The other morning I was getting ready to leave for work when an unexpected find put a little pep in my previously, exhausted step. It was my third day at the hospital bedside in a string of 12 hour shifts as a critical care nurse, and you can bet your bottom dollar I was going to need all the caffeine my cup of coffee had to offer. I reached into the refrigerator in that early-morning kinda daze, grabbing for my favorite creamer, even as I knew the bottle was dang-near empty.
The morning before when I had made coffee to go, I really only had enough for that particular cup, but realizing I still had another shift left before I could make a grocery store trip, I tried to conserve a bit back for one more morning cup of joe. At the time I had considered leaving my husband a note, asking him to pick some up for me, but I had decided against it. I knew he would have his hands full with homeschooling three girls, doing laundry, making meals, and all the other tasks he performed at home. It wasn’t a big deal, after all. So, I had saved myself a swallow of French Vanilla for the following day, and it was this prize portion I reached for on the day in question.
I held the empty bottle of creamer in my hand, but before shutting the fridge I glimpsed a brand new bottle that I knew had not been there before. Despite the fact that I had decided against asking my spouse to take time out of his day to buy me creamer the previous morning, he had done it anyway. He had taken the time to notice my brand of creamer was low, even though he used another kind that was totally full, and then he had made the decision to pack up our three, young children and take them to the store for a single item that I enjoyed. I could do without the creamer. I could even use some of his. But he had made a small, insignificant-seeming decision to purchase me my favorite coffee add-in.
So, after I filled my coffee mug with a happy, healthy amount of cream, I did leave my hubby a note. I left a post-it thanking him for the creamer. Because, you see, it wasn’t just the creamer. It was the fact that he thought of me. He did something inconvenient for himself to benefit me in a small way. He took the time to notice my tiny needs, to consider my preferences, and to show his affection for me through that. Was a bottle of creamer the recipe for a happy marriage? Not in itself. But what it signified, now that was worth something.
Marriage can be hard. Heck, life is hard. There will be huge issues you have to work through and big obstacles to overcome, but in the midst of the enormous stuff, don’t neglect the little things. Cause it turns out, often times the little things add up to be big things. Small tokens of selfless affection over time build a large love between two people. Personally, I left for work that morning still sleepy, but somehow energized with the knowledge I’d be coming home to a man who adored me, and who showed his love for me in a million, tiny ways.