...a God to serve...a family to love... a work to do...

Ordinary Acts


Saturday I was preparing a big meal for some men who were working on my roof. As I was spreading out a clean tablecloth, I asked my oldest daughter to go pick some roses for the table.

She thought that was surprising. It was hard for her to understand why I would go to the trouble of setting the table with a clean cloth, matching dishes and silverware, crystal and napkins for these dirty, sweaty men, much less why I would put flowers on the table.

“They’re men, they don’t care about flowers,” She said innocently.
“They’re men,” I said “They notice things like that and they need things like that. And they do care in an inner, sometimes unspoken way.”

Quiet. She was thinking. I didn’t have to explain why. She understood that even a hard working, covered in grime and toil man appreciates being appreciated.

And, more than that. There is a sweetness that a woman brings to life that men thrive upon. That kind of sweetness is as much attitude as actions, but it includes those lovely things like napkins and good coffee, a clean floor and pleasant surroundings. That sweetness in women urges men to greater and higher things.

When the men came in and washed up and sat down, my husband led in a prayer of thanksgiving. I looked at him and he was both proud and happy for the clean, orderly home as well as the good meal on the table. The men ate and talked, laughed and relaxed and I think they were rested and ready for more work by the time the hour was up.

Then in the midst of chairs moving and the conversation that accompanies men going to work, one of them reached out and gently touched a petal of a rose and held it for just a moment between his big, rough thumb and finger before heading back out into the heat.

The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.” Thomas Moore



  1. Janet

    What a sweet and inspiring article. I’m not married, but am currently the full-time caregiver for my bedridden elderly mom. This has reminded me that the extra touches are important for everyone to make them feel special and appreciated — and it’s also a service to the Lord. Your website and radio show also make me realize that even though I am unmarried, I am still a homekeeper with all the responsibilities and blessings that that entails.
    Thank you for all the helpful things that you share.

    • Sylvia

      Oh Janet, you have blessed my heart so much. Thank you for stopping by to comment and thank you for listening in and reading here!

  2. Gail Firenze

    Hello Sylvia,

    I think the last sentence sums it up “The ordinary acts we practise.” What a great reminder. So many people benefitted by that one ordinary practise. You were satisfied you had done your best , your husband was pleased with the effort you put into lunch preparation, your daughter learnt a good lesson, the gentlemen felt appreciated , we have been given a gentle example and reminder and best of all Our Lord would be smiling. Beautiful lessons all around.
    Blessings Gail

    • Sylvia

      Thank you, Gail. It was truly a sweet time.

  3. Jaleah

    Thank you Sylvia…I needed to hear this today.

    • Sylvia

      I’m so glad, Jaleah. Thank you for stopping by!

  4. Carmela Webb

    I so agree with Michelle! I’m encouraged!

    …Thank you!

  5. Michelle

    What a beautiful reminder. Thank you. I needed to read this.

  6. Karen Fincher

    Oh what a wonderful post thank you so much. I truly need that! I will try and to better myself. Thanks again, Karen

  7. Elaine H

    This is so very true but unfortunately something we tend to forget. Everyone can and does appreciate the finer things in life but nothing more than being treated with respect and love. You certainly showed all that to those men and I am sure they worked all the harder because of it.

    Thanks so much for the reminder. Now I need to think about all that is going through my head on this subject.

  8. Nancy M.

    This is something I am just now beginning to learn. Great post!

  9. Jen

    This is a lot to think about Sylvia, thanks for the “food for thought”.