Simple Gifts

Have you learned to appreciate simple gifts?

The well-known Shaker song “Simple Gifts,” written in 1846 by Joseph Brackett, puts forth the ideal of simplicity, which was evident in the Shaker lifestyle. Shaker furniture styles are synonymous with high-quality, clean-lined, simple craftsmanship that is as popular today as it was decades ago. Deep within, we all yearn for simplicity.

Our world is far from simple. We are bombarded daily by technology, noise, and nonstop “breaking” news. Wars and rumors of war lurk on the horizon. Training ourselves to recognize simple gifts must be intentional. Otherwise, we lose connection to simple joys that promote forward motion.

Following are a few of my simple gifts:

Mountain Vistas

We live close to the mountains. A short drive up the interstate highway provides a view of a hazy blue-gray mountain range. The beauty always surprises and delights me. Driving through the mountains provides additional views that are ever-changing and refreshing.

Mountain vistas are one of my simple gifts.

Ocean Sunrises

One of my favorite activities during a beach vacation is to get up early and walk on the beach, awaiting the sunrise. Many others do the same. I’ve noticed no one is in a rush. People aren’t scrolling through social media posts or reading emails. We all stand, or stroll, facing east, awaiting the appearance of first rays on the horizon.

On a cloudy day, the wait is longer, but still, we wait. Sometimes, we’re disappointed, but other times, the sun clears the clouds and bursts forth in all its glory.

Ocean sunrises are one of my simple pleasures.

Unhurried Time in Nature

A perfect day for me starts with unhurried time on our deck. The twitter of birdsong blends with rustling branches. Dappled patches of sunlight create patterns on the lawn. Colorful flowers surround me. In that place, I can think, and create, and pray.

Unhurried deck time is a simple gift.

Family Gatherings

For as long as I can remember, family gatherings were special and joyful. Although big family gatherings no longer happen, having bid farewell to my parents’ generation, times together with cousins, or our immediate family are a gift. Amid the noise, and occasional tears of grandchildren, I sit back and watch, smiling and cherishing every moment.

Family togetherness is a treasured gift.

Giggling Grandchildren

The laughter of grandchildren fills me with joy. Their observations are interesting and thoughtful. Their enthusiasm and sweet snuggles stay with me long after they have gone home.

Grandchildren are a precious gift.

Close Friends

Last week, I had the pleasure of gathering with my girlfriends for lunch and swimming. This casual, slow afternoon with trusted friends was a balm for weariness and a source of encouragement.

Sometimes we forget that friendship is a blessing, a simple gift too often unappreciated.

The Joy of the Present

In our fast-paced world, we sometimes find ourselves focused so far ahead that we forget to enjoy right now. Even if you are facing difficulty that seems never-ending, or feels as if it compounds daily, look for tiny islands of peace and joy in the sea of uncertainty.

Seeing simple gifts in the present fuels energy and courage for what lies ahead.


This year, I’ve read many World War II novels, particularly those dealing with German occupation. The people in occupied countries suffered deprivation, starvation, isolation, fear, random searches, unwarranted killings, winters without electricity or heat, and the loss of freedom to gather and worship. They were denied simple freedoms for years that we take for granted.

After the war, people tried desperately to locate family members deported to German labor camps and children placed in hiding. Some families were never reunited, compounding their loss.

Freedom is far from simple. Our physical freedom and our spiritual freedom were bought with a high price. Let us never forget the gift of freedom.

What are your cherished simple gifts?

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17 NKJV).


Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including:,,,,, Focus on the Family,,, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

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  1. Such a great reminder to SLOW down and be!! Im such a doer that I find myself missing the little things!! Again, God used your blog to encourage me!! Thank you!!’❤️❤️❤️

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