judithreidweb.gif“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things…” – Soundtrack, Sound of Music

They say that time flies when you’re having fun. If that is true, then I guess I haven’t been having fun, because six weeks of being away from my family has felt like an eternity. Time has gone slowly.

I have been hanging out in Jamaica, trying to make some life decisions in my favorite place on earth. In reality, I have been eating fresh fruit, waking up to clouds rolling across low-lying mountains, and taking long drives into the countryside, stopping along the way to enjoy my favorite “roadside foods.” 

I’ve been spending lazy Sundays hanging out with friends, watching cricket and bonding with relatives. With no money to spare, I have been enjoying life’s little pleasures.

Yet I miss the craziness of my family: The sounds of laughter that make the house a home. The joy of hearing my grandson spell the newest word he learned in school. Sunday lunches at church. More of life’s little pleasures.

Life’s little pleasures surround us every day. Sadly, too many people pass them by without recognizing their true value.

God never promised that life wouldn’t have its challenges, but he has surrounded us with a host of simple pleasures to help us make it through. Breathtaking sunsets and moonlit nights. Summer beach days and gelato on the boardwalk. A small child’s hug and movie nights on the couch. All around us, life’s little pleasures can make the difference.

In these difficult economic times, we must get back to basics. Back to the Eden that God created in the very beginning. Before credit-card dinners and family vacations, there were homemade sandwiches and family picnics in the park. Before there were cars and state-of-the-art gyms, there were bicycle rides and long walks with friends. And before there were more than 1,000 TV channels filled with mind-numbing shows, there were good books to read. Basics.

God is calling us back to a heart of thanksgiving and gratefulness that helps us to enjoy the beauty around us. Don’t get caught up in the prophecies of doom and gloom.  Close your ears to the cacophony of voices in your head and open your heart to God’s gentle daily reminders of his promises to supply our needs.

In the meantime, enjoy it all. The cleansing rain that quenches the thirsty ground and waters the wildflowers blooming along Florida’s Turnpike. The regal heron that strikes a pose on the banks of a canal juxtaposed with the multi-colored iguanas lazily sunning themselves. The brilliant sunshine that defines a perfect beach day. And the heartbeat of a child falling asleep on my chest.

These are a few of my favorite things.

Judith Falloon-Reid is the founder of ByHisWord Outreach Ministries and host of Gospel Rhythms, a Gospel Entertainment TV Show airing weekly on MTM TV in the Caribbean. For more information about Falloon-Reid and Gospel Rhythms, log on to www.gospelrhythms.org.