The Best Things in Life…


The first few days of summer are checked off the books and done.  Since the weather here in the Willamette valley is not cooperating at the moment, and it feels more like spring, the kids are getting restless.  So in an effort to keep my children busy and reading this summer, I took them to the Public Library to check out books.


As a kid I spent a lot of time at the local library.  My love affair with books began at a young age.  It has continued through-out my life, but now with the invention of the eBook I don’t spend much time at the library anymore.  As we entered this fine establishment I immediately felt a familiar love for the quiet and comforting atmosphere.  One thing I remember vividly about the library was the need to whisper.  The library was kind of like church.  It was designed for study and not for play.  It was to be respected and revered.  It was supposed to be quiet.  My children have trouble with this principle.  I continually had to remind them to whisper.  I did not want our first summer experience tainted by being kicked out of the library.  I also wanted my kids to enjoy the library like I always did.  Could they enjoy the experience if I was continually telling them to be quiet?

As I looked around I realized the people at the library were from all different walks of life, and some of them were not being quiet either.  I figured if they were allowed to stay we would be allowed as well.  I decided to smile and go with the flow.

As we were checking out, the library employee told us about their summer reading program for kids.  If my kids signed up they would be allowed to choose a free book to keep!  I couldn’t believe our luck.  As I previously mentioned, I love books.  Therefore, a free book is a fantastic bonus.  The kids were excited to leave with their gift, and I was pleased with myself for encouraging their love for the written word.

As I left the building and sprinted through the torrential downpour of our “summer” rainstorm, I contemplated the simple joy of free things.  Not just the surprise of getting something for free that normally costs money, but the things in life that are free and cannot be purchased.

Are the best things in life really free?

I decided to ask the question on Facebook, here are some of the responses:

  • Baby kisses and giggles
  • Joy my kids bring to me
  • Naps  (not really free… I always pay dearly for them).
  • Beautiful gardens and beaches
  • Kindness and compassion
  • Sunshine
  • Salvation
  • The soft skin of my children
  • Swimming in the river
  • Reading a good book
  • Someone else watching my kids… for free!
  • Hiking
  • God’s love
  • Laughter
  • Prayer
  • A sunrise or a sunset
  • Blue skies and green grass
  • Hugs
  • Love
  • Forgiveness
  • Grace
  • Advice
  • Encouraging words

I have to admit I agreed with all the items on this list.  But are they really free?  Perhaps they are better described as gifts.   A gift is free to the one who receives it, but it was due to the thought, time, and action of another.  All the best things in life are freely given and cannot be earned, but some are quite costly to give.

"Image courtesy of {Christian Southworth, BrandonSigma}/"