The Sanctity of Simple Things
By Dena Dyer
Teach us delight in simple things. —Rudyard
I've battled depression for several years. Mostly, it's under
control because of my medication, exercise, periodic visits to
a counselor, family support, and other things I try to make a
part of daily life.
One of those "helps" is being grateful for the small
miracles that happen every day. Depression can be a black cloud
looming over my head, and noticing everyday wonders has helped
poke holes in the clouds to let God's grace shine through.
Case in point: a day last spring, which I recorded in my journal—not
because of its hugeness, but because of the little things that
made it wonderful.
On that particular day, I ached with tiredness and I had run
out of my anti-depressants over the weekend and had to wait to
get more. (My depression is always worse when I'm tired.) Jordan,
Carey, and I were also fighting spring sniffles, which made us
all a little testy.
But it was a bright, cloudless afternoon, and Carey decided to
mow our backyard, since its height could have concealed a small
car. Jordan helped Carey clean up the toys and play tools strewn
about in the back yard. He even put on a half-face mask like Carey,
who has to be careful with his allergies when he does yard work.
I watched from the table and chairs on the patio, journal and
Dr. Pepper beside me.
Then sleepy Jordan asked me if he could have his sleeping bag
and put it in his clubhouse so he could "west."
Pretty soon, my four year-old prince was curled up on his blue
and yellow bag, arm around his stuffed frog, fast asleep. No doubt
he had been lulled by the sun, the hum of the mower, and the frequent
And instead of aching with tiredness and gloominess, I began
to ache with love and joy and thankfulness. In our small corner
of the universe, I was suddenly bursting with gratitude for small
miracles—and large ones. For sniffly boys who sleep contentedly
in clubhouses, for hardworking daddies who care for exhausted
mommies, for the red bird that kept circling the yard, for blue
skies—and for peace.
In that moment, the sanctity of simple things overwhelmed me.
It's what Arthur Gordon summed up so well in his lovely book,
A Touch of Wonder: "In moments of discouragement,
defeat, or even despair, there are always certain things to cling
to. Little things, usually: remembered laughter, the face of a
sleeping child, a tree in the wind—in fact, any reminder
of something deeply felt or dearly loved."
There have been many other days when God has brought me peace
with little, but important, treasures during the midst of a dark
mood. But I've found that it's up to me to recognize them, and
to not let them float away before whispering, "Thanks."
Otherwise, I'll have turned away a precious gift.
As Gordon says, "No man is so poor as not to have many of
these small candles. When they are lighted, darkness goes away
. . . and a touch of wonder remains."
Notes from the Coach:
Who despises the day of small things?
Zechariah 4:10, NIV
Four Small Wonders
There are four small creatures, wisest of the wise they
are—ants—frail as they are,
get plenty of food in for the winter; marmots—vulnerable
as they are, manage to arrange for rock-solid homes; locusts—leaderless
insects, yet they strip the field like an army regiment; lizards—easy
enough to catch, but they sneak past vigilant palace guards.
Proverbs 30:24-28, The Message
Better is a little with the fear of the LORD than great
treasure and turmoil with it.
Proverbs 15:16, NASB
Excerpted from Grace
for the Race: Meditations for Busy Moms, Copyright ©
2004, by Dena J. Dyer. Used by permission.
is wife to Carey and mother to their two boys, Jordan
and Jackson. Her other roles include professional actress and
singer, women's speaker, and author. Dena has written for Woman's
World, Today's Christian Woman, Writer's Digest, Christian Reader,
and Discipleship Journal.
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