The Gift of Noticing

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Ray and I did something very unexciting recently. We had the gutters and downspouts on the front of the house replaced. It’s a good feeling. It was a wise decision for the stability of our old house’s foundation. But it’s not really news you share with your friends. It’s not like picking out a new pretty color to paint the kitchen or something. At the time, I thought about the fact that no one would probably ever notice this rather costly home improvement.

I was mistaken. A few days later, we were enjoying time with one of our daughters and some of our grandchildren on the front porch. Our seven-year-old grandson asked, “Is that new?” I looked to where he pointed, and, to my surprise, he pointed to one of the new white downspouts running along a white column, very much like the old downspout did.

I was impressed. Now, that is paying attention!

I didn’t need someone to pay attention to our new gutters. However, the world is filled with people who long for someone to pay attention to them. Paying attention is a gift we can give to other people, a gift that costs us nothing but time and laying aside our own concerns long enough to notice someone else.

Ok, so I looked on Library of Congress for an illustration of gutters. This wasn’t the kind of gutters I had in mind, but aren’t these little knicker-clad boys cute cleaning out these gutters? When someone took their picture in 1922, they never knew they would illustrate a blog post someday! Why, they didn’t even know there was any such thing! This I do know. They wanted people to notice them, especially their mamas and daddies.

One of the blessings of homeschooling is having mama always available to notice the little things and the big things that are important to our children—and most especially, to notice them.

Noticing is a way to say I love you. I care about you. I care about what you care about. You matter.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit,
but with humility consider one another
as more important than yourselves;
do not merely look out for your own personal interests,
but also for the interests of others.
Philippians 2:3-4



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