Little things

It’s the little things that can do me in sometimes.

The mini items on my daily to-do list. The niggling pain in my knees. Losing my keys again (or phone or purse). The small and inconsequential that builds and can become a mountain.

I recall the huge events in my life, the impact they had, how they changed me and life as I knew it. But the daily small can chip away like the persistent dripping on rock. Imperceptible until a depression in stone appears. And I see the shift.

Making the bed, preparing breakfast, doing endless mounds of laundry, shopping for groceries, paying bills, sweeping Maisie’s hair from the floor, running errands, filling the tank with gas. The mundane of an everyday existence can put me on overload.

Then I remember the small things that have greatly impacted.

  • A young woman who happened to come to a Bible study I was leading, how she has become a daughter of my heart.
  • A chance drawing of a name paired with mine, a home-school mamma who agreed to pray with me early mornings and has been my prayer partner for over a decade.
  • A doctor who moved his practice but kept Sweet William as his patient despite the incongruity of it, how he has been an instrument of healing.
  • The neighbors who bought the house next door, after renters came and went, and are like family to us now.
  • The appearance on a computer screen of a little tan and white dog with a flop ear, looking like she needed a home, her presence giving us laughter and love.

The small occurrences in our lives make big impacts, changing our story, making it a rich tapestry. We don’t see it at the time, how dailiness is weaving colors and design. Even the dark threads that we would rather leave out give depth and beauty to a life’s overall glory.

The story of Christmas is full of small things: an engaged couple; a long journey; houses and inns full to the brim; a rough feeding trough; an old man at Jerusalem’s temple looking for someone he hadn’t met.

Put together the small create a miracle. Prophecies are fulfilled.  Life as we know it changes forever.

There are miracles around us, wonders we are yet to see. Because some things take awhile. TIme reveals the potential of the events of a life, how they build upon each other to create a work of art. A life well lived.

Christmas can become full to the brim. One thing stacked upon another, filling the days too full to enjoy. Pause and take a breath to notice the small, the ways of wonder in and through it all. This day, this hour, this moment is packed with potential to change your life and those you love.

Christmas grace.


Small events

“In this house there is a constant succession of small events.” — Jane Austen

The small events make a large life, I think.  We celebrate the huge events, the births, the weddings, the deaths, and rightly so. But I wonder if it is in the small everyday happenings where we are shaped.

It is the simple conversation over a shared table.  It is the daily activities, like making the bed and making breakfast.  It is the kind word, the helpful deed, the simple smile that make a difference.

We remember the big events.  We remember where we were when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, when Princess Di was killed in her fatal accident, when the twin towers fell.

We recall the fire that took our home, the storm that devastated our lives, the tragedy that changed the future.  And we are affected by those, no doubt.

But perhaps it is the nightly tucking in of the children and hearing their prayers that will shape them the most.  Maybe the kiss good-bye and the “Be careful – I love you” said at parting will make an imprint on the heart.  And could it be the daily quiet time with Jesus that sometimes seems just a habit is where we grow strong?

Sometimes we dream of doing something big, something outstanding, something others will notice.

The “uneventful” day when we go about our daily tasks may not seem like it is changing anyone’s world.  But maybe it is.

Maybe the one small step taken in the direction of obedience is what will change my life and someone else’s.

The daily, the routine, the normal.  It is the small events that make a life.

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin . . . ” — Zechariah 4:10