I have come to realize that we often take things for granted. I know we don’t mean to, or do so on purpose; but we get so busy with living life, that we don’t allow ourselves the time to appreciate the small things that God gives us in this life.
And, there are so many wonderful things in life that we need to stop and enjoy! As I stated above, many of these things are small, and they are different for everyone—but please, do yourself a favor and take time to “smell the roses.”
I would be willing to bet that there are a least a few, simple things that you do each week that you enjoy. Stop and take a moment to really think about it. That cup of coffee you grab or make each morning, don’t you love that? Of course you do! But, do you actually take the time to savor the flavor, to let the warmth fill you up?
That shower that you jump in to and out of in the morning or at night for five minutes, has it turned into just a way to keep yourself clean? If so, adjust your schedule, add in ten extra minutes, and allow yourself that extra time to zone out and get out of your own head. You can cleanse your body, your mind, and your soul all at the same time.
At some point during the week, I am going to assume that there will be some sunshine outside. Make it a point to get out there and feel the warmth of it on your face. Even if it is only for a minute as you walk from your car into your office building, revel in that vitamin D and allow it to revitalize you.
Do you have a crappy, long commute? Use that time wisely to listen to something you enjoy. That may be music, a podcast, or a book on tape. Turn that dreaded, negative time in the car, into something positive that you actually look forward to. I mean, if you have to be in your car on that long drive anyway, why not use that time for something you enjoy?
While reading this post, have you realized that you are missing some of the small things in life? If so, I urge you to do whatever you must to add those things back in. Some of them only take a few moments to add back in. You just need to be aware of yourself and your environment. Honestly, it is just an adjustment in your mind-set. Just start to be more aware of your surroundings, and take them in. Start to be appreciative of the small things. This allows you to have an attitude of gratitude. And, this in turn, allows you to be a happier person. How great is that?
I truly believe that if we take the time to be conscious of the simple joys in life, and to be thankful to God for them, we will become happier, more fulfilled people. Plus, the more we look around for things to be thankful for, the more we will find! God gives us an endless supply of beauty and blessings – we just have to open our eyes to them!
One of my most favorite things in this world is music. There are so many different kinds and each one is wonderful and unique and serves a purpose in its own right. I like just about every kind of music there is. I don’t think there has ever been one type or genre I have heard that didn’t make an impression on me in some form or fashion.
The great thing about music is that it is medicinal. I truly believe that music has the power to heal us, to make us happy, to make us whole. I mean, honestly, when you hear a song you really like, doesn’t your mood change? Don’t you feel instantly happier? Isn’t being happy a great thing? Isn’t that medicinal?
Music has this magical way of transforming us. It can calm and soothe. It can change our mood. It can make us laugh and smile. The lyrics can open our eyes and make us think. They can make remind of what is important, or not to take things too seriously. These are all good things!
Music also has this way of transporting us. It is a time machine. I know that you know exactly what I mean. When we hear songs from our past, our minds take us back to specific times and places and feelings. Isn’t that wonderful and amazing??
Often in life, I think many people have wished for a “happy pill”—an ingestible something that we can take to make us happy. Well, isn’t that what music is? But, instead of ingesting it through our mouths, we ingest it through our ears! And, thanks to today’s technology, it is cheap and readily available. Oh, and I promise you, if you listen to the right kind, to the kind that you enjoy—whatever that is, it will lift your spirit!
Back in May of last year, Chau Tu wrote an article for The Atlantic called “Can Music Be Used as Medicine?” It is a fascinating article that, I believe, proves that music is indeed medicine. You can read the article here.
And, the next time you are feeling down, or lonely, or sad, remember to crank up some music that you love. You will start to feel better in no time!
Yesterday, my hubby and I returned from a quick trip to celebrate our four-year wedding anniversary. Apparently year four is magic. Or, at least in our case it was.
We went to Universal Orlando Resort to finally check out in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If you are a true Harry Potter fan, like I am, then you have got to go visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Paul and I have been to Universal before, but not since the upgrade of adding Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts Express. And, believe me when I tell you, the word for it is definitely magical!
Diagon Alley is amazing! I didn’t want to leave. All the little details, I could have literally spent days taking it all in. Knockturn Alley, The Leaky Cauldron, Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, Ollivanders Wand Shop, Borgin and Burkes, Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment, Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions and Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour were all there! Being the ice cream lover that I am, I especially enjoyed trying the clotted cream flavor – completely delicious!! I also like the Butterbeer, but it was actually a little too sweet for my taste. I could only drink one cup of it.
The first afternoon we were there, we were looking around all the shops, at all the cool stuff you can buy. I immediately realized that I needed to go online to be sorted into a house, before I could buy anything. They had Gryffindor stuff, Slytherin stuff, Ravenclaw stuff, and Hufflepuff stuff. I naturally gravitated towards Hufflepuff, as their main color is yellow, and my favorite color is yellow. But, I wanted to go online and be tested, to see what house the Sorting Hat would put me into.
I took four online tests that evening--one, being pretty extensive, with more than 100 questions. You can check it out here. Then, of course, I took the test at Pottermore. All four online tests sorted me into Ravenclaw. Considering the fact that Luna Lovegood, Sybill Trelawney, and Garrick Ollivander are all Ravenclaws, I figure I am in great company!
There are also some great rides you have got to check out while you are there. The newest one is Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. It is a 3-D ride and definitely awesome. Oh, and it is the only ride at Universal. There are three other rides on the Islands of Adventure side: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Flight of the Hippogriff, and Dragon Challenge. Being a roller coaster lover, my favorite was Dragon Challenge. This is actually a pair of roller coasters, one blue and one red. The red one was much more fun, in my opinion!
Now, I need a few days to rest. And, I would like to re-read all the books now. Can we magically stop time for a little while so I can do both of these? Thanks! :D
In life, it is important to take care of yourself. And, in my mind, there are at least four ways in which you must take care of yourself: physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. Juggling all four of these can be hard. Sometimes, it is hard to even know where to begin, on what area to focus.
While I don’t claim to be an expert in the area of taking care of yourself, I have come to realize that doing the following three things will help set you on the right path.
If you want to look at some other ways to start taking better care of yourself, I recommend reading this article on greatist.com. In it, Alexandra Duron highlights 25 science-backed ways to change your life by taking better care of yourself.
I believe that taking care of yourself, in any and every way possible, is the greatest gift you can ever give to yourself. Because, the way I see it, if you don’t take care of yourself, how can you possibly take care of anyone or anything else?
I am so glad you are here! I am Erica Strickland, a girl who loves God. My goal here is to simply share His love and light.