The Overflow! where souls are filled and faith is spilled

If You’re Tired of the Small Stuff…

 blue-chair-clip-artWelcome, I’m so glad you’re here!

If you’re stopping over from Proverbs 31I hope you’ll pull up a chair and stay a while.

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And before you go, I’d love to get to know you better.  Leave me a comment or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter and let me know how I can pray for you in this new year.

Better yet, let’s make plans to meet face-to-face! I’d love to meet you at a ministry event sometime in 2015. I’d be delighted to speak at your next weekend retreat, women’s gala, or a mom’s night out. You can explore my speaking topics here or contact me at Overflow@aliciabruxvoort.net if you have any questions or simply want to learn more about my speaking ministry.

Today, over at Proverbs 31 Ministries, I’m talking about the one thing we need to remember when our life feels small and insignificant. It’s a story that begins with a mountain of laundry and ends with a soul-shifting lesson from a broken scooter and driveway covered with sidewalk chalk. If you’ve ever wondered if what you do really matters, I hope you’ll head over to Encouragement for Today and be reminded that sometimes the small things we dmake a big difference.

Now, if you’re ready for another helping of inspiration, keep reading…

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I have a confession to make: I’ve always wanted to do something REALLY BIG for God.

I know, I know, that sounds rather vain. But there’s something in me that has always dreamed of changing the world for the sake of my Savior.

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I remember sleeping out on the beach when I was fourteen-years old and making a promise to Jesus beneath the sultry summer sky.

It was the final night of junior-high church camp, and my friends and I had decided to make the most of our last hours together. So, we’d spread our blankets on a sliver of sand not far from the lake where we’d toppled our canoe a time or two, and we’d stretched out beneath the stars swapping stories and sharing giggles.  Eventually, the chatter waned and my friends surrendered to sleep. But I lay  there awake in the velvety darkness overcome with love for the One had called those stars out by name that very night.

And while my friends tarried somewhere between sleep and dreams, I made a vow to the Maker of those stars.

 “Jesus, I want to live my whole life for you. I’ll go anywhere. I’ll do anything.  You name it, Lord. I’m yours.”

Then I rolled over and joined my camp-mates in slumber, confident that Jesus had heard my plea.

I returned home expectant, certain that at any moment my Savior would take my little life and use it for His great glory.

My high school years came and went in the same small town where I’d begun kindergarten, but I knew that Jesus had heard my prayer.

I filled out college applications and applied for scholarships and figured that the Lord would soon unveil that big plan for my life.

I dreamed and prayed and echoed my beach vow with a sincere heart. Anywhere, Lord, I’ll go anywhere.” 

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IMG_1473While most of my friends made plans to attend colleges close to home, I secretly prepared myself for a launch beyond my comfort zone. After all, how could Christ use me to change the world if I never left the cornfields of Iowa?

When a generous scholarship planted me at a university just two hours from my hometown, I wondered if God had heard me correctly on that starry night long ago. Surely the Lord had bigger plans for a girl whose heart was bursting with gigantic love for Him. But I followed His lead and poured myself into my studies, certain that my grand work for Jesus was just around the corner.

I married my high school sweetheart, secured my teaching degree and hoped for a job that would let me do great things for my Savior.

Finally, at twenty-two-years old, it seemed like Jesus had decided to take me up on that offer I’d made as a gangly girl. My husband and I landed jobs at an international school school in Salzburg, Austria. And  there, in a little yellow school house tucked in the Alps, my classroom teemed with a beautiful array of students from across the globe.

I was certain that we were finally on the right track- Jesus and me, that is.

I figured I could accomplish big things for my Savior when I had access to the hearts and minds of children from all around the world. I created curriculum that would gently crack open the doors to faith discussions, and I prayed constantly for the students whom God had entrusted into my care.

But when my husband received his acceptance letter for medical school just nine months into our teaching stint overseas, I wrapped up that unique school year and followed my man back to the Midwest so he could chase his big dream of becoming a doctor. In the blink of an eye, we traded majestic hikes through the Alps for penny-pinching treks through the grocery store; European train rides for American commutes.

Within a year of returning to the states, I swapped the name teacher for Mommy and my giant dreams shrunk into a narrow fog of sleep-deprivation and coupon cutting, housekeeping and tantrum-taming.

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IMG_1505I changed diapers and hosted play dates; folded underwear and led Bible studies. I plunged toilets, read board books, and managed end-of-the-day melt-downs (sometimes the baby’s, sometimes mine).

My husband studied and learned and worked uncountable hours. We celebrated our tenth anniversaryand we checked off a slew of grown-up milestones.

We had more babies, signed mortgages, and joined a church. We created budgets, read parenting books, and began saving for retirement.

And even though my head told me that motherhood was a grand and holy calling, some nights when the babies grew quiet and my husband succumbed to sleep, I’d lay in bed and wonder if Jesus even remembered those words I’d uttered beneath that velvety sky long ago. 

When the only job that surfaced for my husband upon his graduation from residency was a promising medical practice in the same middle-class small town where we’d grown up, I declared an all out war on God. 

I told you I’d go anywhere. I told you I’d do anything.

And this is all you’ve got for me?

A small life planted smack dab in the middle of cornfields and endless sky? 

What about Africa?

Or India?

Or at least a new zip code.

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By then, I was using my teaching gifts in a new way as a Bible teacher and speaker, and I was certain that God would want to use me as the next Beth Moore or Lysa TerKeurst. 

After all, I had plenty of passion and the gift of gab. Surely He’d want me to reach the biggest audience possible for His glory.

Instead, the Lord sent me to remote towns hedged by cornfields and dusty roads, and He asked me to speak life to women who were famished for a splash of faith.

He invited me to minister to worn-out moms at MOPS meetings and weary sisters at women’s retreats.  And He showed Himself big in the smallest of places.

But I wanted a different story.

I had friends spreading the gospel on college campuses in France, battling the horrors of sex trafficking in India, saving orphans in Africa, and serving the hopeless in Honduras. 

I felt left behind in the cornfields of Iowa where my biggest mission field was still just the overstocked aisles of Wal-Mart and the space between the four walls of my house dotted with sticky chairs and finger-printed windows.

I fought for gratitude, but secretly wondered why God wouldn’t let me do anything big for Him like so many of my sold-out-to-Jesus friends.

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Then one night, while I lay awake wrestling with my own desires for more, my Maker finally responded to my incessant hounding. “Right now, I just want you to do small things with great love.” 

It wasn’t Africa or India. It wasn’t Beth Moore or Lysa TerKeurst.

It was a call to live out the gospel in my own backyard, to change the world one diaper at a time.

 It wasn’t the story I wanted. But it was the story He was scripting.

Desperate to align my heart with His, I surrendered to the tale He’d chosen.

And I offered up a new prayer:  Jesus, please grow in me a big passion for the small things right in front of me. 

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My craving for big things didn’t instantly disappear.

But I began to embrace all the small ways I could share my giant love for the Savior right there in the middle of my ordinary-little-life.

I prayed for friends in the grocery store; delivered meals to weary mamas, and passed out hugs in the hallways of my children’s schools.

I scribbled words of hope to children battling the demons of poverty a world away from my tulip-lined town. And I laughed and loved and snuggled with the children right beneath my roof.

Then one summer, not long after I’d uttered my new prayer, I hiked a craggy mountain in the Rockies with my husband and our five children.

We wandered treelined paths and picked wildflowers in green meadows.

We scaled jutting boulders and lingered long on the banks of a white-capped waterfall. We shed our shoes and dipped our bare toes in the icy water.

We hollered happily above the roar of the rushing falls and let the spray of the frothy cascade kiss our chilly cheeks.

Hours later, when we emerged above the tree line and neared the mountain’s peak, I studied the small silver stream that wound like a ribbon up the steep mountainside.

And I realized that I was looking at the source of those mighty falls miles below.

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Then, for the first time, I saw it clearly–how a tiny trickle can gain momentum as it flows and grow into something big and beautiful.

My daughter slipped her soft hand into mine and whined about her aching feet. So, I pulled her into my arms and sat down beside the snaking stream. Then, I took off my shoes for the second time that day and dipped my toes in the crystal trickle.

And while I waded quietly on holy ground, I prayed that somewhere down the road, the Creator of the stars and the Maker of the mountain falls would take the small  things that I’ve done in great love and turn them into a rush of something big and beautiful. 

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He that is faithful with little things is faithful with big things also.” 

-Luke 16:10, NLV

************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************Oh, friends, it can be so hard to stay faithful with the little things.

But what if we decided that 2015 is the year we are going to do small things with great love?

What if we decided to celebrate the small stuff this year? To encourage one another in small ways? To offer our small selves to our great big God?

 Together, we might make a HUGE impact for Jesus!

necklaceToday, I’m giving away this mustard-seed necklace as a simple reminder to stay faithful in the small stuff.

Because, with Jesus, it only takes a small seed of faith to grow a great BIG miracle!

To enter your name in the give-away, just leave me a comment and tell me this: What small thing that has made a BIG difference in your life?

I’ll contact the winner by email by  Friday, January 9.

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74 thoughts on “If You’re Tired of the Small Stuff…

  1. Danielle

    Wow! I was certain that I was the only mother that felt like this. I too am a mother of five. A homeschooling mother and although I did realize what an important job that was, I had lost sight of the significance of the tiny, everyday, simple things. I felt exhausted and worn out and wondered how anything that I did made any impact for the Kingdom. I had a desire to do big Kingdom work. Something, like you said, that would change the world. So, I prayed for the opportunity. I begged the Lord to give me something to do that made a difference. God answered that prayer with the opportunity to volunteer with a wonderful, Christian organization. Spreading God’s word across the globe, reaching millions for Christ. In no tIme, doors opened and opportunities to do the work presented themselves in abundance. I moved into a leadership role and became more and more involved spending loads of time communicating by phone, by email, going to promotional events, and speaking engagements. It seemed like this was it. The big work God had for me to do for him. Then, I began to notice little changes. My girls didn’t ask me to braid their hair anymore. My boys didn’t ask me to drive hot wheels cars with them anymore. None of them asked for a bedtime story anymore or for mommy to help them say their prayers. My husband came in from work tired and would eat, shower and go to bed. Things began to change in our home. I still accomplished the necessary tasks of schoolwork with the kids, laundry, and preparing meals but I just didn’t have time for the little things anymore. I would sit up awake until late into the night working on things for my volunteer position. One night, very bothered by the changes that I had noticed, I began to speak with God asking him why. After all, I was doing this work that He had given me and it was good work for His glory. What God revealed to me was that I had needed this experience to learn a lesson. That lesson being that I was already doing big work for Him. I was already answering the calling that he had placed on my life and didn’t even know it. The little things that I thought held little value were big things to Him and big things to my family. God uses little things to make big differences in lives. I realize now that as long as I do those everyday, little things with love and glorifying God for the opportunity, that is enough. Being the best wife I can be is enough. Being the best Mom I can be is enough. Cooking, cleaning, teaching, and playing Monopoly with my kids is enough. Worshipping God, praying and serving together as a family is enough. So, I am going to enjoy the little things again and praise God for this calling.

    January 7, 2015 at 7:15 am
  2. Pat Isidoro

    Thank you so much for your devotional this is just what I needed to read, for I also have decided to embrace 2015 with a new energy for the things God places in my path. I work nights and sit my grandchildren during the day and was feeling that I was falling away from doing things for our faithful father, that I could not find the strength or time to volunteer as I had in the past in my church, but with the encouragement of your devotional I know I am where God wants me to be at this journey of life and to enjoy the ride and to look at it with a clearer vision and as my favorite verse Isaiah 41:10 ” fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.” Amen

    January 7, 2015 at 7:36 am
  3. Julie Humphries

    I like so many have always heard “the little things ARE the big things!” It seemed like a “little thing” at the time–my 22 yr old brother needed a kidney transplant. It seemed like a little thing that I was able to be the kidney donor. But I now look back to 24 yrs ago and see how that little thing paved the way for many big things that were to come–my brother has had 24 yrs of good health & a happy life; he & I were able to restore a relationship that had severed due to family issues; my husband & I were blessed at age 45 (11 yrs after the transplant) with an unexpected pregnancy & the birth of our 1st child! Through all of this I look back & am reminded of how small I really am yet how GOD was big & mighty with HIS perfect plan & perfect timing in my life! My life of working on an airplane as a flight attendant & working as a mom & wife are the “right size” for HIM to use in BIG & MIGHTY ways (even when I consider them to be small!) for HIS honor & glory! My renewed goal for 2015 is to surrender–surrender all that I am, all that I think, say & do in even the smallest of ways, for HIM to use through me for HIS honor & HIS glory!! May I be like the drummer boy who gave all he had–a song on his drum for our Lord; all that I am is sufficient for HIM…..

    January 7, 2015 at 8:05 am
  4. Tina

    I just want to Thank You for sharing. I am a 43 year old mother of 5 children ranging from 26 years old to 3 years old. I have spent all of my life feeling like God has something Big for me to do. But unlike you, I went my own path and accomplished many things according to my own plan. I prided myself in being someone who was extraordinary and strong and independent because I could always accomplish things I set my mind to, regardless how big. But then my life took a big turn, I suffered a great loss, my grandmother died. The only person in my life I thought ever really loved me. I had suffered through many, many things before and prevailed and added it to another knotch on my belt as being a strong woman, but her passing broke me and everything around me seem to fall apart, quickly. And everything I saw as an accomplishment in my life was gone and I went into what I called a Sabbatical. After the smoke settled, I realized that my life was falling apart way before my grandmother passed. As I healed, God started to remind gently of just how much my life was a mess. And even though what was going on with my life at the time was God actually stepping in to save me, I viewed it as failure. Now, 18 months later, my heart has healed, all Glory be to God, and I feel strong again. But my daily life is the complete opposite of what it has always been. Now I work from home and I cook, wash dishes, do laundry, help with homework, have tea parties with my 3 year old and her baby dolls instead of holding staff meetings and dealing with Government agencies and contractors. But all the while, looking for my big opportunity to go back out and do something Big. Saying to God, “I know you have big plans for me Lord, I know I was meant for greatness, but this time I want to follow your plan, not mine.” And I looked down on these day to day “little” things I did every day for my kids and family, and to be honest, I have no passion to be “just a stay at home mom” or “just a housewife”. (I hope I am not offending anyone, just being honest about how I was feeling). And not even a week ago I asked myself, could someone’s ministry just be for their husband? And just yesterday I stumble upon the Proverbs 31 website and signed up for the emails, and today I received my first one…and it was yours: “The One Thing To Remember If Your Life Feels Small …” and it moved me. So I clicked your name taking me to your website, And before I got past the first paragraph on this page I broke down crying…I knew it was the answer to my question. And by the time I finished the page God was speaking to me. And because I too want my heart to line up with God’s; I prayed for Him to give me the passion for being the wife my husband desires and to give me the passion for being a stay at home mom. And I ask that you too pray for me.
    Again, Thank you. And trust me, you ARE doing big things.

    January 7, 2015 at 8:57 am
    1. Mattie

      Dear girl, Indeed you are doing the greatest things when you stay at home and take care of your family. Caring for the one person God has given you, your husband, and your children, is ministering to Christ. One person is important and only you can minister to them in the way you do. Don’t pass up the ones closest to you to serve others beyond. This is for Jesus. He takes personal all your service to your husband and your children. God bless you in this service at home! What man counts for great, God often counts for nothing. And what man despises as too small to be important may be the very test and training of character that will glorify God the most. Do these small things with great love. I will pray for you yes I will!

      January 7, 2015 at 3:49 pm
  5. Paula

    Realizing a small kind gesture you extended to someone and quickly forgot can come back as a reminder of God’s love and care in the most discouraging moments. This brings to mind the “still small voice” and how it can be (and many times is) in those quiet moments when God moves the most. Thank you for the reminder that the insignificant can really be quite significant!

    January 7, 2015 at 9:07 am
  6. Jenny Sauve

    Wow. All I can say is wow. I needed to hear this more than you know- home with three kiddos age four and down, I feel like all I do is little things! My husband is finishing up seminary plus working as a youth pastor, so our life is a bit crazy and I feel like more of the little things fall on me because I’m always here!! Such a good reminder that these matter- each small brick matters. My biggest “small” thing that has mattered the most is trying to get daily time with God, even if it’s only a few minutes of reading and quieting my heart. My dad encouraged me to start doing that when I was 11 and I can definitely see the small choice everyday to do that has made a big impact in my life. Some days it doesn’t happen, especially now with chasing the littles, but even writing this is a good reminder for me not to let those few minutes or more I can get with Him slip away- those little moments add up in my life and have a great impact and also a trickle effect in my kids lives, my husband’s life and everyone else around me! Thanks for this post!!!!!

    January 7, 2015 at 9:23 am
  7. Liz

    Alicia, I am from Kenya and I just wanted to tell you that you are in Africa. Jesus heard you and I heard Jesus through you and today’s Proverbs 31 devotion. I am in between jobs and I have been praying and asking God for enlarged territories, career-wise, and for bigger impact in the work that I do. I have not allowed myself to think about what would happen if the job isn’t bigger, if it is just like the old one, or if the job isn’t there at all. But reading this helped me to realise that sometimes Jesus wants me to bloom where I am planted, whether I am doing something big or small. I have been asked to do small projects by friends, which I find I am not too motivated to do because its not the “thing” that I have been asking God for. Thanks for reminding me to honour these requests, to be faithful with the little work that is coming my way right now. Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters …” (NIV). Indeed. Thank you again.

    January 7, 2015 at 10:25 am
  8. Susan

    I appreciate your thoughts of this day. It is my first time to read your blog and I started out from the Proverbs 31 website. At 56 years of age and after a life time of working on the “small things”, I, too, again, had recently been craving a need to do something of large purpose. I recently asked myself, do I want to leave this life doing nothing of great significance…”can I do something that makes a difference in this very needy world we live in?”. I have told myself, after 50 you should have accomplished something grand, it’s time! I had raised three children basically on my own as a single mom. I had finished college while working several jobs and I had gained respect and promotions at work over the years as a financial manager for a government contractor. I was doing well in that respect but I still possess this grinding gut feeling that I have missed something. It’s a nag that doesn’t go away, year after year. My passion is not dealing with numbers for the government but designing a home and creating a magnificent work of writing or art. Naturally, I do not see the greatness in myself as you and other moms missed in yourselves. I have recently been through a battle with my son for his children’s custody. Their mother does not do these so called “small” things for her beautiful three sons. She has left the marriage for drugs, sex, and fun. After 10 years of watching her destroy herself and neglecting her own children, my son now has full custody. We are still in final struggles to gain permanent custody and I am tired. It’s a process that we cannot stop if these children are to have a safe and productive life, not to mention a life of Christ. My son’s work schedule as a participant in an apprentice program is demanding. He has school two nights a week on top of working an hour and a half drive away. It’s tough but I am seeing him grow as a man and his devotion to Christ gains strength daily. I want you to know there is nothing small about what you do. When these small things are absent, children suffer and their lives are turned to low self esteem and many struggles arise in their own little heads leading to a life of pain. I am now, again, doing these small things to give the boys a chance in this life. A chance! It’s so small but so important. I do homework, showers, laundry, supper and run them to activities after I get off work. I put them to bed at my home several nights a week. These days they have become the focus in my life. Another day, I will create something great, but I know for now, I am a great grandmother and the world that needs me most is “my world”. I am forever thankful to God to have these children in my life and back home in a place of love. I think you and mom’s like you are creating something really big. You are creating a great world for your children and anyone that becomes a part of their world. And so it goes…

    January 7, 2015 at 10:44 am
  9. Tami

    I am a special education teacher, and sometimes my students may go days….sometimes weeks…..without mastering a skill. Seeing a child finally master something that comes so easy to their same-age, general-education peers is proof for me that God is working!!!

    January 7, 2015 at 11:04 am
  10. Sandi Colwell

    This is exactly what I needed to hear right now. I have been a stay at home mom for many years and now as the kids hit teen years, I wonder constantly- what am I doing? The other neighbor moms have long gone back to work and I here I am working my little quilt business but still wondering what is my purpose? I think you have answered it to do the small things that are in front of me in a big way. To appreciate and understand that where I am is exactly where I am meant to be. Thank you for this.

    January 7, 2015 at 11:05 am
  11. Halona Luna

    Music has been a small thing but been a very big reminder that I am His chosen. For what seems like forever ago, now almost 5 years ago, I had a heart attack. It seemed like days that I had been disconnected but finally I heard Him in a song that one of my sweet sisters sang for me at church.

    January 7, 2015 at 11:17 am
  12. Blanche Boyce

    Thank you for the encouraging words. For 12 years I was church pianist/organist. A needed staff position. We changed churches and this one is so big there was no need for my abilities. I felt lost!! I missed the piano! Get in the nursery?? No! But I did because because there was a need. I have 6 grandchildren ages 1-9 yrs. I pick up one from the babysitter every day (who also lives with us with her mother) ; I pick up 3 from school 3 days a week. I still work full time but in this season of my life, my task is to help and be there for the little ones. It took a while for the Lord to get through to me that it was indeed okay to not be playing the piano in church. I now play with the grandchildren!

    January 7, 2015 at 11:31 am
  13. Christi Long

    This story touched my heart. As a small town, small church, Sunday School teacher. I sometime wonder, am I making a difference after all, there’s not many teenagers in my class. God showed me reading this, if I make a difference in one, that’s all that matters. Thank you.

    January 7, 2015 at 11:33 am
  14. Amanda

    I am in the midst of diaper changes, laundry, and endless tantrums ever since I accepted God’s calling to quit work & stay home with my 3 small children. I thought this was my dream, and it is. But I constantly feel like I’m not enough. I can’t seem to get done what I feel like I should. Your words touched my heart. I need to start seeing and enjoying the small things more. Scooting trucks across the floor with my baby boy and playing blocks and baby dolls with my girls. Those things matter too!

    January 7, 2015 at 11:39 am
  15. Renee Pound

    Wow, just what I needed! I was trying to think of something profound at 6:39 a.m.. This hint of encouragement right here just hit big! I think I may just frame your story as a reminder! Thank you! God is using you for big things, more than you know.

    January 7, 2015 at 11:42 am
    1. Renee Pound

      I’m having a time going from Houston, Texas (everything is bigger in Texas) to a small town near Columbia, SC, even after 28 years. I wonder sometimes why God has me where I am. What is my purpose? I guess we need to bloom right where He plants us! Thanks again for sharing your story.

      January 7, 2015 at 11:54 am
  16. Shari McNIff

    Thank you for this devotion. I have 5 kids and also have struggled with my importance. Should I volunteer more, am I devoted enough in my “mission work”. But I have been feeling that importance here at home. Its where I need to do my small things.

    January 7, 2015 at 12:08 pm
  17. Hope

    There are so many “small” things that have done BIG things in my life. I love your image of the stream to the falls! That’s the thing about the little things, together they make up something BIG. I’m reminded of 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 which talks about the body of Christ with each member having his/her role to play and no role is too small. I pray that we might all see how vital are membership in Christ’s body is (no matter how small it may feel at times) and work together towards the ultimate goal to glorify Him.

    January 7, 2015 at 12:11 pm
  18. Pam

    I love how God shows us HIS way through nature. I so needed to hear this message of continuing on in the small. I also have a desire to do something more or bigger, but God is showing me that HIS timing is perfect and this season of homeschooling my boys (2 still at home & 1 in college) really is only a short amount of time. I have 6 years left to pour into my boys before they’ll make their flight out of this nest, and I don’t want to give up and coast until then. Investing in and pouring into my boys’ lives is a most significant and seemingly small task but the Word promises a great harvest if I do not give up. Thanks again for this encouragement from the pages of your life.

    January 7, 2015 at 1:00 pm
  19. Dia Dulin

    I am an ER nurse in North Carolina. I have a job that is very rewarding, very stressful, very unforgiving, happy, sad, every emotion you can possibly muster. I have to remember each day that I may be the only glimpse of Jesus some people see. I am screamed at, cussed at, looked upon with distain and I have to pray that my human side does not come out. I pray my patients know that I do care. Sometimes it’s as simple as offering a warm blanket and a smile to pressuring the MD for nausea medication or offering a popscicle to a small, scared child. It’s offering comfort and crying with the family who just lost a loved one or comforting that 80 yr old husband when his wife isn’t doing well. Jesus is in the small stuff. This I know.

    January 7, 2015 at 1:22 pm
  20. Jenny

    This is such a great devotional. It has been the prayer in my heart as well.

    January 7, 2015 at 1:44 pm
  21. Kate

    First of all Alicia, if you ever start to doubt your purpose in the small stuff again, go back and read these comments. You have touched so many women who are clearly struggling with the same “battle” of insignificance or the “is this big enough” cloud that looms over so many of our heads.. So, thank you. Tears welled up in my eyes as I read, and read and read all the comments/feedback. I’m not sure if it was the fact that I pained for all those who left comments, or that I had a realization that the enemy was trying to isolate me and make me feel that this struggle was foreign to other women/moms; that other moms were able to recognize their value and walk in faith, so why couldn’t I? My small thing was not deleting this post this morning and taking time to read and gain and glean from you and other moms. In doing so, I had an impact in my own life for a change. God used this piece of literature/correspondence to remind me and pour in to me. Nothing we do, when done in love and in obedience to His calling, is EVER too small or insignificant to make an impact in His kingdom. If you were encouraged by Alicia’s testimony, spread this message to a mom, wife, caregiver who may be struggling with insignificance. You have no idea the impact it/you will have in their lives. That can be your SECOND small thing for today 🙂

    January 7, 2015 at 1:45 pm
  22. Yimell

    Boy, did this hit home for me! I am a mother of 4 all under the age of 9. I resigned from my job May 2014 after 6 years. God revealed to both my husband and I that it was something I needed to do but lately I’ve really felt purpose-less! I decided that this year will be different that when I cook, clean, carpool, run errands, pay bills, plan play dates, schedule doctor appointments, sit through soccer and dance practice I will not whine or complain and that I will do it ALL to glorify God. I will do the small things with L♡ve.

    January 7, 2015 at 1:49 pm
  23. Lois

    Thank you. I love your encouragement.
    That mustard seed. Small but I have heard very powerful in all of us. I am learning to practice faith, wanting to hear that still small voice.
    My small things in the next few weeks add up to a big thing. My farm is under contract and the process of selling has begun. Each task having small things fixed, packing, cleaning, selling or donating no longer needed items and finding a place to live by February 2nd 2015 has been very stressful for me.
    I am also leaving a relationship and will be living in a different town near my church friends.
    I also spoke to god and have given him my life. I want to hear a Big Voice tell me what, where, how now. I know that I must continue with the small things that then turn into something big. 2 Years ago I was not living a christian life. I have learned so much since then Then it was overwhelming in some ways but it was the small steps, the small things we do that add up.
    I have made a lot of progress in living a life filled with the Lord and I will continue with the mundane things and the things that need to be done that seem inconsequential at times because I have seen the small mean a lot. Just one simple prayer saves a persons life all is forgiven and that small mustard seed starts to grow, Thank you again and I look forward to reading more. P.S. Please pray that I find the place that God wants me to be and that I hear his voice of what apt etc I should live at. God Bless You.

    January 7, 2015 at 1:56 pm
  24. Lori

    I’ve been struggling with some of these same feelings. I’ve found when I don’t make enough time to pray these feelings are overwhelming. When I make (and take) the time reading my Bible and praying, my perspective change and I find the joy in small things. Glory be to God.

    January 7, 2015 at 2:00 pm
  25. Janelle

    I just came to this blog and you nailed it!
    What small thing that has made a BIG difference in your life? Being able to work full time from home for the company I work for. It allows me time to send my children off to school with hugs and kisses (when they let me) and see them home after school with a “how was school” smile.

    January 7, 2015 at 2:01 pm
  26. Melanie

    Thank you for using your talents to send this message today. This morning I was thinking of other moms in my area that have returned to the workforce in the community and wonder if that would be for me. I am homeschooling my two daughters and as teenagers, they don’t seem to need me to do the teaching as much as they once did. I feel that our homeschooling has been a great decision for our family but it seems as though all I do is clean, cook and direct the activities. I was like you – thinking for sure I would end up in some far away exotic place. I am drawn to international people, my husband dreads if I hear someone speaking a foreign language because he knows I will try to talk with them or try to figure out where they are from. I even did discipleship training with YWAM in Germany… how could I end up in the mid-west? 🙂 I know God has a plan but some days it is hard to keep my focus there and be content. Seems as though the years are rolling by and what have I done? I realize my focus has to get off of what have I done and more on what has the Lord done. I love your illustration of the scooter… I will keep that picture in my mind as I think of my daily tasks. Thank you for being faithful and sending water to my parched soul.

    January 7, 2015 at 2:11 pm
  27. Thank you so much for this post! It is such a great reminder to all of us who feel like we are “just a mom”, to really remember He does great things in and through us…for them!
    Thank you for your encouragement to keep going for Him, my family, and for myself.
    As I too fold the countless piles of laundry (5 kids), I am reminded that my work as “just a mom” is more powerful in His eyes than any title I may acquire being a CEO of a large company. He has chosen ME to raise my children with His guidance. He has chosen ME to do the job. I feel honored to be the chosen one.

    January 7, 2015 at 2:11 pm
  28. Rita

    Thank you so much for your encouragement & challenge. I’m a mom to 3 grown kids, nana to 3 precious babies ages 5, 6, & 9. I am a retired school teacher who had to go back to work part-time at a daycare because my husband lost his job 5 months ago. My prayer for myself & family is that I can be there for them & pray for them & live in a way that helps us all grow closer to Jesus. I pray that my “small” things will become “big” things in their lives.

    January 7, 2015 at 2:17 pm
  29. Donna L

    Alicia, you have touched my heart today and all of these comments from the other women have touched me as well. My husband and I have 3 children, ranging from the ages of 20 – 24, but we serve as children’s pastors in our local church, and we have a very small group of kids. There are Sundays when I leave church wondering if we have made a difference at all in any of the lives of our kids, but I know that is just the enemy trying to wear us down, because Sunday night during altar service, I saw one of our 7 year olds right up front with us, praying and oh, it blessed my heart so much. One of my husband’s favorite scriptures is “God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well.” So, no matter what God has called us to do, or where He has called us to minister, or how many He has called us to minister to, you are so right that we need to do it with everything that is in us. You have renewed my passion in my “card” ministry this morning with your encouragement, so have a wonderful and blessed day!

    January 7, 2015 at 2:20 pm
  30. Sarah

    After surrendering my life to Jesus, I felt a call to something greater. Something bigger than the life I’d been living for my own gain. My husband grew up in the church but we’d both been walking our own paths for a long time. At the time we had a 7yo son, so smart and so sweet. Within a few months of beginning my new REAL relationship with God, my husband and I felt called to move across town to be neck deep in a new church plant. He stepped down from a mgmt position to work part time to allow room for a very hands on pastoral internship. I became pregnant. It was overwhelming to see God’s work in our lives. He asked me to leave my job to stay home with our new baby and to devote more time our family. I was scared about the financial ramifications and all the life changes for us and our son, but willing. It was a huge adjustment, but filled with beautiful moments of grace. 3 months after my daughter was born, I conceived again. I the last 2 years, we’ve made HUGE changes and sometimes my life feels very small. I’m due in 4 weeks now with our third child and couldn’t be more excited…. or terrified. I’m looking forward to the changes ahead but easily get lost in the enormity of the small things. Praying that this next year, God continues what he has begun in me and grows me into the wife and mom he’s called me to be. That my own expectations will not be how I measure my success, but that I would love and give greatly that his glory would be revealed in all my small tasks. Thanks for sharing your story and faithful devotions.

    January 7, 2015 at 2:25 pm
  31. Katie

    A message that speaks straight to my heart!

    January 7, 2015 at 2:27 pm
  32. I am most surprised to read this because I have read many of your devotionals on Proverbs 31, and I have always viewed the writers of Proverbs 31 as having arrived at the big time in ministry So, in my eyes, you are doing really big things!!!! I can really relate to this post because I have recently launched a blog — and because it has been a project that I have felt God calling me to do, I expected instant success with it — and the truth is that I feel like no one ever reads it. I can’t seem to draw much of a reader base, and I am only a few months in, but I expected much bigger things. While I do want to be faithful in the small things, I feel very discouraged — like it is going absolutely nowhere. Your words helped me to know that even big-time writers such as yourself feel this way! And I always enjoy your posts, so keep it up! I have no idea how you do the 5 kid thing and write (I just have two and can hardly keep up), but you have greatly ministered to me.

    January 7, 2015 at 2:28 pm
  33. Cindy M

    It’s so easy to get worn out doing the small things in life..for 2015 I’ve been praying for my word to study & practice this year & I’ve been seeing the word gratitude ALOT! This mornings devotional was a direct confirmation. God has been tugging at my heart to be thankful in the small stuff… I have a home to clean, laundry to wash & fold. Dishes to wash…it’s endless. On top of that being a wife, mother & working 40 hours a week & trying to take care of myself exercising…discouragement can grow quickly with the feelings of being taken for granted & what I’m doing is going unnoticed…or so it seems..God sees! & He wants me to do what I do gratefully & for Him! Oh what He’s doing BIG with the everyday small stuff right where we are! Thank you for sharing your heart with us & for the encouragement to not grow weary in doing good no matter how small it is!

    January 7, 2015 at 2:34 pm
  34. Keri T

    OH MY,Mathis was written for me. I keep thinking I am made for bigger things, then something happens with the students that I work with and I remember I am right where I am supposed to be.

    January 7, 2015 at 2:35 pm
  35. Thank you for your devotion today, friend! I am heading out the door to take care of a friend who has had back surgery. My mind says, “You’re taking a day off work!” but my heart says, “People, not projects”. Thank you for your reminder – small things are important things!

    January 7, 2015 at 2:39 pm
  36. Cindy

    Volunteering. That is the small thing that has changed my life. I see so many people that need a smile, a hug, or a kind word. Yesterday I was volunteering at church and a newly single Mom and her two young children were hanging out there because they had no place to go. The children kept coming up to me with open arms for a hug. Once I hugged the crying Mom. I believe God put me there that day, to be His arms surrounding that family with care, concern and a hug. That is not small.

    January 7, 2015 at 2:46 pm
  37. Melissa Smith

    Alicia,
    Thank you so much for your devotion this morning. God knew I needed to read this encouraging message. I have been feeling as if everything about my life is so small. You helped me see that sometimes “the small thing is really a big deal”. Thank you!

    January 7, 2015 at 2:46 pm
  38. Nancy

    Hi,

    Thank you so much for your honest words!! I have often had the exact feeling as a mom and a teacher. I felt that this life was not “spectacular” enough for God, that I needed to do more. However, as I go through life and experience many different situations I am realizing that it truly is the small gestures and moments in life that can make a huge difference in one’s perspective and possibly one’s faith journey.

    I have heard God telling me in a quiet voice to just focus on what he has given me and do those things to the best of my abilities, asking Him to work though me in small ways that will make a difference. I feel as though your words today were put in my life to verify that message.

    Personally, my life went through a major transformation about ten years ago when my life as a stay-at-home mom of two young children changed drastically when I was faced with the reality of infidelity, and a very serious accident involving my boys’ father. I went from being a married, happy, stay at home mom to a divorced, single working mom. It was not a change that I wanted or welcomed and it was very difficult for our entire family.

    I do not tell you this for pity or sorrow because I love the life that the boys and I have created. I am happy and content. I am telling you the story because it truly was the small acts of kindness from friends, family, and even people I barely knew that got me through those difficult years.

    Honestly, the meals dropped off unexpectedly, the prayers that were prayed for my family, the kind letter from a neighbor I had only met in passing, these were the things that helped me not only survive my ordeal but grow and be thankful in the process.

    Anyone who feels that these small things you are doing are not “big” enough or “special” enough, please know that this is simply not true. You ARE making a difference in people’s lives even with these gestures that may seem unimportant. I am so very thankful for all of the people who took the time to put forth the effort to show my boys and I that in a million small ways we were loved, cared for and we would make it through that time in our life. Some days when I was feeling particularly low, it would be those small acts of kindness that gave me the strength and determination to be there for my sons and persevere.

    I will leave you with my one of my favorite quotes (unfortunately I do not remember who wrote it).

    “The smallest deed is greater than the grandest intention”

    Thank you so much for your honest post!
    Nancy

    January 7, 2015 at 3:00 pm
  39. Jackie Flores

    Enjoyed reading your blog today. You have a lovely family. This year at my church, I started scheduling the greeters who meet our members and visitors as they arrive at church. It seemed like a small thing to do to help my church, but it has been a huge blessing. I love to see the people’s faces light up as they are greeted and the willingness of the many people who share their gift to help this ministry continue.

    January 7, 2015 at 3:03 pm
  40. Karen

    Thank you so much for this devotion! God is using you to touch other weary mama’s and that is BIG!!!

    January 7, 2015 at 3:08 pm
  41. One small thing in my life – doing what I can do, not comparing my life story to others. My goal is to do the good that is in front of me, to pray for people and situations more than I complain about them – I’ve been doing a lot of praying! Thanks for sharing your life. It helps to know we are not alone.

    January 7, 2015 at 3:08 pm
  42. Pauline

    I have been laid off from my job since March 2013; my aged Dad was with me at the time ( he was visually impaired) I struggled doing things for him sometimes as he would sometimes be quite unbearable. One day I remembered when I was feeling very frustrated..i was in the kitchen preparing something for him when the Holy Spirit brought the Scripture…do not be weary in well doing……from that day up until his death I truly tried with the God’s grace and mercy. Not that he is gone on reflection I understand better. I do miss him but I can say that the ‘lay-off’ was for a greater good as i was able to spend quality time with my Dad.
    It is from that experience that I have truly learnt that whatever we do no matter how small we must do it to the glory of Jesus Christ. So often we want to be recognized for the big things but the ‘little things’ matter. Quite often when there is an argument in our homes it is usually as a result of the ‘little things’ ( squeezing of the toothpaste at what we deemed to be the ‘wrong place’; leaving the chair not pushed under the table) and I could go on and on but for God’s grace and mercy we are able at times to move beyond these things.
    I am a single parent of a 12 yr old and that in itself is TRYING witht the bills piling up and no source I seemingly stress over the ‘little things’ but with God’s grace I know I will make it so I have to at all times maintain a ‘positive’ posture and believe God so ..no matter how ‘small’ things may seem I have learnt to be thankful for the ‘little things’. ALL HONOUR AND GLORY TO JESUS CHRIST MY SAVIOUR!!!!!

    January 7, 2015 at 3:17 pm
  43. Melissa Brown

    Not sure if my comment will get lost among all these amazing stories. As I read them I am reminded we are woman with the most important jobs God has for us. Our children were given as a gift to teach his ways, so as they are growing they can be thier own testimony as to what an amazing heavenly Father we have. After 15 years of teaching special needs children, I now find myself a stay at home mom to a teen and preteen son and daughter. You have helped remind me that this is the most important time to be right where God wants me. Thank you

    January 7, 2015 at 3:23 pm
  44. Melissa G.

    This has been on my mind so much lately. What perfect timing that I found this blog! Yay God! I feel like this a lot. I’ve told God similar things and been waiting and waiting. Thank you so much for this encouragement. Your act of writing this has blessed me so much. This may seem silly but one small thing that has made a difference in my life is gardening. I don’t have much space, as we live in the suburbs of San Francisco, but a few years ago my husband gave up a section of his lawn for me to make a garden and it has blessed me. I love getting down in the dirt and planting new life that will help my family eat healthy home grown goodness but I have also been able to give the overflow and extras to others and it is amazing the smiles and joy that this has given to them and to me. So yes, it is little and silly but has been a blessing 🙂

    January 7, 2015 at 3:25 pm
  45. Sarah Ann Wong

    I absolutely love your family hiking pictures and that they relate to my ‘one small thing’ that has truly made a difference. That one thing is looking out at nature periodically during the day. Even if I am too busy to actually make it outside, I find that looking out at the sky or a tree really helps to remind me of God’s provision and beauty in my life. At times, it’s all the mini-vacation/refuge time I can get!

    January 7, 2015 at 3:56 pm
  46. Rebecca

    I love this! I too, sometimes want the Lord to do big things with me….but it begins first with being obedient with the little things He asks on a daily basis. The little things that show His love and perhaps help me to reflect more of Him. So that is what I’m working on this year. No major resolutions, but to end 2015 living a life that reflects Jesus through me more than when I began this year. And remembering the little things that may seem mundane is such a vital part of that.

    Thank you!

    January 7, 2015 at 4:39 pm
  47. Tura Klepfer

    I just had my 60th birthday last month. While the number didn’t bother me I wondered what I could still do with my life. I too want to do great things for our Lord, but this post reminded me that I am influencing 6 grandchildren 8 adults and caring for three aging parents as well as working with patients who are I’ll and in need of guidance on how to get care once they are discharged. I am doing great things but In a small way. Thank you for the reminder. God bless you.

    January 7, 2015 at 4:46 pm
  48. Jan D.

    It is easy to see what others are doing and want their grand lives to be ours. We often also buy into the ideas of others, looking beyond what we have been given. The verse in Zechariah should be my theme, I am also eager for a larger adventure, but things do grow one stone at a time, and each “stone” placed will be used to help hold up the entire structure (sigh-this is how God designed things, but I want to leap past the foundation and the walls and go straight to the top).

    Goals for this new year are in place, but things get messy in the middle, so I’m going to keep this verse ever present to help as a reminder the road is walked one step after another.

    When I see that each little thing has a purpose then I’m encouraged toward persistence. Thank you, Jan
    (Loved the pictures, I grew up in Colorado and miss those mountain adventures!)

    January 7, 2015 at 5:16 pm
  49. Bobbie

    I was not raised in church, but have been a believer all my life, and worked to instill my beliefs in my children. Last spring a friend of my daughter’s invited us to visit her church, as they were getting a new pastor, and she was very excited about him. Me and my children (17 and 12 at the time) began visiting that church last March, and we, too, became excited about that new pastor! In July I was baptized, along with my 18 year old daughter and 13 year old son….WOW!! What a whirlwind! All, because my daughter’s sweet friend extended a simple invitation for a visit to church on a Sunday morning. That very SMALL thing has made a HUGE difference in my life, and the lives of my children, and I am forever grateful to that sweet friend! Things are going great, and we are all waiting to see how Jesus will use our lives to also make a difference in the lives of others in this world. And as a mom…I can rest easy in knowing that Jesus carries my burdens, and those of my children so that I don’t have to!

    Thanks for allowing us to see that we’re not alone in our struggle to long for bigger, and to embrace the little blessings that God brings across our path! God Bless!! 🙂

    January 7, 2015 at 5:32 pm
  50. Diane

    Exactly what I needed today! See, God is using you in big ways to reach those of us who need that message. The world would say my entire life has been small and insignificant. I know better. My sphere of influence is very small, but it’s what The Lord has given me, and it’s a huge blessing. All the small things matter to our Lord and Savior.

    January 7, 2015 at 5:38 pm
  51. Kathy

    When I saw the mustard seed necklace you were giving away, it brought back memories of my daughter. When she was small, her brother was telling her about the mustard seed. He told her she would grow tall if she ate the mustard seeds. I did tell her what it did say in the bible. Having the faith the size of a mustard seed we can move mountains. My daughter did pass me up in height but I don ‘t think it was from the mustard seeds 🙂

    January 7, 2015 at 5:52 pm
  52. Karyn

    Beautiful written! We all need to be reminded that God is in the smallest of details, therefore our small things can indeed have a large impact. Forsaking my own personal desires for today, my small things are helping run errands for my husband and visiting a friend with two, new foster babies.

    January 7, 2015 at 6:08 pm
  53. Paige Laine

    Wow…reading this while sitting on the couch, reseating being tied down athe home by a sick kid instead of accomplishing all the things on my errand list that I planned for today. The small thing that has most recently made a difference for me is choosing to read the P31 email and being convicted that the errands are far less important than the message to my child that her comfort is important! (She is old enough to stay home alone but doesn’t want to. ..I need to cherish the days I have left with her and be grateful for anytime my teen wants myou company!) Thank you for this message today!

    January 7, 2015 at 6:50 pm
  54. Kathy Oberski

    I took a leap of faith over the Holidays and went down to our local mission and volunteered to serve food to those in need. Never having done this before and having all kinds of things rush through my head as to why I don’t need to do this was put to the test when a friend asked me to step in and help for the afternoon shift. All to often, we see things on TV or hear about the needy or even see someone on the streets but we never reach out or just send in money or food. Meeting with some of the men and women who showed up and speaking with them was a real “heart” opening experience and something I plan on doing more often.

    January 7, 2015 at 6:51 pm
  55. Alli H

    Actually, your illustration today has given me hope that I can do great things for God and bring Him glory by doing what I do everyday at home for my family. Your small story has made the difference! Thank YOU!

    January 7, 2015 at 7:08 pm
  56. Sarah O

    Thank you for your lovely blog post today! I’m always encouraged and inspired by your writings! I think some of the small things that have made a big difference in my life are friends taking a minute to speak truth, love or encouragement in my life.

    January 7, 2015 at 7:20 pm
  57. Peggy Palm

    Thank you, your message is exactly what I needed today. I’ve raised two beautiful children as a single mom and always thought that now that they are grown that Id finally have the time for those “grand plans” that God had for me. Two years ago I became ill and lost my job and haven’t been able to work since. Many days Satan tells me I’m worthless, that I can do nothing for God now but I know differently. If we are in the Spirit of God and allow him to use us, he will. As you wrote even in the littlest of things, sometimes without us even knowing, God has used us in a very big way. Your message just reminded me once again.

    January 7, 2015 at 7:37 pm
  58. The most impactful small thing I ever did was joining Bible Study Fellowship. It was 18 years ago and the Word has transformed my life. I appreciate your post. All the best.

    January 7, 2015 at 7:45 pm
  59. Melanie

    I too dreamed of doing big things for God and I realized today that I am still really grieving in my heart the plans I had, the ones I felt God held too. I am still in the same small town on the family farm with my amazing farmer and 3 kids. I swapped dreams of African villages for small town America farm life. I can tell other moms and regularly do that what we are doing is of great eternal value, but I am realizing that most days I still struggle to believe it. Thanks for encouraging me today, God spoke through you today from that small town in Iowa deep into the heart of this mom residing in a tiny town in KY.

    January 7, 2015 at 7:52 pm
  60. alli

    thank you I came here because I was feeling small. it had to do with laundry and my clothes being so tiny. im a small frame you see due to illness. it gets me down alot. And because im kind of alone I dont anyone to show me things. blogs help alot bc there are things I simply wouldnt know. so maybe you arent in india or somewhere but I know I needed to hear what you said today. especially about despising small things. its a temptation when God tells me He needs me to look after some sheep ( my family) or something really insignifigant to the world, I get ruffled. but a mustardseed is small. I write alot about small things too. being a mom is a big deal ask any girl who doesnt have one. if a girls mom was around perhaps my life would have ended up different. she wouldnt be in jail.

    January 7, 2015 at 1:59 pm
  61. Rachel

    truth be told I hadn’t been reading my Proverbs 31 devotions lately. It seemed like one more wave of time in the sea of things to do and I just have been letting them disappear into my trash box. But after a hard day yesterday I decided I really could use whatever encouragement was hiding in my inbox today. And it was no doubt a click from God opening this one. Thank you so very much for reminding me the small things are all for him. This writing of yours was a huge blessing to me!!! Thank you <3 Rachel

    January 7, 2015 at 2:02 pm
  62. Trina

    I often feel small at my job, being a single mom, etc. I really feel like your story spoke to me today and that God orchestrated me to stumble upon your page! He is good isn’t He? I will strive & pray harder to accept that the small things in my life will glorify God in whatever way He chooses ! thank you for your story and your realness!! Blessings from Missouri <3

    January 7, 2015 at 9:47 pm
  63. Kathleen

    YOU DID!!! This beautiful message opened my eyes! Thank you!!!

    January 7, 2015 at 9:54 pm
  64. Kelly B

    Trying to constantly be here and take care of my disabled Mom has been my trial of small things.. Even though it’s been Even while something huge happened in my life, losing my youngest son to suicide. I couldn’t always just stay in bed and wallow in my misery everyday, my Mom needed me. I’m an only child, and though my hubby helps as much as he can, some things require a woman’s assistance. So while there have been plenty of days where I didn’t get out of the house, I didn’t shower, I didn’t change out of my jammies, and yes even some days I didn’t even get out of bed. But, fortunately, (even tho I didn’t always feel like it was fortunate), I couldn’t just stay that way for days on end. Mom needed me, so even while some days I had to force myself, I got up and tended to my Mom’s needs. It might be small, baby steps, but it has brought some healing to my broken heart. It has, on days, been a good distraction, to get my mind out of The dark grief I was experiencing. Mom is only one person, as am I, but the small favor of taking care of her, actually helped ME. Mom & I just talked about the mustard seed just a few days ago.. It is amazing to me that even on days where I feel I cannot go on without my son, I have faith, that occasionally is as small as a mustard seed, but I see now.. That’s ok with God. The small things DO matter. Awesome blog.. Thank you for sharing your story. God Bless.. In big ways, AND in small ways! ❤

    January 7, 2015 at 10:07 pm
  65. Stephanie Ver Helst

    That is the second time in the past 2 weeks God has put this message of being faithful in the small things out in front of me to hear for the first time ever. Thank you for sharing your heart so transparently. I am listening and trying to discern what it means for me to hear this message again. The smallest but biggest thing that I experienced in my life was actually within the last decade of my adult married life. One night, 2 dear friends came unexpectedly knocking at my door to provide unconditional support they knew I needed. They prayed about and received courage and obeyed the Lord to come to my door as a brother and sister in Christ. They may never know how life – changing that mustard seed moment was, but I do. I am so grateful that they circled the block and turned around and decided to come despite their ball of nerves and Satan’s attempts to change their minds to turn back. It wasn’t even what all they had to say that night that had the impact, it was the unconditional love they showed just simply by crossing my threshhold. The small things ARE big when done for Christ.

    January 7, 2015 at 11:04 pm
  66. Patty S.

    All I can say is Aaaahhhh! Love the way you write. It’s like sipping a warm cup of tea on a subzero morning or ice cold water after a morning run in August!

    One small thing that has made a big difference in my life is realizing that God gives me no guarantee of tomorrow, so I need to make the most of today wherever He takes me in thanksgiving to Him. God has never disappointed me and has always been faithful in making both the big and litlle things important in His eyes. I’ve been able to focus on Him through the sunny days and the gloomy days guided by His light through all situations.

    January 7, 2015 at 11:43 pm
  67. Kathleen Auen

    One of the best things I’ve done in my life is to sponsor a young boy from Haiti through Compassion International. His name is Wood, he’s 8 years old and he’s been my “son” for about 1 1/2 years. We write to each other several times a year. This year he sent me a thank-you note in response to a Christmas gift I sent him. He told me he bought chickens with the money. I cried.

    January 8, 2015 at 12:41 am
  68. Dee C.

    A tapestry begins with one stitch, a seemingly small thing. Thanks for the reminder that we aren’t the designer, just the worker. Beauty will come in time.

    January 8, 2015 at 1:54 am
  69. Donna K. Gottwald

    As a registered nurse, I have always dreamed of making a big impact in medicine and winning some kind of big reward. After 32 years of varied experiences, I still have not won that big reward. But as a homecare nurse now for disabled children, I have won many, many bigger rewards. It all depends on your perspective. All of the love I have received from these children and the many miracles God has worked in their lives is priceless!

    January 8, 2015 at 3:02 am
  70. Jacqueline

    Your stories are amazing & your writing is captivating. Keeps me wanting to read more…Blessings!
    My mom’s biological mother did not raise her, but has been in contact for the past couple years. My mom recently was diagnosed with Lyme disease, and my mom’s mom wanted to come to RI to help her in whatever way she could. My grandmother lives in Puerto Rico. We didn’t think much of it & since my grandmother insisted, my mom said ok. Now I don’t have a relationship with my grandmother, let alone my mom since she wasn’t in our lives. So this was not exciting to me. She’s just a visitor I thought. As time continued on here with her, and being around her more, there is still a distance & sometimes awkward silence from her. It had no effect on me since there was never really a relationship to begin with. However, I began to think, “Well why doesn’t she speak, Why is she like this”…And on and on…But then out of this, which I really didn’t think was a big deal that she was here, I started to think more and more about my mom. How she must feel or what she has been feeling and how can this be made right between her and her mom. And out of this (my grandmothers visit), I started to think how appreciative I am of my mom to not have given me up. I thanked her that she raised me & took care of me. It made me see just how much more blessed I am to have my mother in my life and to have a relationship with her. And this will bring my mom & I closer. I will continue to be there for her no matter what. Out of her experience, it brought a positive outlook on our relationship & that to me is a BIG deal!!

    January 8, 2015 at 3:40 am
  71. Linda M.

    Wow! I so remember those same feeling 25 years ago… I married young, I had 3 children by the time I was 24, and I was a stay-at-home mom. God had given me the desire of my heart, yet there were days when friends would verify themselves by what their out-of-the-home job was first, then by motherhood, leaving me feel as if I were not quite as “important” as they were. My “small stuff” (aka: children) were really the “BIG” stuff in my life. And God blessed my days, with “training them in the way they should go”. I did not have to juggle work and raising children at the same time! My life verse is: “Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6.
    It really is all about being faithful to the One who is so faithful to us! God’s Word tells us that He has ordained each day of our life! We honor Him when we listen for His leading, doing all things for His glory…even the small stuff….especially in the small stuff!

    January 8, 2015 at 4:12 am
  72. April

    This was just what I needed to hear this morning. I read your p31 post after I finished my bible reading, searching for what God is teaching me today and searching for His BIG things that He is going to use me for! I love that He reminded me that I am doing Big things as a mother of 3 young children and wife to a Godly man and a dedicated volunteer at our church! I and many other ladies in my same place, are making Big impacts in our small steps that will make ripples for years to come!

    January 8, 2015 at 12:16 pm

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