Little Things Mean a Lot

From the Archives, February 2012. One of my all-time favorite posts! A good reminder of how important the little things are in a marriage! Still true six years later.

QuiltI’ve always loved quilts. I’m amazed at how a quilter can take separate pieces of material and turn them into one beautiful creation.

The definition of a quilt is simple – a bed coverlet of two layers of cloth filled with padding held in place by ties or stitched designs.

I’ve found from experience that the more stitches or ties that are binding the pieces together – the longer the quilt lasts.

Several years ago I sewed a quilt for Matt’s bed. It looked nice at first – but since I made it very quickly, the few ties that I put in to hold it together soon broke in the strain of use.

I have another quilt that my Grandma made for me during my college years. She carefully tied it every few inches making a tight and warm covering that has stood the test of time and is still being used today.

One quilt lasted and one didn’t.

Marriage is like a quilt.

It begins as two separate lives that are bound together by a vow.

Then the process of “quilting” begins.

A good quilter knows that many small stitches hold better than a few big ones. The same is true of marriage. It’s the little things in daily life that will make a marriage strong.

Little things that say “I love you and you are important to me.”

Things like – getting up early to make your husband breakfast and packing his lunch before he leaves for work.

And getting the special “thank you – I appreciate this” look while he holds your hand and blesses  that breakfast.

It’s when your husband puts a CD in and immediately goes to your favorite song, or when he gives you all the M & M’s from his trail mix, or takes the dish towel from you and sends you to the couch to rest.

It’s letting your husband eat the last piece of apple pie, or choose what to watch on TV, or sleep undisturbed in the recliner on a Sunday afternoon.

It’s a kiss when they leave and a kiss when they return.

It’s a phone call at lunch break, a back rub, a shared joke.

It’s taking time to really listen.

It’s putting their needs ahead of your own.

It’s those little things.

Stitch by stitch. Everyday. Binding your hearts together.

“Little Things Mean A Lot”
Kitty Kallen

Blow me a kiss from across the room
Say I look nice when I’m not
Touch my hair as you pass my chair
Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street
Call me at six on the dot
A line a day when you’re far away
Little things mean a lot

Don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls
Champagne, sables or such
I never cared much for diamonds and pearls
’cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I’ve lost the way
Give me a shoulder to cry on
Whether the day is bright or gray
Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile
To show me you haven’t forgot
For always and ever, now and forever
Little things mean a lot

Love is a Verb

Here’s the third installment of our blog series called “Taking Your Marriage from Good to Great. We’ve already talked about Date Nights and how to use the little things in a marriage to bind your hearts together. Today’s post is a reality check!

Love is a verbIf you’ve read the last two posts in this series, you may have gotten the impression that things are a bit perfect around here. That everything is smiles and hugs and kisses and mutually edifying.

I am about to burst your bubble.

The truth is – sometimes Jan makes me so mad I could spit nails!

Are you shocked? Wait – there’s more!

Sometimes my actions really exasperate him!

Now I know your shocked! 🙂

In all seriousness – there is no perfect here.  But there is sickness, tight budgets, cars that break down, long work hours, slow internet, broken appliances, (all of which happened last week!)  and of course teenagers.

Any or all of those things can cause misunderstandings, unrealistic expectations, and hurt feelings.

Notice I said can cause. But they don’t have to. We have a choice.

It’s easy to love each other when everything is good and you feel like it – when your spouse is spending time with you, the fridge is full, the kids are obedient, and the stove works.

But love isn’t a feeling – it’s a verb. It’s an action that must be taken, even when misunderstandings happen and feelings are hurt.

Years ago as a young wife with little ones at home, my world would stop for 15 minutes every morning at 9 AM when the program “Gateway to Joy” came on the local Christian radio station. It was hosted by Elizabeth Elliot, the wife of slain missionary Jim Elliot, and served up truth in a way that shaped my life.

I can still hear her say, ” You are loved with an everlasting love, that’s what the Bible says, and underneath are the everlasting arms. This is your friend Elizabeth Elliot…”

Which would be followed by 15 minutes of incredible wisdom that can only come after one has been through the fire and spent years in the Word seeking God’s face.

One particular program changed my marriage.

She gave two bits of advise for married couple.

1. Aim for unity in all conversations.

2. Aim for the good of the other.

Think about it.

So simple, yet so profound. And so very true.

Notice the theme that ties them together? They are both actions that you must take. “Aim for unity” and “aim for the good”.

You can’t rely on your feelings – you choose an action to take. You choose to love. You choose to stop thinking about your self and what you need or want, and you choose to think about your spouse’s needs and wants.

I copied those two bits of advise on a 3 x 5 card and taped it to my refrigerator – where it stayed for many many years. That card is now stained and yellowed – the writing so faded it is barely readable. But the words are etched in my heart.

Aim for“.

Make the choice.

Choose to love.