Monday, September 20, 2010

Simple Pleasures by Heidi Avery

It happens every time. Lush, beautiful, aromatic vines of yellow honeysuckle faithfully transport me to the backyard of my grandparent’s home in Iowa. Sweet honey nectar bursts to life on my 10 year old tongue. I scan the yard and there sits the lifeless tire swing; it begs me to run at it and plunge into its center; my long, black pig tails toss back and forth as I swing.

The hot summer sun sends me inside where the kitchen table is piled with fresh green beans just waiting for my eager little hands to snip off every one of their pointy ends. Then my eyes catch a glimpse of it… the closed door leading to an upstairs mystery of clothing and mementos from years past.

I saunter off to steal a peak and to plot a secret discovery mission, but just as I grip the knob I hear something even more alluring. My ears perk at the methodic sound of the creaking, low-back wooden rocking chair moving against the hard wood floor of the front room. In it sits my grandmother; I crawl onto her lap and into her embrace as she lovingly rocks my sleepy eyes closed. I love it here. This place is a veritable treasure box of simple pleasures.

-Insert hair raising, face scrunching record scratch here-

Violent shaking and pulling followed by whiney high pitched tones rip me from this tender trip down memory lane. My left arm is under a complete and brutal attack by a 4 year old dream stealing princess who is hungry. At the same time a 6 year old antagonizer zips past me, something pink and stuffed clutched tightly in his arms. Trailing behind him is the 8 year old victim wildly chasing and screaming “give me my unicorn!” 

Oh my.

A single question resonates in my heart… “Lord, where are the simple pleasures now?”

It’s then that I envision the seething smile on the face of Satan as he anticipates the chaos in my life rendering me blind to the many simple pleasures that God intended for me to enjoy. John 10:10 reminds me…

“The thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).

It may take a very intentional look past my husband’s demanding, stress-filled career alongside our hectic homeschool life to identify the simple pleasures, but they are absolutely there and in precious abundance.

Simple pleasures weave themselves throughout even my most difficult days and they present themselves as perfect blessings from the Lord…

In the quiet, gentle kiss brushed across my face as my husband leaves for work each day.

In the little sleepy angels who fly into the warmth of my bed to snuggle each morning.

In every pride-filled moment of learning and new discovery that homeschooling brings.

In their joyful smiles, bear hugs, butterfly kisses and I love yous that are far too many to count.

In the cherished alone-time with my husband where we share and sort out our daily troubles and triumphs.

And, in the endless family fun… homemade nachos, games, movies and popcorn, snow days, beach days, and more.

All of this enjoyment and comfort is far sweeter and more deeply valued than even those from the summer visits to my grandparents. They are unique and matchless solely because they are born from the beloved gifts that God himself has given only to me.

*Posted in response to Rachel Olsen's Simple Pleasure Carnival thank you Rachel!!


  1. These days end much sooner than you think!
    Good to see you're savoring each moment!

  2. You made me weepy. It's true. Life can go rushing past in a wild fury and we can so easily miss the joy of a peanut butter baby kiss.

  3. Beautiful, beautiful post. Your list of "simple pleasures" from your children is just perfect. My son's smile never fails to melt my heart, and I'm constantly amazed at how much of a blessing he is and how much love is poured out in our family.

    Beautifully written, too. Thank you for this post.

    In Christ,

  4. I agree with the others! Beautiful post! Cherish evry moment, they grow up so fast!!

  5. I love it... Your use of words is perfect! Love you my friend!

  6. Beautiful post! You took me back to my childhood memories with my Grandmama & Papa on their farm. Wonderful memories!


  7. I love the thought that God gives us simple pleasures that are just for us. He knows what moves us and he uses it in our lives every day as a reminder of him. Thank you for sharing from your heart. I will pay more attention to the simple pleasures all around me.

  8. Ahh the eternal battle for our hearts!
    "Godliness and Contentment are great gain."
    But if our enemy can shift our focus from the many blessings our GOD has showered upon us to the losses we've sustained during our earthly journeys, our joy is depleted.
    May in not be so, for we are Daughters of the KING!
    Thank you for sharing your struggle and your determination to focus on simple pleasures.

  9. Wow- reading this was like a glimpse into my future when my kids are older, as we plan to homeschool as well, and my first two are spaced about 2 years apart. I love John 10:10 and thank you for this reminder! I look forward to following your blog!

  10. Heidi - you've won! :)

    Email me at rachel@proverbs(dot)org and send me your address so I can send you the book.

    Congats and thanks for participating in this month's devotional carnival. I've enjoyed this blog this week and your post.

    Blessings ~ Rachel

  11. Congrats on winning Heidi!! you wrote a beautiful post, I felt like I was in your grandparents backyard with you, smelling the honeysuckle. Congratulations again.

  12. Congratulations Heidi! Great post!