Small Things

"For who scorns the day of small things?"
Zechariah 4:10 (HCSB)

The Lord has been speaking to me a lot about the importance of faithfulness in the little things. No house stands without a foundation of small concrete blocks being built one on top of the other. All of us, no matter what degrees we have earned, all started out in kindergarten. Anything great starts out little.

That especially goes for my children. I have a little time to do "little" things with them. Little things like cuddling, reading the same book for the fifth time in a row, and giving an encouraging word. In the busyness of life, I can scorn what is really important and forget that if those "little" needs go unmet, a huge cavern of emptiness can be the result. A cavern that will be sought to be filled in any way that it can--including ways that will destroy the soul in which the cavern lies.

I want my children not to follow, but to lead. But any great leader in training needs the time and attention of another who has gone on before. It is vitally important that I seize the "little" moments because they are disguised as the building blocks on which my children will rest long after I am gone.

Having three children in three and a half years, I could not see the big picture. All I saw was another meal to get, an endless mound of laundry, a fight to referee, and all through the eyes of exhaustion. The demands were great physically. I lived for naps and times of solitude. Now my children are in middle and elementary school and suddenly I hear myself saying what I used to get so annoyed at other moms for saying to me, "Enjoy this time, because it goes so fast."

And a fear I must continually give over to my Jesus is that I have not squandered the time. That somehow He will fill in the cavernous hole that my unintentional neglect may have caused in them. My husband once said something that has comforted me so many times as I lay in the dark wondering if I have despised what I should treasure in this area:

"Shawn, they are programmed to love us."

We all long for our parents' approval, no matter how old we become. I know that this is true. Even a parent who never quite "got" us. I just don't want my kids to not think I at least tried to "get" them.

But in order to not despise the small things, I must believe in their importance, even in the monotony.

A first-time pregnant woman asked three mothers--all in the same life stage, with the same number of children--how she viewed motherhood. The first one said, "I am a slave to these kids." The second one said, "I'm just surviving. I can't wait until they are all grown up." The third one said, "I am being used by God to raise masterpieces."

Which one can we relate to the most? Have we lost sight of the big picture, sweet sisters? The endless monotony of our days of "little" things are shaping our children for the big decisions in life. In the middle of the exhaustion, there is a Source of endless strength--Jesus Christ.

So for all my fellow sisters out there who desperately love our children and want them to know that, let's pray for each other. May God Himself grant us patience we do not have, wisdom we cannot take any credit for, and peace that passes all understanding as we give our kids to the One who loves them perfectly--even when we don't.

Jesus, small things are huge with You. Any big victory begins with a single small step. Guide me in my mothering. Let me not overlook my children's requests for my time and undivided attention (wow--is that ever hard!). One day the requests will stop coming. I pray that on that day, my children will be strong houses, resting on the foundation of parents who did not despise the day of small things.