The sound of the tea kettle’s whisper warming up to a whistle, steam rising against my knuckles as I fill my favorite mug, an empty dish drainer, hubby’s lunch already packed, and my girls tucked in—as we often say, it’s the little things. We all have them—little things—that make us grin or groan. A cup of coffee before anyone else is awake (the only cup you get to drink hot without zapping it in the microwave a few times) is what pulls you from your pillow each morning. Leftovers for lunch (or not having to eat leftovers for lunch), fresh undershirts in your drawer, snow on the driveway, or dinner cooked by someone else—the little things.
I am convinced that it is little things that change days, weeks, lives, and legacies. I don’t simply mean to remind of the well-known adage to stop and smell the roses. Yes, there are certainly blessings, which might seem little, around us at any given moment ready and ripe enjoyment. Perhaps this is most easily seen as the mother of little ones. If I don’t relish in the little things—a successful night without a pull-up for Big Girl A, Baby C eating three spoonfuls of peas rather than flinging them at me, little arms wrapped around my neck, Big Girl following me around the house just to be with me—I may wait awhile for something big and seemingly worthy of gratitude. However, these little things aren’t the only day-changers.
Every day I have to make a little choice, or sometimes a series of little choices, to get up early enough to have my Bible study time before getting dressed for the day and waking up the girls. Each morning at 6:30 a.m. my Iphone starts the marimba, and I choose to either slide the alarm off and open my eyes or tap the incredibly convenient red snooze button in the middle of the screen. Little things. When I choose snooze (and believe me, some days I choose it more than once), I drift off for another nine minutes until another marimba-jolt. Those nine minutes (or sometimes 18…) almost always seem to be taken from my Bible study time, not my hair-straightening, bed-making, getting dressed time. Since my time with the Lord usually starts with reading the Word, those nine minutes translate into skipping people or requests on my prayer list for that day, or fewer scriptures prayed over the girls, or no quick note of encouragement to Mark with my prayers for his day. Little things, right?
Except, when I don’t pray for those dear friends or family members on my list, I miss joining my faith with theirs and watching for God’s answer. When I skip those prayers for my girls, I can forget that children are a blessing (toddlers and preschoolers have ways of challenging this notion), a heritage from the Lord, a treasure, lives with which I’m entrusted for a short time. Little things. I serve a God of little things—mustard seed faith, an infant in a manger. He knows the power of the little things, the little choices; I’m still learning.