):
1. Seeing, really really seeing. Looking up, at the clouds, the sunsets, the flight of birds. Noticing the way the light falls and the way it's quality changes with the time of day and the time of year and the place. Spending a little of every day enjoying nature, even if its only a very small piece of it. Looking for that one small, sacred, beautiful gift from God among all the ugliness if I have to. Enjoying the richness of textures around me. Good artwork, pictures that relax, inspire, or transport me, pictures that help me remember the people I love and the places I have been.
2. Music. It can changes the mood, lift up and transport or settle me down. Make me dance. Help me praise. It can make sunshine where there is none, and help disagreeable tasks pass quickly.
3. Eating. Good food, not fast food. Chopping it and roasting it and mixing it. Noticing the way a warm cup of tea makes me relax. Savoring the tastes and smells; eating slowly. Sharing these things with others and watching them enjoy.
4. Reading. It can relax and rejuvenate. It changes me, helps me walk a mile in someone else's shoes. It instructs. It helps me dream. And there is really no book like the Bible for inspiration.
5. Making. Baking. Digging. Knitting. Writing. Sewing. Planning it all. Even cleaning...at times.
6. Forgiveness. Few things strengthen my resolve more than true un-begrudged forgiveness. I don't always do better the next time around, but it keeps me trying.
7. Looking nice. Such a silly one, yet it can mean so much. Wearing happy colors on a cloudy day. Putting on mascara. Getting a hair cut. Painting my toes. These silly little things make me feel differently, better, about myself, affecting the way I interact with the world.
8. Prayer. It's were I take my burdens, joy, hurt, discouragement, failure, heart break, exhaustion. It's where I get refueled.
9. People. Some times they make you want to be more, they help you to know that you could be more, because they are more. Some times they make you so frustrated you are inspired to be nothing like them- the complete opposite. Some times you love them so much it changes everything about your life.
10. God. He's so giving, loving, patience, just... He's so much more than I can ever be, yet He's everything I want to be. Getting to know Him better, helps me to understand more who I am, how I should live. And certainly all the other gifts come from him.
What inspires you?
(For another fun list check out Rae's list of HOW TO PLAY and STILL DO your WORK)
May God bless you with and inspired and purposeful day! c