When the World Feels Big

I’m just dipping my toes into the Enneagram, a personality structure. I’m pretty sure I’m a Type One which means Perfectionist or Reformer. One of the strengths of this type is that I’m always looking for ways to make the world a better place. One of its weaknesses is that I have trouble stopping to notice the beauty in the moment.

IMG_8428There are so many studies and books about the importance of daily gratitude. It makes sense that pausing to be grateful is healthy. It changes our perspective and helps to ground us.

I especially need to remember the small moments when the world feels big and overwhelming. In my head, I know that the small daily things are world-changing but my feelings don’t always match up. When I stop and remember the beauty, I remember this important daily work of loving my girls, loving my family, loving my neighbors is really what does change the world. Calling my congresspeople is essential, but it doesn’t trump loving my neighbors.

So today, as we walked to school in 13-degree temperatures, I’m thankful for the opportunity to walk to school every day. We talk with the crossing guards, have gotten to know other kids and parents, and have formed community, even when it would be more comfortable to drive.

IMG_8376I’m thankful for the opportunity to volunteer every week with other moms as they learn English. They’ve taught me so much and I feel much more connected to our school community because of them. I’ve learned about immigration in ways I never could have by reading articles.

I’ve thankful for the flexibility to be at home with Elle during these little years. It’s tiring and boring but it’s also such a gift to follow her lead if we need a pajama day or a museum day or something in between.

Remembering the beauty around me in these small moments gives me the energy to push back against systems that need reform and gives me hope for the future.

How do you reenergize for the strength to be active in your community? How do you pause and recognize beauty in the everyday moments?

Linked with Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing. Today’s prompt is “beauty.”


12 thoughts on “When the World Feels Big

  1. I discovered Enneagram last year and it’s been amazing, especially for my husband. (I’m a One with a Two wing, he’s a Four with a Five wing). As a mom, I find it very difficult to recognize the beauty of the daily moments. Around here it’s mostly mess and it’s been difficult to see past it to the wonder. (Also, if you haven’t read Road Back to You, I highly recommend it as well as the podcast by the author).

    1. Oh, I hear you on the mess! I know I’m supposed to embrace it but it’s just so hard… And I hear one day I’ll look back nostalgically but it’s hard to imagine. 😉 Yes! “The Road Back to You” was such a good intro! Someone just let me borrow “The Sacred Enneagram” but I haven’t started it yet…

  2. I especially like being surprised by the beauty that can be found in a mess. For me, it’s often seen in men working to change their lives. As the Gungor song sings, God makes beauty out of everything.

    1. Seeing what comes from our mess is so incredible, isn’t it? It’s hard to really see it in the moment but I love looking back and seeing where God has been all along…

  3. Beautiful, Annie. I’ve been hearing about enneagrams, but I haven’t taken the test yet. I love how intentional you are in mothering, relationships, and being a change-maker in your community. I find that spotting natural beauty has become easier. I love to look for it, and God sometimes surprises me in the most delightful ways. I find beauty in my husband and my boys. In seeing one person show kindness to another. Being a witness to that always refreshes me.

    1. The enneagram is interesting but hasn’t been life-changing (for me.) I do love new personality insights though. 😉 Your hashtag #alittlebitofpretty is so inspiring to me! I love how you take time to notice all God has given us, just in this incredible scenery.

  4. I have yet to take the enneagram. Hopefully soon! But I teach spiritual gifts and SHAPE. How beautiful is God’s design that our differences connect us and make us better together. I reenergize by brainstorming and reading encouraging words spoken from ancient times until now.

    1. I first took the spiritual gifts assessment in high school and I’m amazed at how it’s remained true. Of course, the way I practice my gifts looks completely different but the core is the same. So cool!

  5. Pausing to savour small moments of beauty is hard in certain seasons and circumstances of our lives but such a worthwhile spiritual practice to try to do. Thank you for this lovely reminder, Annie, and for the intriguing thoughts about the enneagram. I’ve yet to take the test but feel I should as I keep hearing about it! 🙂

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