Little Things

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder”. ~ G. K. Chesterton

It’s the little things, done consistently in love, that make life sweet. That’s what I’m thankful for most this year. Life has its Big Moments. The life-changing, earth shaking events, positive or negative, that shape us, and when we rise to the occasion and help others through those times, it is never forgotten.

EmandWilliam2011

Will and his baby sister back in 2011. Will calls her from college just to talk.

Most of life, however, is made up of small things and small moments. The daily grind, we sometimes call it. It can seem monotonous, day after day, doing the same things for our family, going through the seasons with the same tasks in front of us. But the days we have with our family can be sweet or not, depending on what is done in those small moments. It’s a consistent theme in my writing lately, because it is frequently on my mind.

Sam and Laura came over with the babies the other night and set up our Christmas tree. They knew Tom has been working until late at night playing a long-running show and the tree simply wouldn’t have gotten brought down from the rafters and set up without help.

They had the job done quickly between them, and we were grateful for their help. It was a “little thing”, but it meant a lot. The next morning I woke up to find that Tom had shoveled the drive and sidewalks, put all the bins back in the attic, vacuumed up the living room after the tree decorating, and had hung up the mistletoe for good measure, all while getting ready for work. All those “little things” added up to a big blessing, as I am limited in my physical strength right now.

When I make Emmy’s lunch, I put little notes in to surprise her. It’s a little touch and a little thing, but it brings a smile to her face. Some day she’ll remember that. I message Tom and my kids with a reminder of my love during the day. Just a little warm thing in a cold world. A little decoration on the dinner table, a little laugh with a child. Life sweeteners.

Thank you, dear friends and family for the things you do in love. Some of us don’t feel we have much to give, but the “little things” are so very important. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for all the little things you allow us to enjoy through the hands and hearts of those around us.

My son, Sam, wrote this about his wife, Laura, and I wanted to share it.

LauraWhat makes a good husband or wife? If you ask most people, it is the intense excitement of being in love. And yet, as any couple who has had a successful marriage will tell you, emotional fireworks have almost nothing to do with true, enduring love. True love, in its essence, is found in the many small sacrifices spouses make for one another. Sometimes these are acts of self-denial, other times they are positive acts of kindness. But they are all characterized by generous self-giving, which is the heart of love.

Far too many couples catalog faults and slights and wrongs. Bitterness and resentment set in, and all too soon, the smallest slight has erupted into an angry shouting match. How different our marriages would be if we instead noticed and cataloged these small acts of sacrifice! Gratitude for and appreciation of our spouses would increase, and we would find our hearts overflowing with a new affection.

I give thanks for my wife. In countless ways little ways that are, in fact, heroic, she is a blessing to me and our children. From making breakfast early in the morning to patiently instructing a screaming toddler to surprising me with coffee on a cold day, her life is almost a constant act of self-giving. To my dear wife, I say thank you. You show me the meaning of true love. I hope I too can be as generous as you.

“Like the sun rising in the Lord’s heavens, the beauty of a virtuous wife is the radiance of her home.”

~ Samuel Guzman

(Emmy, giving my friend, Esther, a hug when we visited her a few months before she passed away. It was a little thing Emmy could do and willingly did, but it meant much to Esther who did not often get hugs.)

Esther

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