Amy Lanham

finding beauty in the middle of the mess

It’s the Little Things

“Look what I just bought!” my mother-in-law beamed as she proudly produced a brand new sugar container. She proceeded to show me the nifty way it opened, unlike the jars of old with the little metal flap.

Now, most people would likely not be impressed with her recent purchase, but for me, it was special.  The appearance of this sugar container in her home was a direct result of her thinking of me. When we have family gatherings my father-in-law always makes coffee. Two pots–one regular and one decaf. Of all of my family members, I’m the only one who uses sugar. A side note: I tried for a whole month to drink it black…I. can’t. do. it.

The older I get, the more and more I realize that it doesn’t take much to make someone’s day. We have neighbors who keep a special kind of soda in their fridge for the neighbor boy. Growing up, I had neighbors that kept a special drawer in their kitchen that had snacks just for me. My mamaw would often make me banana pudding (one of my favorites) and my grandma would have cheese curls, corn chips, and other treats. When people pay attention to your likes and dislikes, it means something. I keep croutons around, mainly because one of my son’s friends loves to snack on them. Suddenly, I’m noticing a food theme, how about you?

What do you do in your home for someone that says, I see you? Have you given a friend something lately to let you know you are thinking of them? It doesn’t take much. A favorite candy bar, a book you know they’ll like, or even just a quick note of encouragement are all things that let people know they are on your mind. If you have been the recipient of someone’s generosity this way, you know how much it means. We all know how these things make us feel, but too often our pace of life gets in the way of taking the time to bless others. Don’t underestimate the importance of letting others know you truly “see” them.

Comment below with an example of how someone has made you feel extra special!




  1. I love writing letters to friends. Sending things through the mail in a world of instant communication feels like an extra specially way to let someone know you were thinking of them.

  2. Today was my first day back to school. I teach first grade and had to have a sub begin the year for me. My mother became very ill at the end of July and we found she had stage four cancer in multiple organs. She was given two weeks to three months. She lasted ten days. It’s been the hardest few weeks of my life. My family has had so many people reach out to us in so many ways and I will always be grateful. This morning before leaving my house, I received a sweet text from a new found friend encouraging me and letting me know she was thinking about me. Then when I walked into school, I found two gifts on my desks and notes from two dear friends, wishing me a good first day back. My mom was always thoughtful and reached out to others with encouragement just as so many have reached out to me in my grief. It’s my hope to become more thoughtful of others and to carry on my mom’s legacy.

    • Amy

      August 22, 2017 at 6:59 am

      Thanks for sharing about your mama. I’m so sorry for your loss, and at such a stressful time at the start of school. It’s surreal losing a parent, but what they taught us does become even more important and more a part of us. It sounds like your mom left a wonderful legacy. That will carry you through the sad times. I miss my dad all of the time. I have no doubt you will follow in her footsteps! Much love to you.

  3. Amy what a beautiful post. You are spot on when you say “It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day”. I remember a special note that you gave me during kindergarten that brighten my day, and for years to come. Who would have thought that words on a paper can lift someone so high. It continues to help me even today. Thanks for your sharing, caring, and love for others. You are amazing!

    • Amy

      August 22, 2017 at 6:56 am

      Oh, so kind. Thank you! You are such a gifted teacher. I’m sad Austin didn’t get to have you. One of Austin’s friends, who is in 5th grade, said just the other day that you are his favorite teacher of all time. I’d write those words all over again! Thanks for sharing.

  4. This is something I do for our granddaughter. She is in kdg & has to come to bring her baby brother to us by 7:15 am. The 1st morning she ask for a chocolate sandwich (Nutella). 1 morning I had it ready for her & her little face just lit up She ask for it everyday. & she usually comes to the kitchen & shares stories about school. Like mom mom you aren’t wearing blue . Today is blue day . Love these moments with her. .

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