God’s Math of Little Things

big love of little loves

I had checked out my groceries and was pushing my cart out the door. As I walked out into the cold, an elderly black couple was coming in. The gentleman was probably 85 years old, the lady around 80, both bundled up in coats.

But what caught my eye was the tiniest thing.

As they slowly walked in, she was adjusting his collar just so. It had flipped up and she was making it right. She didn’t make a big deal about it. He didn’t push her away. They stayed in step, never missed a beat.

It was a little thing. But those little things add up.

Sometimes we make love complicated. We think it asks big things of us, sacrifices we can’t make. Not enough time. Not enough energy. Not enough us.

But maybe we make it too hard.

Maybe a lifetime of big love is really a lifetime of little loves all added together.

  • Like, Jeff kissing me goodbye every morning before he goes to work. I’m still in bed so he keeps the light off. He whispers, “I love you” and slips out the door.
  • Or like my friend Kay gifting me a pack of Cadbury eggs every March because she knows how much I love them.
  • Or like God surprising me with an exquisite sentence in a book or extended time with special friends or yellow daffodils blooming every spring.

We know how good it feels to receive those little loves. And we know how good it feels to give them.

It aligns us with God’s intention in the universe.

Even if it’s just straightening our husband’s collar when we’re walking into Walmart.

It’s God’s math.

(A Little Act of Love)  x  (One Day at a Time)  =  Greatest Commandment Fulfilled

* * *

What little act of love do you enjoy receiving? Giving? Please share in the comments.

53 thoughts on “God’s Math of Little Things

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Great post, Lisa, and I love your examples.

    For me, the little things are those that most of us take for granted – I certainly did.

    Until I found that, after a truly horrible night like last night, I could still get to my feet. It’s going to be an exquisitely awful day, but at least I can stand, and walk. That’s sure something.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/03/your-dying-spouse-280-accepting-exile.html
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 280 – Accepting ExileMy Profile

  2. Pam

    I love this post! The story of the older couple was priceless! As a wife in a marriage of 52 years, I an attest to the little things that the Lord has used to weave our lives together…little random acts of kindness. I could list many, but will share only one. My husband was a USMC officer and as a part of that training has always had beautifully polished shoes, but not just his. He has noticed and kept track of my shoes for the whole of our marriage caring for the scuffs and marks I carelessly acquire and polishing my shoes to make them look wonderful again.

    Yes, it is the little things. It can be a friend who buys me the coffee I most love or the one who gifts me with helping me wrap my Christmas gifts each year while we enjoy tea together.

    Certainly, it is also the Lord who sends us “God winks” multiple times each day that we never notice if we are too busy and distracted with the tasks and cares of this life.

    Blessings on your day, Lisa!
    Pam recently posted…Enemies Scoff and Hurl InsultsMy Profile

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      52 years? Congratulations, Pam! That’s awesome. I’m sure you’ve done and received tons of little loves. I love your example of your husband keeping your shoes polished. :) Those little things do add up!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Betty. I just finished ironing some of my husband’s shirts, a task I do not like. But I did it with a better attitude today with this on my mind. :)

  3. Trudy

    I love this, Lisa. Yes, I think we do make it too hard. I know I do. I beat myself up too much that I don’t show enough love. “Sometimes we make love complicated. We think it asks big things of us, sacrifices we can’t make. Not enough time. Not enough energy. Not enough us.” Thank you for this encouragement! I appreciate it so much! Love and hugs!
    Trudy recently posted…New This Month: Links, Quotes, Books & MoreMy Profile

  4. Barbara H.

    This is helpful to me today in a couple of situations in which I am finding to hard to love: I don’t have to look at the big picture or the possible time involved and wonder how I can ever do it. I just have to seek God’s grace to show love in this situation in this moment.
    Barbara H. recently posted…Sandpaper ChristiansMy Profile

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That is so right, Barbara. We don’t have to figure out the whole grand scheme of how to do something; just do our portion in this hour. Praying you found it easier than expected to love difficult people today.

  5. Ceil

    Hi Lisa! I could just see that elderly couple, and the loving action of the wife. And isn’t it something that you could see the love there? Adjusting a collar can be such a powerful indicator of tenderness and care. Like you said, it’s the small things.

    My husband makes the best egg white omelets. I can do it too, but for some reason, his just seem better. I love it when he volunteers to cook for me!
    God lives in all places and circumstances, so I think we should stop looking just for the ‘big stuff’. He is just as alive and present in the small.
    Wishing you small surprises today!
    Ceil

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That’s great that your husband can whip up a great omelet. He’s one up on me! :) A little thing that I love for Jeff to do is to doctor up my baked potato for me. He has a way of doing it that makes it lighter and fluffier than I can do it. God is definitely in both the big and small things! We are blessed, Ceil.

  6. Ruth

    I told my husband that I love it when he smiles at me, and he took it to heart. Many times he will drag himself out of bed in the morning and come into the living room where I am sitting and force himself to give me a sweet smile before he starts his day. It makes me smile just thinking about it. :)
    And yes, those smiles of love do add up and warm my heart with his love.

  7. Kristi Woods

    Small acts of love – oh yes. I’m an “acts” girl – that’s my love language, so it’s all about those little things. 😉 I love it when my husband makes the bed or targets something on the honey-do list. This week I’ll be writing to a widow or two who live several states away, but I have a feeling this post will be the center of my thoughts for a while. It’s those little things…. Thanks, Lisa! Visiting via #raralinkup.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Acts of love is my second favorite love language (words of affirmation is my first), so I know what you mean, Kristi. It’s an act of love when my husband does the dishes or sweeps the floor or something else unexpected because I know it’s only for me. :) I know your words will be such a blessing to the widows you send letters to this week!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Um, you’re asking a lot, Bill! ha. Sharing my Cadbury eggs means I’m really sacrificing. But if you were here, I would definitely share an egg with you. You deserve lots of chocolate to help you recover easier. :)

  8. Mary Geisen

    It is the little things that have always caught my attention. I’m captivated by an unusual leaf or tree along the path when I walk. I love how my son and daughter-in-law will hug me or pray for me just when I need it. I could go on and on. The little things have always captivated me and remind me of God over and over.
    Mary Geisen recently posted…God’s Kingdom WorkMy Profile

  9. Joe Pote

    Yes, it really is the little things that mean so much.

    It’s all about relationship and relationship is all about the little things…being consistent in the little things over an extended period of time.

    Thank you, Lisa, for expressing it so well!
    Joe Pote recently posted…Rilian’s Dual DestiniesMy Profile

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Those little things do add up. I have a set of friends that I don’t get to see very often, but we have been determined throughout the years to spend time together at least 3-4 times every year, no matter what. The consistency makes a difference. I’m glad God is forever faithful to us in both big and small things! Thanks for sharing here, Joe.

  10. saleslady371

    I agree. It’s those little things that make one feel loved. Last night, I brought the last of the red grapes to the couch after dinner and offered some to my husband. He declined not because he didn’t like them, but because I do so much he wanted me to have every last one! I like your list of loves…yellow daffodils..oh yes!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      What a sweetie your husband is, Mary. I’m sure you felt very loved in that moment. Sometimes the little things can really tug at our heart in big ways. Thanks for sharing this! (And reminding me that I have grapes in my refrigerator that I need to eat. ha)

  11. TC Avey

    So true…it’s the little things my husband does for me that make a BIG impression on my heart. He makes me chocolate chip cookies even though he prefers peanut butter (Why don’t I make them…I burn them!)
    He carries in the groceries, let’s me pick the restaurant, and spends all this free time with me and the boys.
    But I will never forget the ultimate sacrifice of love he gave me. Just weeks after marrying my dad was diagnosed with cancer. I moved in with my parents to care for me and every weekend my husband made the three hour drive to come help me care for both of them. He even bathed my dad. That’s love. My eyes tear up even now as I think of the caring and giving man God gave me.

    I pray I show him in both big and small ways how much I love him.
    TC Avey recently posted…Building a Framework of Hope: Part 4My Profile

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Oh, TC. Your story about your husband during your dad’s illness makes me cry. So beautiful! You’ve got a good one! I’ve got a strong hunch he hears that from you often.

  12. Lesley

    It’s so true that even a little act of love, a smile or a word of encouragement can make a big difference. It’s encouraging to remember when we feel we don’t have much to offer that the small things really do have an impact as they add up and multiply.
    Lesley recently posted…How Much Bread Do You Have?My Profile

  13. Lois Flowers

    Aw, what a sweet picture, Lisa. And I love how you call it “God’s math.” The couple at Wal-Mart reminds me of how I feel when I see the opposite happening … a husband walking about two yards in front of his wife as they go into Lowe’s or Home Depot. I always think, “Why doesn’t he just wait for her?” When my husband and I are old, I want us to be your Wal-Mart couple, not the Lowe’s couple. :-)
    Lois Flowers recently posted…One Simple Way to Revitalize Your Bible ReadingMy Profile

  14. Nicola

    There seems to be a theme on the blog posts I’m reading tonight, or perhaps just my reading of them! – loving in the small ways is so powerful. Being grateful for those small things is key too. As I read through the comments from others I was reminded that my husband makes me the best cup of tea (British style), even though he doesn’t drink tea himself. He also always tries to have my dinner ready when I get home from work despite having the five children to feed earlier. My small act in response is to make sure I’m always home around the same time and am emotionally ready to spend time with him. Strangely we didn’t manage the reverse actions when he worked and I stayed home – perhaps that’s why we are both aware of those particular needs at the end of the working day.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You make a great point, Nicola: often we don’t appreciate enough those “small” things until we’re on the other side of them! How beautiful that your husband gives you those gifts (they sound huge to me!) so regularly, and that you’re wise enough to appreciate him for them. Thanks for sharing this.

  15. Leslie

    Lisa, I loved this article and it’s focus on the little things. Being able to see those can carry us through a lot of things in life. So I’m going to be looking a little harder after reading here today! My husband cooking eggs for me on his day off is my little thing. : )

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I love hearing all these examples of “little” things that husbands do for their wives! Thanks for adding to this list, Leslie. I’m always grateful whenever my husband cooks anything because I don’t particularly enjoy doing it myself. ha. And his attitude about it is usually much better than mine too! :)

  16. floyd

    This is a wonderful perspective, Lisa. You can tell so much by the little things a person does. It usually isn’t the big things, mostly always the little ones that few take notice of… glad you do and reminded me!
    floyd recently posted…BOBMy Profile

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I know you’re good at noticing little things, Floyd. It’s often the sign of a good writer to me–they pay attention to details. You definitely fit that category.

  17. Ashley Davis

    I love cards! I’ll seriously spend like 10-15 mins (or longer, haha) picking out the best card for someone. Most people probably don’t care, haha, but it’s one way I can show love to those I care about.
    My mom has always been good about sending cards to people, so I guess I get that from her.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I think you likely underestimate how much people DO care about receiving a card carefully chosen just for them. What a beautiful ministry you have, Ashley! My mother was very good about sending cards (and even letters) to people, but I’ve not been quite as faithful to it as she was.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad if this prompts you to start that journal, June. I go through seasons where I keep a journal like that, and when I do, I’m always blessed by it.

  18. Diana

    This. Is. Beautiful.

    I’ve been trying to think of an easy way to explain this to my daughter-in-law who is still traumatized by the death of her husband 3 years ago (my oldest son) and her new interest in another young man now. She’s making it too hard, including on herself. Your words have brought light to how I can help her. THANK YOU!

    And THANK GOD for His math of the little things I’ve enjoyed with my own husband over our years together!

    Blessings to you and Jeff!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I so appreciate you sharing this here, Diana. I pray that somehow it will be able to help your d-i-l. I’m so sorry for the loss of your son. I can’t imagine the grief that your whole family has experienced. :( May God continues to send his grace in just the right ways to each of you!

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