April 3, 2023
The arrival of fairer temperatures whispered permission to plant flower seeds, and so my children and I planted some seeds this week. Previously unsure of what to write about for this week’s blog post, I now had an idea from the tiny seeds, and a blog post idea sprouted in my mind.
The thought came to me that the tiny seeds will one day grow into beautiful, climbing flowers (hopefully!). How many things in life start out tiny, just like those seeds, but will one day grow into something beautiful. Our wonderful Creator created seeds and gave us the imagery of how so many valuable aspects of life start small before growing strong and useful.
Throughout scripture God places value on little things.
Zech. 4:10 For who hath despised the day of small things?
Luke 13:19 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.
Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Before anything becomes big, it must first start small. Everything has a beginning, and there is value in little things. Little people. Little ideas. Little money. Little time.
Don’t despise the little things of life.
In our modern world of “bigger-than-life experiences” such as theme parks, movies with incredible graphics, fast cars, world-wide travel, exquisite buffets, we can easily look down on the little things of life, the things that often have the most value. In the quest for the “perfect life” or the next “big step," people often overlook what is truly important.
The quest for perfection is stressful and impossible, and even many good people get sucked into the vortex of perfectionism. Perfectionism often reveals itself in “all or nothing thinking.” For example, “I’m a failure if I can’t make a lot of money. I won’t start that project until I have 5 hours to work on it. I can’t wait until the kids finally grow up. I hate this house because it’s too small; what will my friends think about me if they see my house? If I can’t have what I want, I will not even try.” On and on the list can go.
But God wants us to try and never give up. This is what endurance (patience) is. Instead of comparing our successes to the successes of others (which is where most of our problems are), we should ask ourselves if we are doing what God wants us to do.
Most people are on a constant quest for more. More money, more fun, or more prestige. Yet God often works in the small things of life in small ways. Take the life of Samuel for example. God spoke quietly to a little boy who would one day lead the nation of Israel spiritually. God used a humble carpenter’s Son Who had nothing of this world’s goods to pay for the sins of all mankind. And God can use you and me to accomplish His will today.
At the risk of being too random, I’d like to share several “little things” that have great importance and can one day yield great rewards.
With our adult cares and struggles, it is so easy to push children to the side. Yet our Lord never pushed the children away, but rather He drew the children to Himself. Children are precious in God’s eyes, and though those sweet little people can drain our souls dry, we should never become ungrateful for them and the incredible potential in their souls.
One of the best lessons that motherhood has taught me is to value and manage my time better. Before motherhood, I missed so many opportunities to use time wisely, and now that I have less time, I have the most creative ideas.
I have learned to make the most out of every moment with my family and also my own personal time. The mundane moments of life are the stuff of life. So many people rush to get to the next item on the agenda without even realizing what is in front of them. Quit being in such a hurry to get to the next thing on the agenda, but learn to deeply savor, value, and use each moment.
Even if you only have a little money, you can use it wisely. I have seen miserly people with lots of money waste and squander it and have nothing to show for their profits. On the other hand, I have witnessed people with little money live frugally and generously and have much to show for little.
Little financial choices reap big rewards in the long run.
Say “no” to the daily Starbucks run and brew coffee at home. Put extra on the mortgage every single month. Shop thrift stores for clothes. Pay off the credit cards every single month. Pay down debt instead of acquiring more debt.
If you are like me, you do not have big chunks of time to clean or spruce your home. Use the little pockets of time that you do have. If you have 5 minutes, clean the kitchen sink. Then clean the rest of the kitchen in another 5-minute chunk. Instead of worrying about redecorating the whole house, pick one area or room to declutter, redecorate, etc.
Doing tasks consistently and methodically over time will yield great results. Don’t throw in the towel because you can’t “do it all right now” on your home. Keep chipping away at those tasks! Create a cleaning schedule, and even if you don't get to every task each week, you will be amazed at the transformation in your home over time.
God tells us in His Word to guard our hearts. God has our best interest in mind because He knows that if we let a seed of doubt, anger, envy, or pride grow in our hearts, it will blossom into something very ugly. Watch the little thoughts of your heart. If you let those little thoughts grow, will they become something beautiful or something that will ruin your life?
All the tragedies we hear about in the news today began with little thoughts--wrong thoughts—very wrong thoughts that then lead to harming self and others.
Bring your thoughts into captivity (2 Corinthians 10:5), like a cowboy lassoing in a young calf. Don’t let your thoughts run rampant! If you do, you will become discouraged and depressed very quickly.
I know this post may have seemed a bit random, but I want to encourage you not to be discouraged if your big dreams and hopes have not come to fruition. Don’t despise the little things that God is doing in your life. True value is often found in the little and sometimes despised elements of life.
What habits can you start today that will continue with you through life, positively benefiting you and others? What seeds can you plant in your children’s hearts that will one day blossom gloriously? How can you use what you have, though it may be little, to serve God?
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