A Military Mom’s Life
One Small (But Not Insignificant) Step at a Time
As a military wife and mom, I will be the first to acknowledge that the weightiness of what I do, who I am, and what I have chosen to invest my life in are no small endeavors.
Saying “yes” to this life was a delight to my heart, and serving alongside my soldier is not something I will ever regret. Yet, in the beginning, I confess I had grand visions of changing the world with our commitment to courage and faithfulness. It never occurred to me, back then, that between moving a billion times and deployments that were long and wearisome, what I actually had to bring to the “world-changing” table was just to keep my people alive and fed each day.
Have you ever found yourself in a season where the reality of what you have to offer just seems…small?
Yeah, me too.
Yet, there are spaces in my life that are far from small: never-ending mountains of laundry, dishes to clean, meals to fix. I confess it is a challenge to feel like I am making a big impact in any of it. I mean, seriously, how is it possible that my tribe of people can go through clothes, dishes, and food like they do?!? And yet, every day, I’m at it…again. Doing my best to keep up with it all, then waking up each morning to do it all again.
To be brutally honest, I am not convinced anyone starts dreaming of how their life will unfold with: “And then she did another load of laundry.”
I mean, don’t get me wrong, one of my biggest love languages is “Acts of Service,” and I truly enjoy serving others… a lot. But, the everyday grit of life is as unrelenting as it is unglamorous, and I’ll admit that I’ve fallen for the temptation to look down my nose at all of it.
But you know what?
Small isn’t the same as insignificant.
No, it’s really not. You and I need to be keenly aware of the difference between the two. What we accomplish doesn’t have to look big to impact big.
Those long, late night conversations with your teenager (even though you are exhausted) are perhaps not changing the world, but you are definitely impacting theirs.
Bringing your soldier lunch between errands and activities with kiddos may not change the condition of world peace, but it can greatly impact the tenderness in your marriage.
Signing up to bring a simple meal to another family who is struggling may not change the course of their circumstances, but it will certainly impact the load they have to carry for that day.
No…small is not the same as insignificant.
Recently, my family and I just finished going through a Bible study focusing on the advent calendar and the meaning of Christmas. One of the areas we looked at was the “small-ness” of how the Messiah’s birth unfolded and to whom it was entrusted.
This story is anything but “small” in our perspective, now, but the reality of how God became flesh never ceases to astound me. The backward-ness of it all. The Word, the Savior, the Messiah, the King born in a stable, in a small town, to simple parents, and celebrated by shepherds.
Mary – a virgin, probably a young teenager, unassuming and simple – was declared by the angel as “highly-favored.” And as the angel unraveled a small sliver of what would be asked of her, “to become the mother of the Son of God,” she simply said, “Yes…may it be to me as you have said.”
She said “yes.”
Not just on that incredible day when the angel first declared it, but on every single day that followed. Think about that.
Joseph – a simple man, a carpenter, also unassuming and simple – was asked by that same angel to trust the Lord and a plan he may never have fully understood: “Do not be afraid to take Mary home to be your wife, for she what she is carrying is from the Lord.”
And Joseph, like Mary, also said “yes.”
Not just on that day when the angel of the Lord shone light into his darkened dreams, but on every single day that followed. Think about that.
Simple courage. Simple obedience. Simple faithfulness. Every single day that followed.
One small step at a time, they birthed and raised the Savior of the world.
One small step at a time, they walked out an obedience to a plan they didn’t have the whole picture for.
One small step at a time, they followed His leading and trusted Him for the significance.
You see, today I want to encourage you in the same space He is encouraging me…
Those faithful steps you take every single day to love the people He has put into your story has tremendous meaning. It matters. All of it. Dishes. Laundry. Band-aids. Hugs. Kisses on the cheek. Bedtime stories. Grocery shopping. Vacuuming. Late night listening to your teenagers. Early morning snuggles with your toddlers. Rocking that baby to sleep…again.
Let me assure you, He sees you. He sees the people you tirelessly and lovingly serve each and every day. You may not understand why you keep at it – serving, loving, sacrificing, bending, giving – but He sees it all. And your deliberate courage, obedience, and faithfulness, one small step at a time, matters too.
Hear me, friends. I know you might find yourself in a place that just feels small – but small is not the same as insignificant.
Every single act of small proportions is adding up to a great big act of significance. It is. It is. There is unmeasurable value in your simple acts of love. Not just in the star-studded accomplishments and accolades, but in the humble washing of your people’s feet.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
So, that soil you are hard at work to break up, to tend, and to plant? Don’t give up. Keep loving it well, dear ones. It matters. It always has. He promises a harvest, beloved…one small step at a time.
The music I want to share with you today is from a band that I find myself gravitating to a lot lately. Iron Bell Music is quickly becoming a favorite, for sure. The song is entitled, “My Confidence,” off their new album The God Who Saves. Be blessed by this heart-full band who is writing some of the most honest, powerful songs I’ve heard in a while.
With joy for the journey,