Monday, September 26

The spiritual discipline of noticing small things

I have a problem with wishing.

These days, I wish that the last vestige of summer would be gone and the crisp, cool days of Autumn would begin.

But before long, I'll be ready for Autumn to be over and I'll be wishing for the Christmas season to arrive.

Then it will be Winter, and I'll be wishing mightily for Winter to be past and for Spring to arrive.

Spring will come, but with it will come lots of pollen and probably lots of rain, so I'll start wishing for the blue-sky days of Summer.

Summer will linger, and I'll wish for Autumn to come quickly.  And it'll start all over again.

Another year will have passed, long on wishing but short on savoring.

Lately I've felt that God sees me wishing the days away and wants something different for me. I've heard Him inviting me simply to rest in His presence every day and to enjoy the gifts of each season.

The trouble is, I tend to think of God's "gifts" in broad, expansive terms, often forgetting to look for the small, specific gifts that might fill my days. And while I'm looking for universal beauty, tiny treasures can go unnoticed. Do you know what I mean?

So right now, in this no-longer-summer-but-not-quite-fall season,  I'm practicing the discipline of keeping my eyes open, of noticing small things. Turns out that there is beauty everywhere if I just have eyes to see it.

Like these mushrooms growing in the damp soil right next to my driveway.

Or this tiny frog perched on a basket on my front porch.

Can you see him?

Dear Lord, forgive me for going through my days with my eyes closed to the beauty around me, never seeing what is here while I wish for the next thing! Help me to notice the small things so that I can rest in Your presence and enjoy the gifts of this season with You.

Lord willing, the next season will arrive soon enough; I'll be savoring this one while it lasts.

What about you? Do you struggle with wishing the seasons away? Want to join me in the discipline of noticing small things?


  1. This is so true and I hope I can remember this each day as the seasons change. We often all say that each day is a gift... We need to remember that and unwrap the gifts from God, even the littlest ones.

  2. Thank you for encouraging us to remember to open our eyes more to the gifts around us, Richella. When fall nears, I often feel kind of downhearted just knowing that the cold winter is nearer. But God reminded me to find the beauty in each season, so I'm trying. :) I smiled when I saw the mushroom, because I took a pic of one, too, a few days ago as I took a walk in the neighborhood. And I love the frog! He's so cute! When I see a frog it reminds me of an acronym for it to "Fully Rely On God." :) Thank you for lightening my day! God bless! (I'm so glad I was behind you at Jennifer's :))

  3. Great photos! And great reminder to look for beauty in the small things. So true that there is beauty in every season- we just have to slow down and be intentional in looking for it.

  4. Like you, I find myself doing the same thing with the seasons, especially. And there are reasons we do that that are somewhat understandable but we need to keep it in perspective I suppose. I love the thought of stopping to notice the small things all around me, in fact, sometimes I feel like I waste a bit too much time taking so many photos...finding the smallest, minute thing to capture in all the detail I can. And then I stop and realize that photography is a form of worship for me. Thanks for making me feel a little less guilty! Great post, Richella :)

  5. Very insightful and very true. I think we've all wished our lives away at times.
    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

  6. Yes, it seems we live unsatisfied with our current day, looking forward to the future. And yet think of all the things we miss out on in our current day. Thanks for the reminder to notice the small things in our current day and the here and now.

  7. Yes, yes. I was here too - this was me before I gave myself permission to stop and enjoy the small things I so greatly enjoy but never made time to do. I love your blog so I will be popping back in for sure. Thanks for taking time to share this with us!!

  8. Beautifully written, Richella. I've also been trying to slow my life down and take notice of the small beauties around us, but it is something that I need to be reminded to do daily.

  9. Thank you for this invitation into the slow attention-paying life. Fall is my favorite, and every single detail is worthy of all five of my senses.

  10. Oh Richella, I needed to be reminded of this! Thank you so much!! God bless you!


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