I’ve done a lot of thinking about my life over the past few years, and perhaps I’ve done more in the past few months than ever before. With a new baby in my life and a move abroad, there is not much semblance of  predictable patterns in our lives. Rather, we are re-creating those patterns of daily lives, which is often stressful and emotionally demanding.

One incredibly positive thing I’ve realized through all of my recent life transitions is that much of my joy comes from simple, common, everyday activities. A cuddle in bed with the family, a big bear hug, a simple meal at home, a good book, or a walk outdoors.

Part of our motivation for moving abroad was the sense of adventure, the sense of re-locating and re-creating our lives. There is always a thrill in setting up, in moving, in change.

Yet, perhaps I owe it to this season of my life, but I can clearly see that what I need most, and what I cherish most, is not adventure or foreign travel, but home (wherever that might be). Yes, I’ve quoted Mark Twain in another posting, with his inspiring words to live at sea and allow the trade winds to take you far. These days, I long for land, a place to call home.

My love for the simple and common is best summarized by Max Lucado in his book, Six Hours One Friday (Multnomah Publishers 1989). He writes, “”Gratitude. More aware of what you have than what you don’t. Recognizing the treasure in the simple–a child’s hug, fertile soil, a golden sunset. Relishing in the comfort of the common–a warm bed, a hot meal, a clean shirt.”

Relishing in the comfort of the common. Treasure in the simple.

These two sentences encapsulate my desires. That out of the comfort of the common I find enough satisfaction for my life. It is only out of the ordinary that extraordinary can be explored.

I also loved the rebuking words, “Your complaints are not over the lack of necessities but the abundance of benefits. You bellyache over the frills, not the basics; over benefits, not essentials. The source of your problems is your blessings.”

How true. More often than not, I find myself complaining about things even though I live a life of abundance. I have never gone hungry, never been without a bed to sleep in, never been without family who care for me. Despite these blessings, I still have a tendency to complain, at least in my heart, about the way things ought to be, or the way I wish things would be.

If I am to be live a satisfied life, I must choose the common and the simple, and be thankful for a life of abundance.