I will never forget a lesson I learned many years ago when our oldest daughter was just three years old.

I was in my study working on a church newsletter. Ironically, the subject I was typing about dealt with tuning in to the little things around us.

“Don’t missing the rising sun, the sound of a bird, the laughter of a child or the cries of those in need,” I wrote in my devotional.

“It’s the little things that count in life, the real gifts are friends and special moments with people dear to us. It’s not things but people’s hearts,” I wrote.

Suddenly, as I was typing away, I caught the sound of the study door closing.

“What, was someone in here,” I said.

I peeked out the window and I saw my three-year-old walking away.

I asked her if she had been in the study.

“Yes, she said. “I just had something I wanted to tell you.”

She then told me something she had seen in a book she was looking at, so simple but so beautiful with meaning to her.

I could hardly fight back the tears as my heart repented of what had just happened.

In my busyness to write about not neglecting the words of others, I had actually closed out my little girl who wanted to share something really important to her.

One thing I have learned over the years is how a sense of value has changed. Many, in their youth, look more at the monetary angle of value. As we develop deep friendships, draw closer to our family and learn to appreciate the wisdom of elderly, we gradually start to understand that the real treasures of life are the smile of a baby, the happiness of our children when we come home from a busy day and a long talk of “wisdom” with someone who has learned many lessons from life.

It is seeing someone get better after an illness, some laughing again after facing a deep tragedy, not to mention a sunrise or sunset, the song of a cardinal or the wonders of creation around us.

As we go into 2019, one of my major wishes is to recognize the real gifts that God sends each day, a new friend, a good visit, a new realization or some new way of reaching out to productiveness.

One of my favorite all-time songs is the Byrds’, “Turn, turn, turn,” based on Ecclesiastes three.

“For everything there is a season, and a purpose for all things under Heaven.”

So now we are entering the “season of 2019.”

I am not praying for new “things” but recognition of what is already there.