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Little Things

November 19th, 2003 · No Comments

My girls, Abigail, especially, get attached to things. A stuffed hippopotamus. A pink fuzzy lamb. A yellow toy car. Sometimes it’s a playing card or a scrap of paper.

Right now Abigail’s favorite thing is a star, flat, made of pale-green plastic. The kind of star that glows in the dark. Abigail likes to take it into a closet or bathroom and marvel at its light-green luminescence. It’s a dangerous favorite thing because it is such a bland color and camouflages well with everything. I feel I am always helping her try to find it. The star gets left in the bathroom, on the kitchen countertop, on the beige carpet, on a window sill….

I confess I’ve gotten frustrated at times trying to look for these misplaced favorite things. Bedtime will arrive but the girls will protest that they can’t find their sentimental object. Or in the mornings after breakfast, if I’m not careful with the time, we’ll follow down these tangents of finding favorite possessions. The contents of the toy box are dumped on the floor. Bins are emptied. I bend to examine what lies underneath the sofas. The girls will cry, upset, and the tears will block their vision and cloud their memories. I end up spending a lot of time and energy on hands and knees finding these favorite things.

Sometimes if I’m tired, it’s a late night or we need to get somewhere, I have to tell the girls to just live wtihout it. Sometimes we search everywhere and we can’t find it. We pray and nothing comes to mind. The girls are heartbroken. They love their little things.

There’s nothing like the joy of finding a lost toy. The smile and the squeal of delight! How the eyes widen and the tears disappear in the happy face! How something little can give such a big grin!

God gives us little things too. Sure, sometimes He asks us to live without them. But much of the time, most of the time, He gives us our hearts desires. When we lose them, He even finds them for us. He lets us have the little things we love.

The other day at the bookstore, I bought Michaela’s Christmas present. Every time we go to this store, she loves to play with a vegetable and bread slicing set made of wood and velcro. So I decided I would buy one for her. I’d been thinking about this for a while, but the last time I stopped by the store, they didn’t have them in stock. Yesterday when I saw the box on the shelf, with Christmas around the corner, I decided to get her one.

Somehow she didn’t notice the box in my arm,. Since I didn’t want to leave her unattended, I got her to look at a globe display while I rushed up to the counter. She was a bit bored but obeyed me. She does like maps but not as much as velcro vegetables.

I explained my surprise to the clerk at the counter who happily accommodated me, quickly slipping the box into a brown paper bag, wrapping it with tape. Soon as I was done at the counter though Michaela asked to go back and play with her favorite toy. I let her go play for a few more minutes, the package in my bag, my secret giving me a smile. I got it home and I don’t think Michaela has any idea what is hiding for her in my closet.

Christmas morning almost seems too far away. I can’t wait to give this to her. I can’t wait to see the look on her face. How much fun she’ll have playing with it, chopping, slicing and sandwiching to her hearts delight. I can’t wait….

And I wonder what God is waiting to give me….

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