Family And Parenting
It's the Little Things that Matter
By Featured Blogger Tina Santiago-Rodriguez Updated Tuesday January 08, 2013 - 9:47am


Today, January 7, is a very special day for me - it's my husband and I's seventh wedding anniversary! It seems like only yesterday when we first met at a campus-based activity organized by our Catholic youth community, CFC Youth for Christ (YFC). Anthony was a mission volunteer then; I was a graduating PT student. We were both at the activity to support our fellow YFC members.

It wasn't love at first sight (for me anyway! Though my husband would claim otherwise! Ha, ha!). I do remember thinking to myself when a friend introduced us to each other, "Hmmm… he's kinda cute!" But that was it. No sparks, no "I'm going to marry this man someday" kind of thoughts. Nothing like that at all. Nada.

At that time, I was crushing on another guy. And preoccupied with finishing my PT internship and other requirements so I could graduate from UP Manila on time.

In fact, I didn't think that Anthony and I would ever cross paths again.

But we did.

We served together at a few other YFC activities. Eventually, we became "close." Close to the point that I started getting confused about where we were heading (OK, I'm literally baring my soul here - many people who are close to us don't know about this! Well… now all of you do! Ha, ha!).

Well, to make a long story short… we ended up together after a very brief courtship (was there any courtship to speak of in the first place? Gosh, that was a long time ago, I can hardly remember!). Needless to say, our "whirlwind romance" was frowned upon by a lot of people, including our leaders in YFC.

Some people probably thought that our relationship wouldn't last.

But it did.

We even survived three years of being in a long-distance relationship (only by God's grace I tell you!).

And now, here we are… seven years married, with two beautiful children, and one more due to be born in late April or early May.

We spent the first five years of our marriage in Timor Leste, where we were assigned by our Catholic community to be a missionary couple. Our two older kids were actually born there.

Then, in June 2010, we were asked to return to the Philippines. It's been an exciting ride full of lovely surprises and trying challenges since then, but it's been much easier to handle because of two things: God's grace and my husband's steadfastness and silent strength.

This past weekend, I was especially reminded of Anthony's admirable traits. Of the little things that matter.

Our helper has still not returned from the province, so it's just my husband and (big, pregnant, tired) me and the two kids for now at home.

Anthony went to the market on Saturday morning and bought the food supplies we needed. Once he got home, he set about cooking four different types of ulam or viands for our meals for the upcoming week. He also washed the dishes for every meal, insisting that I rest.

It's the little things that matter.

He patiently (more patiently than I did!) took the time to read books to the kids, making funny jokes and silly sounds, which resulted in gleeful giggles from Tim and Rysse.

It's the little things that matter.

When the time came to give Rysse her medicine (for her cough and cold), he patiently prodded her to do so, while I ended up losing my temper because she didn't want to take her antibiotics.

It's the little things that matter.

When I insisted on trying to finish de-cluttering and reorganizing our apartment, he gently reminded me that I needed to rest, for the sake of our baby in my womb.

It's the little things that matter.

To others, what my husband did this weekend and still does every day may not seem very significant. They may even seem shallow or petty.

But not to me.

After being married to Anthony for seven years, and being in a relationship with him for almost twelve, I've come to realize that, when it comes to having a healthy marriage, indeed, it's the little things that matter.

Many times, we overlook the little things because we're too focused on the big things that are absent. Like that dream home we still don't have. Or that fancy car we're saving up for. And so on.

Friends, believe me, if you want to have a happy marriage, focus on the little things.

Because, in the end, you'll see that the little things eventually add up to big things. Your love is deepened, your faith in each other is strengthened, your ability to laugh and hold hands and pray together and move forward despite the most trying of trials shines through.

Today, I want you to look at your spouse (if you have one) and look at the little things he or she does for you, and be grateful for them.

May your love for your chosen one, your beloved, grow as you do.

And may you be blessed.

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