LOUISE: It’s the Little Things

Floral heartJune marks many events. Weddings. The beginning of summer. Father’s Day. Vacations. Family reunions. Summer camp. The list goes on. We plan for some of these things all year long. They become our complete focus. Yet when all these events are over and you look back, it’s often the little things that mean the most. Somehow, the ordinary exceeds the extraordinary.

For instance, think of your last vacation. What stood out more than anything else? Was it the place? The people? The scenery? The travel? Perhaps it was “all of the above.” Vacations are exciting and wonderful. I remember traveling across half a dozen states in a van with my husband and three kids years ago and it was fun. But oh, the comforts of home after that two week jaunt. Just stepping into your own house after an extended trip, surrounded by familiar things and people you love, is one of the sweetest parts of a trip. It’s not that there weren’t great highlights on those vacation adventures, it’s just always good to get home.

It’s the same with life events. Take birthdays for example. My son, Jay, just celebrated his latest and he absolutely loved the gifts and cake and blowing out the candles, but what he enjoyed most were the friends who shared the celebration. The smiles and the hugs. It’s often the things we take for granted that become the most important parts of our lives and we don’t always realize it until it is over.

It’s the little things that make us happy. It’s the little things we miss most when life takes a difficult turn. Last year, Jay was in the hospital for a week with pneumonia. As I sat by his side, praying for his health, I kept wishing we were home, taking our daily trip to Sonic for a Coke. I just wanted the “ordinary” back. A daily routine quickly loses all monotony in the face of an illness or tragedy.

Of course, we all know that June is famous for weddings. But no matter the date, every bride has a secret memory. I was married in March and one of my sweetest memories is something no one else saw. It was the way Carl looked at me when we stood face to face in the cold, blowing snow in front of his Army barracks and said our goodbye just eight hours after we were wed, knowing we would be separated for several months. Only I could interpret the love in that glance. A little thing that spoke volumes.

Floral illustrationAnd now with Carl in heaven, I definitely miss all the big things in our life. I miss the celebration of anniversaries, the trips we planned and more. But what I miss most are the little things. The conversation at the dinner table. A phone call in the middle of the day. Carl’s arm around me at Sunday morning church. His strong voice that held great pride when he said, “This is my wife.” I miss his touch, his smile and his gentleness with our children and grandchildren.

Sometimes people can help us with the big things in life. Money for education. A car for transportation. Perhaps even a new house or a surprise trip to the Bahamas. But no one can replace the little things in our lives that eventually become our most important moments.

So today, I challenge you to stop and take notice of the ordinary, everyday things in your life. Embrace them. Enjoy them. Appreciate them. Then thank God for those “little things” that will forever make your life special.

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