Thursday, December 10, 2015

Spiritual Journey Thursday - Simple Gifts

 I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly basis.  It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together.  We welcome anyone who would like to join us! 
This month has started to take on its own theme - unintentionally on my part.  The theme topic of GIFTS has started to develop.
This week's idea started with reading Libby's blog post.  You can read it here.  I loved Libby's appreciation of the small moments - the routines - the ordinary.  That got me thinking about Christmas and all its worldly glamour, trappings, and hyperbole.  The explosion of stuff.  Why have we done that to this season?  It started out as simple as it gets. The ordinary Mary and Joseph, no fancy room at the inn, simple cloths to wrap Him in, a wooden manger, shepherd visitors.  No fanfare, no trumpets, no glitter, no orchestra.  Just a baby born to humble, flawed humans.  Since I was inspired to write this by Libby, I must share one of her favorite things...Charlie Brown.  The philosophy of simplicity in a cartoon...

I started to think about the small, simple things that I love....
- the first cup of coffee of the day
- when Ben, my dog, curls up in the crook of my folded legs while I read on the couch
- a scented candle
- holding my husband's hand
- sitting outside for a meal
- the sun on my face
- sleeping in
- a hot shower
- oatmeal with berries and walnuts
- conversation with friends
- texts from my daughters
- encouragement from my parents
- a walk
- the first glimpse of perennials in the spring
- birds at the feeder
- the first snow (and snow day!)
- a letter or card in the mail
- a bite of delicious chocolate
- listening to an audio book on my way to school
- reading aloud to my students
- a fire in the fireplace
- laughing until it hurts
- the last page of an amazing book
- singing "Silent Night" at church on Christmas Eve
After a tragedy, I often hear people longing for the ordinary day.  The routine.  The simple and small things. I wondered what Jesus would answer if asked what His favorite moments with us are.  Would they be the ones when we won an award?  Graduated from college?  Landed a job?  Perhaps.  Or would they be the times when we spent a quiet prayer time with Him?  Asked Him what we could do for a stranger or friend in His name?  Bent down on one knee to talk to a lonely child?   Served a meal?  Quietly shared the gospel with someone who needed it?  Took care of someone sick or needy?  Invited someone to church?  Simply communed with Him without any distractions?  Probably.
I could keep going, but I'll leave you with Kristin Chenoweth's "Happiness" from the Charlie Brown Christmas 50th Anniversary Special, and may you appreciate the small and simple gifts this December!



  1. I got a bit stressed last weekend when I didn't have a tree. We managed to squeeze in an hour to get one. Now it stands with only white lights on it, and it's so beautiful I am considering leaving it un-ornamented. Yes, the simple things. We are so blessed, you and I, with a healthy marriage and successful children. This is a time to count those blessings.
    My post today has been festering for a few weeks. It was a tough one to write, but I needed to do it. Thanks for this space to write the tough stuff.

  2. Thank you for creating this simple space and sharing your simple gifts. It has been awhile, but I hope to keep returning. Faith for me isn't as simple as it seems, but I am working on it...again.

  3. Holly, during holiday times we need time to remember why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.You captured that here for me throughout the entire post. May we all find the simple things to celebrate this holiday that bring family together in a peaceful way. Happiness has found a home at your house. Thank you.

  4. Quite simply: thank you! Although I enjoyed every word you wrote and appreciated the videos, I must admit that lively goosebumps accompanied my reading of your wonderings about what Jesus would name as His favorite moments with us. Thank you for sharing your insightful wonderings. God bless you for all the simple things you invite us to ponder along our STJ walk.

  5. Beautiful, Holly! Very grounding for this season that can be filled with distractions. I love your list!

    And you leave me with wonderful food for thought with this: "I wondered what Jesus would answer if asked what His favorite moments with us are."