Simple Pleasures

It happens every time. Lush, beautiful, aromatic vines of yellow honeysuckle faithfully transport me to the backyard of my grandparent’s home in Iowa. Sweet honey nectar bursts to life on my 10 year old tongue. I scan the yard and there sits the lifeless tire swing; it begs me to run at it and plunge into its center; my long, black pig tails toss back and forth as I swing.

The hot summer sun sends me inside where the kitchen table is piled with fresh green beans just waiting for my eager little hands to snip off every one of their pointy ends. Then my eyes catch a glimpse of it… the closed door leading to an upstairs mystery of clothing and mementos from years past. I saunter off to steal a peak and to plot a secret discovery mission, but just as I grip the knob I hear something even more alluring. My ears perk at the methodic sound of the creaking, low-back wooden rocking chair moving against the hard wood floor of the front room. In it sits my grandmother; I crawl onto her lap and into her embrace as she lovingly rocks my sleepy eyes closed. I love it here. This place is a veritable treasure box of simple pleasures.

-Insert hair raising, face scrunching record scratch here-

Violent shaking and pulling followed by whiney high pitched tones rip me from this tender trip down memory lane. My left arm is under a complete and brutal attack by a 4 year old dream stealing princess who is hungry. At the same time a 6 year old antagonizer zips past me, something pink and stuffed clutched tightly in his arms. Trailing behind him is the 8 year old victim wildly chasing and screaming “give me my unicorn!”

Oh my.

A single question resonates in my heart… “Lord, where are the simple pleasures now?”

It’s then that I envision the seething smile on the face of Satan as he anticipates the chaos in my life rendering me blind to the many simple pleasures that God intended for me to enjoy. John 10:10 reminds me… “The thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).

It may take a very intentional look past my husband’s demanding, stress-filled career alongside our hectic homeschool life to identify the simple pleasures, but they are absolutely there and in precious abundance.

Simple pleasures weave themselves throughout even my most difficult days and they present themselves as perfect blessings from the Lord…

In the quiet, gentle kiss brushed across my face as my husband leaves for work each day.

In the little sleepy angels who fly into the warmth of my bed to snuggle each morning.

In every pride-filled moment of learning and new discovery that homeschooling brings.

In their joyful smiles, bear hugs, butterfly kisses and I love yous that are far too many to count.

In the cherished alone-time with my husband where we share and sort out our daily troubles and triumphs.

And, in the endless family fun… homemade nachos, games, movies and popcorn, snow days, beach days, and more.

All of this enjoyment and comfort is far sweeter and more deeply valued than even those from the summer visits to my grandparents. They are unique and matchless solely because they are born from the beloved gifts that God himself has given only to me.

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