Some days it is hard.
Some days it is easy.
Some days they are abundant and clear.
Some days they are abundant......................and ignored.

The sweet little moments in life that bring joy, peace, laughter, and happiness are there.

We just have to see them and acknowledge them.

For several months I have been trying a little experiment.  I am the only one who knows about this project...till now.  I have been trying to focus on the little things because some of the big things are so very overwhelming!   These big things are hard.  These big things are can drain the hope from us.  These big things.....

2 dear friends battling cancer.
Torn tendon surgery and recovery.
Business growth slowed because of time away for surgery.
Potential war.
Youth that are facing tough challenges.

Even writing this list...and it could be longer but this was enough....changes my mood.

Are these important things?  YES.
Are these things worthy of focus, prayer and energy?  YES.  And that will NEVER change.
Are these the things that I should focus everything on?  NO.

But I was.

Some of these things were creeping into my thoughts constantly and.....they were changing me.  And I didn't like the change.  I was no good for anyone who needed me...or myself...when I put the all my energy into dwelling about these things.

In my studio hangs a sign.  It is not a fancy sign, with a strong yet simple font that spells out a quote that I look at every day.  But one day I looked at it and decided.....not thought, pondered or considered....but decided to make it a priority to be on the lookout for the little things in my life that make me smile.

Since I am a visual gal I documented many of these on Instagram.  I didn't take pictures of ALL of the things that I noticed for several reasons.  One reason is that it is not even possible.....because some were just found in a quiet conversation or in a very public place where it would be super creepy for me to take a picture of the checkout lady in Target who smiles even when someone is rude to her!  The other reason is my daughter would tell me I was really uncool for posting too many pictures! ;)

So what caught my eye?

Here are some of the little things that I noticed.....

There is an older gentleman who works at one of the paint stores I love.  
He works hard and always has a smile for me.  
His hands remind me of my Papa.  

These are the hands of some amazingly cool high school gals who I have the privilege of seeing each week and walking through life with. 
 The bracelets symbolize the hope we have.  

I am not normally a big "angels" gal, but this cloud formation was stunning.
The arms of an angel.

We don't have a dog anymore but I LOVE golden retrievers.
This sweet gal was our house guest and the best design assistant.

Our youngest, Noah, still holds on to his bunny.
That bunny has been around for 8 1/2 years.
Noah...and Bunny... just pulled up a stool and chatted with me while I worked.
A quiet sweet moment.

I love color.  The beauty of it sometimes moves me significantly.
This pastel rainbow looks like a mess to most people but to me....gorgeous.

Our oldest son is in his senior year of college.  Now it was time to take our daughter.  
This was the night before we moved her into the dorm.  Her little brothers and she were looking at a menu of over 200 ice cream sundaes and shakes.  
I love how Noah couldn't stop looking at her, soaking her up while he could...
and Luke, as always, was aware of me and knew I was taking the moment in 
and checked on me with a smile.

There are many busy days in the studio for Cellar Designs. 
But thankfully the busy-ness is done with this right outside my window.  
A new hydrangea plant blooming for the first time.  

Cancer sucks.  
(I hate that word but do allow myself to use it when describing extremely tough stuff)
This thoughtful thank you card came from a friend 
who is fighting hard against breast cancer.
All I did was help her change the look of her blog which took all of 30 minutes!  
What I am doing is easy.  She is doing the hard stuff.  
It should be me thanking her for inspiring me. 

Sometimes it is necessary to bring my color samples to the home 
where the future sign will reside.
For me....this is like joy in a bag.

This is the sawdust that covers our garage floor many days.  
Many people would see this and see a mess.
I see it and clearly recognize a kind, thoughtful man who works all day 
and then comes home to cut wood for me. 
 I don't see sawdust.  I see love. 

And this last one is from today.  
As I was leaving the gym a flash of red caught my eye in a sea of green 
that has been around for months and months.
The first sign of my favorite season.
The rich beauty of autumn is around the corner!

Focusing on the little things has brought me back to my true self.  A content gal.  

Each little thing is a gift.  

A promise.  


May you not be completely overwhelmed with the big things.

May you shift your focus to the little things.
May you acknowledge the change in yourself....whether a good one or a bad one.
May you.....enjoy the little things, for one day you might look back and realize 
they WERE the big things.   

September 13, 2013 — Sarah Stevens

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