sellpic2254“How about some popcorn?” my husband asked as he flipped on the TV to watch a movie. I groaned. I had just cleaned up the kitchen an hour before. I didn’t feel like hanging over the stove again. But I kept my thoughts to myself and rustled up Charles’ favorite treat. Then suddenly as I poured the piping hot kernels into a bowl and sprinkled them with salt and butter I felt the Lord’s presence. I was doing something a little extra for the man I love and I knew that was pleasing to God.

Years ago I read a book that has stayed with me. It Takes So Little to be Above Average by Christian speaker and teacher Florence Littauer.

Throughout the pages, the author reminds readers how easy it is to do the ‘big’ thing–whether a favor for a friend or loved one or a task or challenge that will take them to a higher plane–where God calls his people to go.

Serving popcorn or visiting a neighbor or sharing a meal or sending a condolence card or volunteering at a rescue mission are all examples of doing something that is above average and it doesn’t take much to rise to that level. It simply takes a willingness to see what’s needed or wanted and then to step up and make that happen.

If I had said ‘no’ to my husband or ‘how about you making the popcorn for a change?’ how might I have felt? Being petty or snappy in my response would not only lower me but Charles as well. Of course there are times when ‘no’ is the correct response—depending on the situation, but as I look around I sense that many of us, including myself, choose the easy way when it takes so little to be above average and to give an above average response.

Noticing God as I prepared a bowl of popcorn was just what I needed that evening—to set my course straight and at that moment to put the need and desire of a loved one ahead of my own. By the way, I made a little more popcorn than usual and enjoyed a bowl myself.

Give to others, and you will receive. You will be given much. It will be poured into your hands—more than you can hold. You will be given so much that it will spill into your lap. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you (Luke 6:38).




Popcorn, Anyone? — 16 Comments

  1. Karen, you’re a girl after my own heart. I never felt it was a hardship to do nice things for my husband. I wish he were here to share a bowl of popcorn with me now. Loving someone is not keeping score, right?

    God Bless.

    • Marie, your comment about not keeping score reminds me of how you supported your honey when he was alive. You joined him in his hobbies of fishing and hunting and even bought matching fishing vests for the two of you. What a wonderful wife you were.

  2. Thanks, Karen. Yes, it often takes so little to add a little sparkle or comfort (popcorn=comfort food!) to someone else’s life.

    Your post reminds me of a Ted Talk that was about research showing how much happier we feel when we do something for someone else. It doesn’t have to be giving thousands of dollars to a charity – it can be something as simple as, well…making popcorn for our loved one.

    I also agree that there are times when ‘no’ or ‘how about you making popcorn this time?’ is the right response (some of us do so much, there’s no time for rest, and no opportunity for the other to enjoy the gift of giving to us), but sometimes being the giver is the way to go, too.

    Thanks, as always, for your insight!

  3. Loved this, Karen! Thanks for the sweet reminder. I’ve often seen how the simplest of things can make the biggest difference in the lives of others. And, don’t you love those times when God enters our ordinary moments with his presence and wisdom! By the way, you also made me hungry for popcorn! 🙂

    • Yes, small things do make a difference. I see that every day and praise the Lord for the reminders.

  4. I didn’t realize it at the time, because I hadn’t been to church in years, but now that I look back I know God was watching over me. My husband, Ken, was in the Coast Guard for 20 years. After he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease he wanted to revisit his many duty stations. The last visit was to Guam. We were there from 1970 to 1973 and it was still very, very native. We had to fly to Hawaii, spend two nights then, fly 7 hours to Guam. We found that 40 years made quite a difference. Nothing looked familiar. We were stationed at NCS and lived in base housing. Of course after so many years there had been changes. However, while driving through we found a street name that had been engraved on a brick laying on the grass. The name was Hooper Street. Believe it or not, that was the street we lived on. Looking back on that trip, even though it was very stressful for me, keeping an eye on him and keeping everything happy for him, it was the right thing to do. I know the Lord was with me every step of the way and I’m thankful for those happy memories.

    • Judi, what a story. Thanks for sharing. My husband’s college roommate was from Guam so he has many stories to share about this island/country. Bless you for making a visit possible for your husband.

  5. All these “little” kindnesses add up. Sometimes I think because I’m not doing anything “big” and time consuming, I’m not doing anything that “counts.” But even helping my husband spell a word counts. And watching the grands when needed. Thanks for the reminder that putting self aside in little ways is important in God s eyes.

  6. Karen this is a beautiful article. It challenges all of us to go that extra mile for others. Many times it’s the little thoughtful things that we do for others that brings sunshine into their hearts and ours too. Thank you for the reminder.

    • You are so right, Sandy. And you are one of the people I know who do little things for others all the time, as I have been the recipient of many of your thoughtful gifts and prayers. You are a treasure.

  7. Karen, I have health problems with my feet, but I manage to wait on my husband all week and on Sunday. I do not however, feel like coming home after Sunday night services and cooking. He thought nothing of it until I became unable to stand for very long without my feet swelling. Bob, then, offered to fix peanut butter on crackers. And an apple. He has Parkinson and his hands are stiff, so soon we will be going by the window at McDonalds for a take-out. I enjoyed your blog and it made me hungry for popcorn! God bless!

    • Thanks, Mary. I’m glad you and your husband are finding solutions that work for both of you. We do that too–especially mid-week. Enjoy that bowl of popcorn you may add to your menu. 🙂

  8. Loved the story and for some reason it made me think of many times when God has directed me to do something I never thought about doing. A few years ago I lived next door to a good friend and her husband and since I was a widow she wanted me to email her each night to let her know I was okay. One night I wrote that I hoped her tomorrow would be filled with happy surprises. When I got up the next morning for some reason (was it God) I decided to bake some blueberry muffins for breakfast !!! NOW, I never baked anything before breakfast as I am NOT a morning person and I eat a granola bar or something easy about an hour after I get up. Just before the muffins were ready to take out of the oven I remembered my neighbors loved Blueberry muffins so I gave her a quick phone call and asked if they had eaten breakfast and would they like some Blueberry muffins?? She was delighted!! I took most of them over as soon as I took them out of the oven. I was walking across the lawn when all at once I started laughing to muself and thought, ” I did not know when I wrote to her last night that I wouold be the one that provided a “happy surprise” !! I think I was much happier than they possibly could have been!
    Thanks, with love to you and my schoolmmate~’your Charles’. Margaret

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