I wake up when the dawn is just starting to make the edge of my sky tint with blue and gold. There’s breakfast to make and lunch to pack before Scott rushes off to work. And then, when the sun is up above the trees, I get Charlotte her breakfast and start my own working day.
Every morning, it’s the same. Get up, set the day in motion. Try to juggle working a demanding job with mothering a busy toddler. Hopefully get some laundry cycled and figure out a plan for dinner. Blink and then scramble to try to wrap up the absolute necessities before creeping to bed to rinse and repeat.
And sometimes I go through the everyday motions, but forget about the magic of ordinary moments. The necessity of living crowds my mind with numbers, times, deadlines, and all the expectations that rest on the modern working mama of today. The big goals overshadow all the little steps that I should be celebrating along the way. I love the simple kinds of beauty. I’ve spent years teaching myself to treasure the little things in life. But sometimes even when I notice, I don’t make time to actually breathe it all in.
There’s this empty place in our hearts that I really think can only live when we take time for small things and unexpected wonders in ordinary things. We don’t have to chase elusive, big dreams to find the “one thing we’re missing”. Maybe it’s already sitting right under our noses in those ordinary “Tuesday Moments”.
And sometimes it’s the little gems I find on a Tuesday morning that are just the thing I need to handle the Big Deal that happens on Thursday afternoon. If I’m too busy looking forward to Thursday, maybe I won’t be able to face the big things with as much grace as if I’d only stopped on Tuesday morning to soak in a little bit of simple quietness. Maybe I would focus less on accomplishing and more on connecting.
Because a lot of times when Thursday comes around, I really need to be reminded that Jesus isn’t “…calling me to excellence.” He’s simply “calling me to himself” (Simply Tuesday, page 74).
It’s not about what I get done, or if I look successful to my peers. It’s not about how clean my house is, or how well I rock this working mama thing. It’s not about what big things the world says I should be aiming for. It’s all about those simple moments, those little gifts of grace for today and taking time to breathe in and be still. It’s all about celebrating the little accomplishments happening now, instead of chaffing for the big ones down the road.
So here’s to a year of celebrating the small victories, savoring the small moments, soaking in the small beauties of daily life. To finding God’s grace in canceled plans, and in piles of laundry. To discovering the great treasures in all of our “Simply Tuesdays”. Here’s to the small moments.
Books for Celebrating Small Moment Living
Simply Tuesday by Emily Freeman
Review from Jeannie Pederson: Emily Freeman’s books have a history of both freeing and gently challenging me. Simply Tuesday is no exception. As a mom of two little ones with a third on the way, I appreciated the thoughtful reminders that the Christian life isn’t about doing bigger things for God, it’s about delighting in the life He’s given us. And that life, for most of us, consists of a lot of ordinary days. Instead of trying to do more, be more, and accomplish great things, Simply Tuesday encouraged me to look at those ordinary days as gifts from God, the place He both sanctifies and blesses us.
The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner
Review from Rachel Zupke: As a gal who has to work to find fringe hours, this book was convicting, challenging, and encouraging. Listening to The Fringe Hours on Audible allowed me to create some me time in the midst of laundry, dishes, and long car rides. I took to heart Jessica’s exhortation to decrease unrealistic expectations–says the queen of mile-long to-do lists–and schedule the important things so they don’t get lost among the urgent ones. I still have fewer fringe hours than I’d like, but the hours in my day are more purposeful and productive than in the task-driven life I used to lead.
The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst
Review from Rachel Zupke: This book was incredibly timely for both a huge life decision that unexpectedly presented itself as well as a positive change in how I approach day to day choices. Lysa’s perspective of decisions determining direction hit me right at the heart of how I love and serve my husband, how I parent, and how I minister to others in my vocation. I have trouble saying no to things, which leads to doing things because I should do them or am expected to do them. The Best Yes helped me reevaluate what my true motives are and how I go about making decisions. Looking to God and seeking His answer both through prayer and the counsel of godly friends is key to making the best yes.
Let’s All Be Brave by Annie Downs
Review from Rachelle Rea: I was expecting a lot from a book on bravery. As always, Annie F. Downs didn’t disappoint. With the conversational, intimate style of a coffee shop friend date, Annie delved into not only how to be brave, but the fact that we cannot be brave on our own. We need community, and most importantly we need Jesus. Annie tackled such topics as choices, big (even international!) moves, and singleness. I am so glad I read Let’s All Be Brave with a group of girls and I am immensely thankful to Annie for the courage it took to write it.
Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist
Review from Gretchen Louise: Shauna’s books celebrate story. And Bittersweet is as decadent inside as the cover implies. Rich with stories about the ups and downs of daily life, Bittersweet celebrates the small moments, finding the joy even in the hard times. It’s a favorite book to share with friends. The chapters stand alone making it easy to pick up and re-read a few from time to time. (Come visit around the table with us as Emily Gardner and I talk about our favorite books by Shauna Niequist.)
Notes from a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider
Review from Gretchen Louise: Notes from a Blue Bike is challenging read on the big picture of living with simplicity and intention. Throughout the memoir-like tales of her own family’s journey, Tsh shares the principles they have learned about savoring life and enjoying the work they choose to do. (Click here to revisit the series where some of us here at Kindred Grace blogged through each section of Notes from a Blue Bike.)
What’s one of your favorite “Tuesday moments”? Do you have a book that has encouraged you in celebrating the small moments? We’d love it if you’d share it in the comments!
Looking for more books to add to your reading list this year?
Check out Gretchen’s post at Club31Women: 12 Books to Help With That Fresh Start
Photography: JenniMarie Photography