I don’t know about you, but I know I tend to get absorbed in always looking to the “next thing” in life. When this happens, it’s easy to lose sight of all that I have to be joyful about right now. To guard against this, one of the easiest things to do is to notice all of the simple, little joys that are a part of everyday life today. So for fun, I put together a list of ways we can see the daily pleasures amidst the mundane tasks we all have to do each day.
These ideas are not exhaustive, and they are more of my own taste, but the beauty of it is that you can use them to create your own. In reality, at this very moment you are reading this, there is an incredible amount of details woven into the tapestry of our daily lives that speak of the goodness of God. This is so vital for me to remember, especially on those days where everything went wrong!
~ Twenty One Simple Joys ~
When you have your coffee in the morning, heat up your mug first with boiling water from a tea pot; it will stay hot longer and warm your belly as you hold the mug. Daily rituals can be some of the most powerful ways to cultivate contentment. One of my favorites is just coffee, prayer, and Bible reading in the mornings.
Listen to music in the shower and sing out loud. La-la!
Wear an apron when you cook. My favorites are a bit girly, but the thing is to find one you really like. Check out a few here.
Swing on a swing! Truly!
Take candid photos of people when they don’t know it and then surprise them later by sending them your superb photography. ‘Superb’ is a subjective term here, but people like seeing photos of themselves.
A clean, uncluttered room. Similarly, the smell of freshly washed sheets.
Invite a friend over that you haven’t talked to in awhile, and make them lunch, tea, or dinner. There is something very satisfying about giving emotional, spiritual, and physical sustenance to someone in need over a simple meal.
Shut the door to your room, put on your headphones to the music of your choice and then shake it, girl! If you have kids, you all can dance together! (You might want to drop the blinds too in order to not distract the neighbors).
Play any sport where people won’t throw you out of the game because you just accidentally passed or threw the ball to the wrong person. (Of course, I have never done that!)
Here is one I don’t do enough: call someone you haven’t talked to in awhile. Or just call anyone who might be in a rough patch. Ask her questions, and let her talk. Pray with her over the phone instead of texting. God often uses other people to teach us contentment too.
Who can refuse fresh flowers anywhere and at anytime?
The satisfaction of paying your bills on time or watching your savings account grow.
Go to a local sports game; it doesn’t have to be at the professional level, although that would be sweet if you could swing it without spending a ton of money.
Wear a twirly skirt that swings! Spin in circles when no one’s looking or with your child!
Put something in your car that makes it smell good; clean out your car so you don’t have to apologize about its woeful state every time you give someone a ride.
Invite a few friends out on a picnic when the weather is nice. Make sandwiches and don’t forget a bit of chocolate for everyone!
The feeling after a good workout.
This one is quite traditional: write an actual, bona-fide handwritten letter to a friend (gasp!) and drop it in snail mail with a pretty stamp. It doesn’t have to be long! She will be so surprised that her eyebrows will become permanently arched. Plus, there is something sweet (or romantic) about resuscitating a dying art in the form of letter writing.
Go to a church with some friends where the culture or demographic is different from your own; learn a few words in another language if applicable and enjoy the diversity in the body of Christ.
Surprise someone who is going through a rough time. Put together a little “encouragement basket” with some of her favorite things or items you know she’s been wanting to check out, even if you let her borrow your own stuff. This could include music, books, food, flowers, a handwritten note, or a modest gift card.
Please Share: How do you like to cultivate gratefulness and contentment in practical ways without spending a lot of money?
Sunshine is a teacher living in the East Bay of California. She has traveled to Ethiopia, Cambodia, Ireland, England, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the Darien Jungle in Panama. Sunshine enjoys discipleship at her church and makes a mean tortilla soup.