Little Things In Life
This is my great-grandmother. I never had the privilege of meeting her. Years ago I was visiting my aunt, talking and learning about my heritage when she brought out an old letter that she had stumbled upon while cleaning out my grandmother’s things. It was four pages of hand-written, cursive wisdom, circa 1917; complete with a title and my great-grandmother’s sweet name at the top, Mrs. R.B. Mikesell.
This letter has found a home folded in between the pages of one of my journals, tucked away in a drawer by my bed. Occasionally, when I feel like I’m doing too much, when I feel like I need to take a breath, when life seems chaotic and overwhelming, I’ll pour over her words–the simplicity of their truth.
I’ll imagine that she is telling me these words herself, that we are bonding over motherhood, marriage and prayer. She’ll give me bits of hope and I’ll pour us both bottomless cups of coffee. She’ll take her’s black, no cream or sugar because black coffee is the only kind of bitterness she tastes. She’ll say something remarkable like, “Let your life be sweet and your coffee bitter.” And I’ll chuckle and decide to drink my coffee black forever.
We’ll take a seat outside on the patio. Her hands will look just like my grandma’s did, I bet. They’ll be soft and tender and perfect like hers were too. Her vintage wedding ring will ‘ting’ every time she wraps her hands around the mug to take a sip. We’ll sip and savor. She’ll make me and I’ll appreciate that. We’ll listen to the birds and I’ll tell her all about life’s 21st century demands. I’ll sound weary. So she’ll rub and pat the top of my hand and remind me what’s really important, what will still be important 100 years from now and forever after, “Love and kindness”, she’ll say. “Give it away and don’t exchange it for anything else.” I’ll nod in agreement because it’s Gospel Truth.
On Mother’s Day, I found myself staring at this letter again. I realized these words of her’s are far too generous to keep to myself. And truthfully, it seemed like they were always meant for more than just our family anyway. Her words were meantfor anyone and everyone that needs some encouragement. My sweet great-grandmother was blogging–journaling for an audience that she would never know. How wonderful is she?
So grab your coffee and let these words settle on your soul. And wonder with me, what will our great-grandchildren think about us when they find the words we’ve written? Friends, let’s choose our words wisely. Let them be true, let them be lovely, let them be loving. Let them be good for pondering, porch sitting and coffee sipping. Let them bring hope and encouragement. Let them be the savoring kind.
Little Things in Life
As I was standing at my door this morning saying good-bye to my little girl the great glorious sun was peeping behind my neighbor’s house, soon appearing in its full glory. What a beautiful scene but one so little appreciated.
In speaking of little things the first I will mention is this: I have made it a practice to go to the door to see my family off for their various places of work, to send them out in the world with a kiss and a smile.
Then I would have you be kind to little children. Stop and talk with them. Treat them as your equal. Sometimes I think we do not give them credit for much intelligence. Be careful what kind of words you use to a child. Something said thoughtlessly often brings havoc in a child’s life.
Be kind to dogs and all dumb animals. A dog is a very loving creature and likes to be made over. In fact, who does not like it?
Do not hold a corner on love. Scatter it everywhere.
Do not forget to feed the birds–these little friends of ours who are always happy and bring such sweet songs to us. Nothing sounds so lovely to me in the early hours of summer than to be awakened by the bird orchestra.
Be courteous to all those who come to your door, especially those who ask for something to eat. Take time to speak a kind word. One never can tell when our words fall on fertile soil.
Do not forget to be considerate of the old folks. Of all people who appreciate little kindness it is these. It takes such a little to make them happy. Run in and chat with them. Take joy with you. Nothing will pay such big dividends.
Then I would not have anyone forget the sick people and the shut-ins—those who are struggling day to after day to regain their health. God bless them, those who are not able to go out into the world and enjoy the pleasures there. To them I would say: create a world of your own. The greatest friends we can find and ones who can never go back on us are books.
Then there is the radio. What wonderful things we can hear from this source. To me this is the most wonderful invention, the one which has brought more happiness to the homes of the common people. I especially get pleasure out of the morning devotional hour. I think of God’s big family gathered together with their hearts lifted up to Him and listening through his messengers to His dear voice. I think we cannot fathom the greatness of this hour.
I would not have you forget the little mother with her large family, ministering to her flock. Of all the vocations in life I think this is the grandest and most difficult. O’ the patience, love and work to raise a family.
O’ mothers, glorify your tasks and do not think of your work as drudgery but one of the noblest of God’s. You who are bored with society and time hangs heavy on your hands, go in and take care of these little ones and let the tired mother go out for a little rest and recreation. You will be surprised how this little act of kindness will make you happy. You cannot be happy if you do not give of self. Give, give, give of your time, talents and money.
Thanks, Grandma Mikesell. We all needed that.