The Little Things

A cup of hot chocolate. A pretty journal. A sweet comment on my blog. All of these things—little though they are—make me smile, inside and out.

I love how little things like this can set the tone for my day—or turn it around if things are going badly.In the midst of all the stresses we face in our lives today, a simple joy can lift our spirits or spur impromptu communion with our Father as we whisper a word of thanks.

One recent joy I’ve experienced has been the early morning visits of a pair of cardinals. They must want to take advantage of my birdfeeder before any other competition shows up. I haven’t been able to get a good photo of them during this semi-dark hour—and they don’t wait around for good lighting for my camera. They take off as soon as too much daylight intrudes on their comfort zone.

Even though I can’t record their visits for posterity, I get to see them and enjoy their presence. I’m not sure why, but it makes me happy just knowing they’ve found my yard and have made it part of their routine. It’s a little thing indeed, but they make me smile first thing in the morning. And that’s a very good thing, right? :)

Likewise, little blessings in our spiritual lives can set a happy tone for our days or lighten our loads on difficult days as well. Like the lift to my spirit the cardinals supply, even small spiritual blessings can be all it takes to keep us encouraged and moving forward in our walk of faith.

Maybe a song comes on the radio and ministers peace or comfort just when we need it. Or perhaps the sun breaks through the clouds when we’re longing for a touch from the Lord. And God’s Word? One sentence or verse can make all the difference on any given day.

Yes, it’s the little blessings that keep us going over the long haul, isn’t it? Let’s thank God today for the little things. The things that make us smile inside and out.

“From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessingafter another.” John 1:16

*What little thing has brought you joy recently?

*Update: I wrote this post a week or two ago, and now the early-morning cardinals have deserted me. Am hoping they will return. I miss them! :)

*Flickr photo by byJoeLodge

**The Life Notes Subscriber Appreciation Giveaway is still underway. Details are in my Oct. 17 post and sign-up is to the right. Don’t miss out on the chance to win a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble!


  1. Just today I saw a cardinal garden flag I must have for the upcoming Christmas season. It really brought me a simple peace. Hope your friends return at least one more time!

  2. Debbie in KY says

    On the way to work this morning, a big man in a huge 4×4 truck hit the brakes suddenly and came to a complete stop. My husband and I were puzzled as we sat there a few seconds, then saw a tiny, pure white cat nonchalantly finish crossing the street in front of the truck. The driver’s consideration and the sight of the cat turning to look at the truck gave me joy.

  3. Elaine and Debbie, isn’t it wonderful how such simple things from nature can bring such joy?!

  4. Hi Cheryl,

    Lovely new photo in your post. :) I enjoy cardinals in our yard too.

    Re your comment, amen, I agree. I am so thankful for them too and strive to be a strong-hand-helper too.

    Have a great night, Cheryl, from a misty MN.

    Jennifer Dougan

  5. Jennifer, that’s neat that you have cardinals for visitors, too. And guess what? One of my cardinals was back this morning! :)

  6. Cheryl – Feeling joy in the moment and giving thanks are keys to a happy life. Thank you for highlighting this so eloquently.

    I am waiting patiently for the cardinals to return to my bird feeder this fall. I am hoping to actually snap a good photo of one at some point this year. Living in Louisville, KY, I am definitely in cardinal country, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

    Take care,

  7. Mairead, hope you see your cardinals soon. Birds move so quickly, it can be quite a challenge getting good photos. Good luck!

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