How much do I love thee? Let me count the ways ….
My husband is quite the romantic. He rarely buys me glitzy jewelry or takes me to five-star restaurants. He doesn’t read me poetry or take me dancing (perhaps you remember why. If not, you can read the reason here.), but he does buy me candied almonds when he’s at the outdoorsman store. He buys me jelly beans and packs of gum … just because. He sends me one sentence—uh … one word—emails, and calls me with absolutely nothing to say. 🙂 It’s like a trail of love, small actions sprinkled throughout our sixteen years together, easily overlooked if I’m not paying attention, and yet able to penetrate deep into my heart if I am.
If you belong to Christ, you have a husband even more tender, more thoughtful, more attentive than mine. Daily, Christ showers us with love, for no other reason than because we are His beloved. His treasure.
Today my sweet friend Elizabeth Veldboom shares how God sprinkled tokens of love before her, like hidden rose petals waiting to be discovered and cherished.
As I held the small angel ornaments in my hands, ready to purchase them, tears came to my eyes even as a smile touched my lips. I fingered the pretty white lace, and breathed in the words the angels held in their embrace: love, and joy. Yes, I had love. And I had joy, for I was loved.
But let me rewind a little bit. One morning last December in my prayer time I felt as if God were asking me to focus on “love” and “joy.” Love and joy? I thought, crinkling my brow. Could you be more specific, God? That’s kind of general.
If only I knew then how specific He could get.
A few days after that, I came across a blog post about the widespread phenomenon of the “one word for 2012” campaign. Basically, instead of concentrating on a huge resolutions list for the new year, participants were asked to consider focusing on just one word for 2012. They could do this through prayer, journaling, and just by asking God how He would have them apply that word throughout daily life.
The idea intrigued me, and I decided I, too, would focus on one word for 2012. As I mulled on it, my conversation with God a few days earlier came back to me. Focus on love and joy. Could those be the words God wanted me to concentrate on for 2012? I hoped not. They were two very broad terms. Besides, they were just that:two. I needed one word.
A week later found my mom and I at a craft fair. In the first room we entered, a woman selling lace angel ornaments caught our eye. As we ventured nearer, I felt a gentle tugging in my spirit to pay attention. Curious, I tried to listen closely to what God was trying to tell me. But instead of my ears, it was my eyes God used.
Looking up, one angel stood out from among the many. Love, I read. That would have been enough to make me wonder, but then I felt another gentle urging to keep looking. I swept my gaze to the side, and immediately recognized what I was supposed to see: joy, said another angel. I couldn’t believe it.
That was at least two months ago, but the words “love” and “joy” have kept resurfacing everywhere I go. And I’m not a bit surprised.
You see, I serve a God who takes joy out of the little things. Who never overlooks the smallest detail or tiniest trouble. Who orders and plans and organizes our steps. He is a God of greatness, yes-but He is also a God of the still, the small, the silent.
Psalm 37:23 says, “The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” (NLT.)
Every detail? Yes. Even the smallest: a single tear wetting the pillow; a snowflake drifting from the skies of heaven; the lace in an angel’s skirt.
No one is ever too insignificant for Him to notice. No problem too small for Him to care. Knowing He delights in and takes care of every little detail in our lives, we can rest easy and without fear.
I love that God delights in the details and in the small things. But even more-I love that God finds delight in the details of my small life.
I Hear Ya: In what small ways has God shown that He delights in the details of your life recently or in the past? What one word would you choose for 2012?
Elizabeth Veldboom is devoted to God, a small town girl, and a freelance writer. She has previously been published in places like Guidepost’s Angels on Earth Magazine and Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters. Visit her blog anytime at www.thefearlist.wordpress.com– the place that is for the faint of heart. **And visit her blog today to get in on a fun give-away! She’s giving away a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul.
And come back here Saturday as we talk about our spiritual vision. God’s always working, loving, speaking, guiding. If you can’t see His hand, perhaps you need to get your vision checked. 🙂
I have two words: faith and perseverance.
Terrific words, Dicky! And I’m glad to know I’m not the only two-fer out there. 😉
Thank you so much for reading and commenting! 🙂
Lizzie, Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us. This was a such a beautiful example of the purpose of the cross–to provide a way for us to have intimage fellowship with the Father. Your story shows God’s heart and daily, tender care for His children. 🙂 Have a blessed, joyful and love-filled day!
Oh, those are perfect words for a writer! I’m so excited to see where God’s going to take you and your writing career, Dicky! Keep up the good work!
Enjoyed this post! Don’t you love the way God works? I’m currently working on a Bible study on the fruit of the Spirit. And you guessed it – the devotions I’ve written so far are about ‘love’ and ‘joy!’ God bless you Jen & Elizabeth!
I’m so touched that you enjoyed this, Maria! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and leave a comment.
Ooo, that sounds intriguing! Please, I’m dying to know: what have you learned so far about “love” and “joy”? I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially since they’re my focus words for this year.
Maria, I’d love to learn more about love and joy, too! I read “Thinking Right When Things Go Wrong,” I don’t remember the author right off hand, but he stressed that joy isn’t necessarily an emotion. Or perhaps I should say, isn’t always. It is a deep assurance that God is still good and in control, even during trial. He suggests that being joyful in all situations does not mean celebrating loss, or pain, but instead, celebrating the God who holds us through it. That made a lot of sense to me.
My word this year is “honor.” I just started taking fencing lessons which zoom in on honor and chivalry. Go figure. God is in the teeniest details.
Thanks for sharing, Lizzie.
Love how you’re (or God) is incorporating honor into your life!
What would you say you’ve learned about honor so far?
Thank you for reading and leaving a comment! 🙂