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Small Things

Monday, July 22, 2013

For a long time I had a housekeeping mystery. The table at which we spend most of our meals has a glass top. When I saw the table, I just loved the look of it. Little did I know the labor involved in keeping a glass table looking shiny. After every meal it must be wiped down and then shined with glass spray. When you have a small child living with you, the underside also has lots of little fingerprints on the edges. I was used to wiping those little prints out from the first 2-3 inches underneath, from the edge in. But one day I noticed something new. There were little round smudges near the center of the table. They were perfectly round and appeared in a variety of sizes from tiny to not-so-tiny. Because of the table framework, they were very difficult to shine off. It required an acrobatic maneuver on my part to get to them. And I’m NOT so athletic. I wondered where on earth they came from. Was it nose prints from our puppy? Was it some sort of wicked condensation from hot or cold dishes placed on the table? As I continued to wipe them off, I was on the lookout for the source of these pesky little spots. One morning at breakfast my mystery was solved. My grandson Jordan, then 4 years old, sat eating a waffle at the table. Still clad in his jammies and bare feet, he stretched out his legs and put his little toes up on the center of the glass! Aha! The culprit was those cute little toes. He did this several times before finishing his breakfast. Those spots which were SO annoying were suddenly the most precious thing in the house.

Isn’t it always that way? Sometimes when our focus becomes clear, the entire perspective on something changes drastically. I still remember a story shared by a missionary friend of ours who was an executive of Outreach International, a church affiliate that provides aid to underdeveloped nations. He shared a story about his recent visit to a small African nation where Outreach had assisted a tribe of people install a cistern and pipes to provide clean drinking water. He sat next to the tribal chief who gazed out upon the land in front of them. The scenery included two large bulldozers. They had been brought in as a gift to the people by a large aid organization, obviously a very expensive gift. The chief explained how futile the machinery had been. No one knew how to operate them. They didn’t have access to fuel. And so they sat, day after day, in the hot sun, a reminder of what could be if they could only be utilized. He commented on the much smaller gift from Outreach of clean potable water. He said, “Big things can be very small. Small things can be very big.”

I am working on applying this principle to my weight loss. Today I lost one pound. I would have loved to have seen three pounds . . . or be able to shed 80 pounds in 90 days like someone on Extreme Weight Loss with Chris Powell. But the truth is this: one pound is great . . . especially when it is going in the right direction. So I'm using the tribal chiefs statement as my mantra today. Small things can be very big . . . small things can be very big . . . small things . . .
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Your story of the equipment not being used reminded of the old book I had read years and years ago. I think the name of it was "Christy" and it was about a young girl that went to the Appalachians to do missionary work and she asked for donations from people back home and they sent her all kinds of shoes - high heels and sneakers and sandals but nothing that could be used by the mountain people. I may not be remembering correctly but you get the idea.

    These days I am happy with a half lb loss!
    1735 days ago
    CONGRATS on that one pound. One pound equals hundreds of good decisions on what to eat and what not to eat as well as activity. I like that statement about a journey of 100 miles starts with one step. And often the first step is the hardest! Hope to see you soon, Jane. -Marsha
    1736 days ago
    I agree! I'm so glad that I read your blog today. I was feeling like I'm not making much progress. Thanks!
    1737 days ago
    What a lovely blog, and congrats on your "small thing" which is, after all, 3,500 calories foregone!!
    1738 days ago
  • JOHAL52
    I like that quote! I didn't lose anything this week but I am not surprised given that I binged a couple of times. I am working on cutting out the binges. My 2 yo granddaughter loves to rearrange all of my knicknacks. My daughter worries about her touching them but I don't. I mean, I have a family of china rabbits with mended ears from when "I" was a child and it is a nice reminder to me of what is truly important :)
    1739 days ago
    A really beautiful blog.
    1739 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    Your reference to the toe prints made me cry: after we had to put our dear Pooky Bear (dog) to sleep after 15 1/2 wonderful years, I was beside myself... depressed.
    One day I puled the curtains back to clean the windows and her nose and tongue prints were covering the window behind that curtain from watching and waiting for me to come home from work every day. She would cry and whine until i came indoors from the garage and greet me like I was the most important person on earth.. I was, to her...

    everything is relative... cherish those toe prints.. make footprints with poster paints and pull them out for his high school graduation party...

    1739 days ago
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