it's the small things

Thursday, October 09, 2008 / Comments (7) / by elizabeth


Both Holly @ Nothing but Bonfires (quoted above) and Jennie @ She Likes Purple wrote posts based on this – the little things in life that make you happy. I mentioned this briefly the other day and the concept has remained in the back of my mind...it might be the big moments that you remember as the best days of your life, but joy comes from the little moments, in the monotony that is life and if we blink we will miss them. they both wrote eloquently in paragraph form but i’m much better at lists:

1. eating lunch outside – in high school we sat on the sidewalks, in college we moved up to tables outside of restaurants, and here i head to bryant park when i can. there’s something to be said about drinking diet coke with my eyes closed and feeling the sun beating down on my [sunscreened] face. it’s a moment of peace, where my phone is on silent and i’m not attached to a computer so i can simply just be.
2. the morning commute - walking through the subway station in times square and God of This City comes on my iPod and i actually LOOK at the faces of the people around me [you’re the God of this city; You’re the King of these people] in wonder and awe that God knows and loves each and every one of them….and just as i burst forth onto the streets the chorus swells [greater things have yet to come, greater things are still to be done in this city] and i get teary -eyed and overwhelmed with love for my Savior and love for this city.

(photo of times square by brett gullborg; ironically, i don't have any photos of times square)

3. quality time with any combination of roommates – when you live with 4 girls it’s both rare to have time with only one or time with all five. i intentionally try to spend time with each of them and cultivate a friendship that is one-on-one. also, on the rare occasion that all five of us are home, i walk away from the conversations feeling refreshed and encouraged.

before our impromptu trip to jersey--target + p.f. changs = bliss

4. airports and airplanes – i love the anticipation of sitting in the airport, knowing you’re going somewhere different even if only for a few days. i love that airplanes have been such a constant in my life for the last 4 years. i love sitting on the plane and having those 2, 3, 4 (sometimes more!) uninterrupted hours where i can listen to music and pour my heart out on paper. i love landing safely and knowing it’s only going to a few minutes until i get to see someone i know and love.

this is what i do on planes: write, listen, and take photos when i get bored

6. dinner with old friends – sitting across from people who have known me forever, people who have watched me grow up and become. listening to their stories and realizing that the very core of us never changes [and in most cases that’s a good thing]. knowing that after all these years i can still trust them. loving them for who they were and for who they are, and knowing they feel the same about me. belly laughing with them at things only we understand. realizing that we are all so different that if we met now we probably wouldn’t become friends, but grateful for the circumstances that brought us together so many years ago.

7. surprises – i get this from my dad – he loves to surprise people. he shows his love by giving gifts, especially to my sister and me, and he will go to great lengths to find the best gift he can to surprise us – one day i’ll write about the car i got when i was 14! this past weekend my sister and i gave our dad the best surprise ever. we conspired to fly me down for his birthday, and when she took him out to eat i showed up at the restaurant. the look on his face when i walked in and he realized what we’d done is one i will never forget! the trip only lasted two days, but knowing we made my dad feel loved and important is something that will last forever.

birthday dinner!

9. porches – i grew up spending Sundays at my grandparents’ house on their farm. after dinner all of the adults escaped to the porch to sit in rocking chairs and continue their conversation. they always seems relaxed and young and carefree, a contrast to the busy weeks they all had. to this day, porches are one of my favorite things ever. drinking a cup of coffee on the porch in the morning with nothing but my Bible, a journal, and a pen, or in the evening equipped with good friends and great conversation (and bug spray), sitting on the porch is just good for my heart.

10. getting mail (not bills but the fun kind) - there's nothing quite like getting home after my 45 minute commute and wearily walking up the stairs, through the door, and into the kitchen and seeing a letter or card or package addressed to me! knowing that someone took the time to write something or put a package together, address it, and go to the post office or mailbox so that i can have something tangible to read or enjoy makes me happy.
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this quote hung on my wall during college and now is taped to my shelves at work:

"How simple is it to see
that we can only be happy now,
and that there will never be a time
when it is not now."
- Gerald Jampolsky


So, all three commenters of mine - what little things make you happy?

7 comments:

Ashley @ mrs007.net @ October 10, 2008 at 3:18 PM

We sing 'God of this City' at church and I get choked up every time. To me it makes the world feel a bit smaller.

What makes me happy?...
-Livie's naptime
-my little family hanging out in the living room listening to music and playing
-when the house is clean
-the one day that I am caught up with the laundry
-sitting on the deck with Adam in comfortable silence.
-Bravo tv
-coffee
-dinner with old friends :)
-the ride home from church
-really long blog comments in which I go on and on and on and on
Love ya

Bethany @ October 10, 2008 at 6:02 PM

Yes, those are all very good things. Things that make me happy...
-when you come home
-snuggling on the couch w Matt
-laughing with my family
-going to the park
-sleeping in
-feeling like I have made a difference

joy @ October 10, 2008 at 10:40 PM

Being understood without words; just a glance and that's enough said.
Weather good enough to roll the windows down and blare the radio.
Spending the night in Columbia, way out where it's quiet and safe and I can breathe and I turn my phone off and nothing can get to me.
Waking up on Saturdays only to discover I can roll over and go back to sleep.
Clean sheets.
Sitting on the deck at sunset.
Good phone conversations that happen when I didn't really have time to talk on the phone.
When the babies I take care of all day prefer me over their own parents.
When somebody says "I'm proud of you" to me.
Loving what I do for a living.

There's much, much more. It's not hard to make me happy with little things :)

olivia @ October 12, 2008 at 10:11 PM

the changing leaves; puppies that nuzzle my neck; porch swings; good books that i HATE to finish; a new pair of shoes; cheese sticks; good movies; freshly shaven legs; kisses

debbie @ October 13, 2008 at 3:07 PM

E, your writings are pretty.
what makes me happy?
time with my family..
the smell of a baby..
changing seasons, though I'm not so crazy about winter, but I do like the change....
my porch..oh come sit with me on my porch.. it's so nice.
good coffee..pretty shoes..ugly shoes....just shoes..*_*
lunch with my yayas and girlie girls.they keep me accountable.

Jenn @ October 14, 2008 at 1:00 PM

Found your blog through Lulled By The Train... LOVE IT. I'm adding you to my blogroll. And I love Tomlin's version of "My Beloved".

Amy R. Upshaw @ October 15, 2008 at 9:38 PM

The weather when its cold outside but not freezing, rolling down my windows blasting the heat and turning the music up so everybody gets a chance to hear.

Being serenaded by someone with a guitar.

When I'm in places that are flat and even though it's perfectly fine weather being able to see lightning in every direction.

Nights with a group of girls I've known since 3rd grade drinking on IBC rootbeer and cream soda in the glass bottles. (A tradition we have had since 3rd grade)

Internationals and their accents.

"...these are a few of my favorite things..." (Sound of Music anyone?)