Two questions for you… Are you ready for them?
1. Have you ever dreamed up some great ideas for how you could show love to your kids or your spouse in simple ways? Maybe to take them to their favorite place to eat… write them a love note to hide somewhere for them to find… make them breakfast in bed… or surprise them with a big bear hug and a special gift? Whatever things might come to mind, here is the second question for you?
2. How many of those types of things have you done for them recently? I know that for me personally, it’s not as many as I’d like to admit. My mind is often full of great ideas and good intentions, but that’s often about as far as they get. Can you relate?
There are a ton of small opportunities in our lives that are easily overlooked and that get quickly drowned out by the overwhelm of the daily rush. Life gets busy, our days get full, and some of the little important things repeatedly get pushed aside, hour after hour, day after day, and sometimes, never getting done.
“Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambitions.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
With the start of the new year, many of us have set big goals for ourselves, ‘great ambitions’ if you will. But may our drive to accomplish big things never strip from us the ability to give attention to what’s small.
Because these little things can mean the world to our kids or our spouse. ‘Small’ things such as a hug, a note slipped into a lunch bag or even a simple text during the middle of the day. And while all of us love the small things, most of us are usually too busy to actually do them. And as a result, the people we love the most often miss out on the big ways that we can speak love into their lives through the smallest things.
So, what are some of these small things in life that are easily overlooked but that can make a huge impact? Here are a few:
- Hug your kids
- Slip a note into a school lunch bag or in between a textbook
- Send a ‘just because’ text to your spouse to see how their day is going
- Say I love you
- Pray with your spouse or kids before leaving the house to start the day
- Take out the trash (no matter whose job it’s supposed to be)
- Make the bed
- Buy your wife an unexpected Starbucks
- Get your kids their favorite Happy Meal
- Schedule that date night you’ve been promising your spouse
- Bring home flowers for your wife, or your husbands favorite candy bar
- Hug your spouse
- Ask your kids what they want to do in the evening and then do it
- Say I love you
- Surprise your kids by taking them to see that new movie they’ve been talking about
- Initiate a casual conversation with your teenager
- Make breakfast in bed for someone in your family on a normal day
- Give your kids a bear hug
- Tell your family to get in the car (maybe blindfolded) and take them to a surprise location
- Do the dishes
- Say I love you
There are things we know we should do, and we even say that we do many of them… “Of course I hug my kids daily” or, “I say I love you all the time”. But do we really? How many times did you do any of those things in the last two days? (honestly now)… There’s a reason you’re struggling to remember.
We all need to be more intentional about doing more of the small things. Because there will come a day when we’ll wish we could squeeze those little people with bear hugs like we once did. And there will come a day that we’ll wish we’d have said more “I love you’s”.
There will come a day when the big things that we thought were big really weren’t as big as the small things that we thought were small.
Zechariah 4:10 says, “For who hath despised the day of small things?” I believe that we serve a God Who cares about the small things, and so should we.
Whatever small things have come to mind as you’re reading this, don’t get too busy or distracted to do them this week. Leave that love note on the table, send that ‘just because’ text, or hug each of your kids one extra time before leaving the house. Because these are the moments that we will one day wish we could get back. Do the small things that matter today.
“When you are older you will understand how precious little things, seemingly of no value in themselves, can be loved and prized above all price when they convey the love and thoughtfulness of a good heart.” – Edwin Booth