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July 26, 2012

It's the Small Things

I've taken quite a long break between posts.  I haven't felt very motivated or inspired lately.  Here in Oregon, we had an unusually cold, grey June with SO MUCH RAIN.  I am a sun-lover through and through, so that totally grey month put me in a tailspin and sapped me of all my inspiration.  The sun came out after the 4th of July and began to pour its healing warm into my heart and soul.  You'd think that would be all I needed to get back on track, right?  Unfortunately, that didn't happen.  I'm not sure why I just can't seem to get back in the swing of things!  Maybe it's because several of my regularly consistent families decided to take the summer off, leaving large gaps in my predictable schedule.  Maybe it's because I took on several new kids all at once to take their place, and now I have piles of paperwork to complete.  Maybe it's because everyone takes vacations, and they never overlap with mine or the others on my caseload, making continuity very hard to manage.  I feel like I'm starting over every week with at least one child.  I don't remember other summers being so difficult!  And then there's this blog...I never knew writing a blog could make me feel pressured!  Here are some of the things that go through my mind when I think about my posts:  Will anyone read this? Does anyone care?  Is this actually helping anyone?  Why does it have to be so difficult to add a photograph in just the right place?  Did I choose the right photo to begin with?  Will someone "pin" my ideas on Pinterest?  Ugh!  Too much pressure!

So here's how I am attempting to get myself back on track.  I've been reading a book called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  Although I am only about half-way through, I am finding it to be life-changing.  The author took a dare from a friend to find one thousand things she's thankful for, and she chronicles her journey to find them in this book.  She has been transformed from someone who hated to get up in the morning to someone who finds joy and God in the small stuff, all day, every day.

I am trying to do this in my life, recognize how blessed I am, and recognize each tiny blessing for what it is.  If I am successful, I know I will be a better person for it:  a better wife, mother, friend and speech-language pathologist.  I know it will impact the way I do my job.  Already it's making me be more compassionate and acutely aware of the struggles my client's face.  Already it's making me appreciate each little body for who they are and how God made them.  So here is my challenge to myself.  For the rest of the summer, I want to find just FIFTY things I'm grateful for in my life as a speech-language pathologist, and I will list them on this blog.  I'll start with 10 in this post, and hopefully add 10 more each week.

Ann says in her book, "I discover that slapping a sloppy brush of thanksgiving in my life leaves me deeply thankful for very few things in my life."  I am always thankful for parents who arrive on time, checks that arrive each month as planned, kids who do the homework I assign.  I am not going to include those things in my list, for they are painted with the broad stroke of thankfulness. Instead, I am going to look for the small things.  Things that will make me recognize deep gratitude for gifts I receive while doing my job.

So here are 10 things that brought me joy this week.  Some of them are things that make me feel grateful, and some things evoked my compassion, which is an emotion I am grateful to have.

1.  The wonder and discovery in a two-year-old's eyes.

2. The look of surprise and pride on a father's face as he witnesses his toddler daughter imitate his actions on a toy for the very first time.

3.  The unexpected effort from a very-busy-little-friend-who-doesn't-like-to-sit-still to take that tongue depressor and make his tongue say the /k/ sound, and his beaming face after a successful attempt.

4.  A mom saying, "He couldn't wait to come here! You make talking so much fun."

5.  My little three-year-old friend, taking a toy coffee cup and a wooden top and pretending to make cappuccino with it, sound effects and all.

6.  The held-back tears of a mom as she watches her little one with Childhood Apraxia of Speech struggle to say a word that seems so easy to you and me.

7.  My second-grade friend who informed me that he is a flower collector.  Shouldn't we all be???

8.  Colored pasta shapes, all jumbled together...a rainbow in a bowl.

9.  Sweet baby babble, music to my ears.

10.  First words spoken.

Seek joy, my friends.  And find it in the small stuff.



  1. Good to see you back, and I love how you wrote down joyful things.

    Oh, How Pintearesting!

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Laura. They were an encouragement to me at just the right time!