Making the Most of the Little Things

by Kristin

Sometimes I find myself wondering whether I’m doing the right thing.

When you are a mother with multiple young children, you don’t have a lot of free time. Your days are taken up with the essentials — clean ’em, clothe ’em, feed ’em — and all the other myriad tasks that naturally fall to you as a homemaker. You are caught up in a monotonous repetition of little chores — dishes, laundry, cleaning, etc. — and are at the beck and call of little people who seem to need your attention every 2 minutes and 47 seconds…at least, some mornings it seems that way.

You ask yourself every once in a while: Shouldn’t I be doing something bigger and more important? Volunteer opportunities come up, and you are eager to jump on board and help, but your husband reminds you that you don’t have the time. So with a sigh, you settle back in your chair and think of the basket of laundry that needs to be sorted and the dishes piled in the sink.

It’s easy to forget what lies in the little things. It’s easy to forget just how important the little things are.

Think of that sinkful of dishes: There are dirty bowls and plates, dirty cutlery and cups, dirty pots and pans. This big job has to be broken down into several little tasks: clean this plate, then that plate, and then the next one; this cup, that cup, and each piece of cutlery; this pot, that pan, and so on. Each of those little, individual tasks adds up until — voila! — you can step back and survey with satisfaction the stacks of clean, shiny dishes in the cupboards and drawers.

Life is made up of the little things. Little tasks adding up into big accomplishments. Little moments adding up into years. Little decisions steering life’s course.

Oftentimes when we look back on our lives as a whole, it’s the accumulation of the little things which largely determines whether we view our life experience as mostly positive or negative: a smile, a hug, a small word of praise, a fun game, a good laugh, versus a scowl, a critical remark, a slammed door, and a promise unkept.

So what does that mean for me as a mother, wife, and homemaker? Simply this: That by doing my best in the little things, I am laying the foundations for life. A little sweep here, a little scrub there, a picture frame hung on the wall — I am creating a home and a haven. A smile here, a hug there, and time together — I am nurturing the souls of my family and endowing a treasure chest of memories to share and enjoy for a lifetime. A Bible story here, a prayer there, and grace extended — I am planting the seeds to grow a faith which will move mountains.

Making the most of the little things is no easy task. Such an undertaking requires, among other things, cheerfulness, patience, graciousness, willingness, diligence, wisdom, self-control, a servant heart, faithfulness, understanding, humility, and unconditional love.

Making the most of the little things means choosing patience over frustration, hope over despair, forgiveness over resentment, hard work over laziness, humility over pride, and selflessness over selfishness. Consistently. Faithfully. Minute by minute. Day in and day out.

Let us not despise the little things. God grant us wisdom to recognize the eternal value of our work as mothers, and give us grace and strength to meet our calling.

 

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