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Learning to Appreciate the Smaller Things in Life

This excerpt from Walking in Grace describes how all gestures of love—big and small—can be meaningful.

Woman holding a hot cup of coffee by the fireplace; Getty Images
Credit: VALENTYN VOLKOV

“The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his fi eld. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree…”—Matthew 13:31–32

“Aurora, run and grab me some kindling, please,” my husband, Jim, said to our daughter as he carried an armload of firewood over to the woodstove.

“But there’s already such a big pile of wood in here, Papa!”

Jim laughed. “All the big wood in the world won’t do me a bit of good without the small stuff to get it started.”

Kinda like love, I thought as I listened to their exchange.

I looked down at the letter I was holding in my hands. It was from my childhood band teacher, a delightful surprise that had just come in the mail. I was touched that this person from my past would take the time to write.

And I’d awoken this morning to Aurora bringing me coffee in bed.

And here was Jim, cheerfully bringing in firewood so we could stay warm on this wintry afternoon. Earlier, my mom had messaged me, saying Jim had called her out of the blue, just to check on her. “It made my day,” she’d said. And that had made mine.

Grand gestures of love, like big trips to faraway places and expensive gifts, can be amazing and exciting. But it was these little things, love’s kindling, that really allow its fire to blaze.

Thank You, Lord, for the countless little things in my life that all add up to the biggest thing of all: I am loved by you.

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