It was said that 2020 leveled the playing field and in a lot of ways, it did. We all were brought back to family as we figured out how to provide for, get along with, and protect those in our care. For moms, it got real. All of our lives collided into one and we had to juggle it all simultaneously.
We can all agree last year was painful and uncomfortable. We were stretched more than we wanted to be stretched! But through the stretching, we all were brought to a place where we needed to focus on what mattered and let go of the excess.
For many of us that meant more doing the small things. More cooking, cleaning, intentionality in relationships, managing money, etc. Many of us were forced to reevaluate priorities and maybe restructure. We longed to escape the cycles of defeat we found ourselves facing as we adjusted to our new normal.
As I contemplated and prayed over a word or phrase for this year, God brought ‘small things’ to mind. And then He showed me all the ways I was missing the mark and where I had faulty mindsets. For me, He illuminated small things in the personal and home managing areas. It occurred to me that the small things were my ticket to escaping the cycles of defeat I have been experiencing.
Escaping cycles of defeat in your home-keeping.
In light of careers and work as well as families and fun, the small home-keeping tasks can really be a place where the ball gets dropped. I have been trying to master a routine for my entire married life. That has been a perpetual rollercoaster of trying and failing then researching and learning. Nothing stuck and I have been so frustrated.
But as God worked on my perspective I learned that I was neglecting the small things. I was choosing to wait to clean until it was a big job. The dishes would be left till there was a pile. I had a bad habit of ignoring the clutter until it was obnoxious. I’m learning that these tasks all take 15 minutes or less. Deciding to do them when they are small tasks makes a huge difference. It is easy to:
- Fold 1 load of laundry when they are still warm.
- Do dishes after breakfast and lunch
- Make the bed
- Dust a room (or house depending on how large your home is)
- Take care of the mail right away
Ignoring the small things kept me in a cycle of defeat.
Escaping cycles of defeat in your finances
Ever feel like every penny is needed? Rationalize not saving because that little bit won’t really matter? Finances are part learned skill and knowledge but also part mindset. Mindset is a small thing that can make or break our efforts.
If we see money as a gift from God that we are responsible to steward well, it really changes our motives and decisions. When we read the parable of the talents and realize the one who made his money increase was rewarded and the one who essentially ignored what he was given was not only not rewarded but actually punished, it colors our decisions in a different light.
- $10 a month into savings might not be much but that’s $520 over the course of the year. That could really help out at Christmas!
- $3 spent on a coffee everyday is a small amount but spent everyday of the week all year totals $780.
Ignoring the small amounts kept us playing the defense position.
Escaping cycles of defeat with personal care.
Life gets so busy, doesn’t it? As moms, the first thing we drop are the things that encourage and build us up. Then we find ourselves depletes, exhausted, cranky, and burnt out. Anybody else jump on that crazy train?
But God has made me more aware of how many small things I can do in each day to care for myself. It doesn’t require anyone to watch the kids or a debit card. Things like:
- Getting up a half-hour earlier to have a cup of coffee alone isn’t too much of a stretch.
- Completing a quick 15-20 min Pilates routine while the kids are watching a show or during nap time is hugely beneficial, physically, and mentally.
- Opening the First5 devotional app and taking that literal 5-10 min to start your day in God’s word.
- Doing those small home-keeping tasks that keep your home on track to help fight overwhelm.
I’m sure you can add to the list with things that help you relax and recently.
Ignoring the small things kept me burned out and experiencing lack.
Embracing the small things will prove to be your escape from the cycle of defeat.
I’ve learned that God doesn’t want us living in defeat, playing the position of defense, or experiencing lack. We have been given victory and abundance. Jesus came so that we can have abundant life!
This year I’m heeding God’s nudge and focusing on the small things. It’s the small things that make a difference in the quality of life for me and my family. Lord-willing I’m finished with defeat, defense, and lack. That nudge started with awareness and turned into study. In the concordance, I discovered that small things shows up a handful of times in the Bible.
In Proverbs 30 we are given 4 examples of small things- the ant, rock badger, locusts, and lizards. These creatures teach provision, perseverance and overcoming hard things, order, and equality. Those small creatures give big lessons! (Stay tuned, I’ll be picking that apart soon)
“Four things on earth are small,
but they are exceedingly wise:
the ants are a people not strong,
yet they provide their food in the summer;
the rock badgers are a people not mighty,
yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
the locusts have no king,
yet all of them march in rank;
the lizard you can take in your hands,
yet it is in kings’ palaces.”
In Zechariah 4 teaches us that small beginnings result in big results. We should embrace the small things yet not be satisfied with them. Instead, we should use them for motivation to keep going for greater results.
“For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.”
James 3:5 reminds us that the biggest fire is started by a tiny spark.
“So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!”
Without those small things and small beginnings, there cannot be big results.
When we take the time to embrace the small things and participate in the small tasks, we will find rewards and blessings.
One more example of this is in creation. God created our world with a spoken word but He didn’t speak and the whole thing erupted into existence. No, He started with creating light and dark. Then sky, then land, then plants, then the sun and the moon, then sea creatures and birds, then animals, and finally man. Little by little, piece by piece, God spoke and added to His work which resulted in our entire galaxy and world.
I don’t know about you but those few verses sure motivate me to stay focused on the small things.
And I’m curious, what small things would make a big difference for you if you focused on them? Tell me in the comments below!