by Joanne Kraft
My rock bottom came one morning as the odiferous scent of spit-up and sweet potatoes permeated the air—the organic body spray of motherhood. After changing the fortieth diaper that day, I slumped down at my kitchen table exhausted and dropped my face into my hands.
Tears welled as I prayed silently, “Really Lord, is this my lot in life? Teaching children to put away their toys? Reminding them over and over to say kind words? Disciplining them when they don’t share? Everything I seem to do is wrong, and if you haven’t noticed, they are the problem not me. Father, aren’t you aware I’m wiping tiny bums and tinier noses—seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day? Lord, surely you must have something bigger and well, maybe more important for me to be doing with my life.”
God’s holy message came from a woman in our church later that week. After whining to her about yet another frustrating day, she gently shared, “Joanne, don’t despise the days of small beginnings.”
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” Zechariah 4:10 NLT
I’ll be the first to admit, her words both stung and encouraged me. In this Bible story, Zechariah encourages Zerubbabel to finish rebuilding the temple—a gargantuan task that had its beginnings in less monumental ways.
I admit, on the one hand, I felt bad complaining about my children. On the other hand, my friend gave me the ability to start looking at small things in light of the bigger picture. Each tiny opportunity was meant for God’s purpose. Zechariah was encouraging holy work, too. God’s work has the power to transform all involved. These child-rearing years would be sanctification in my life, too. I began to see my parenting role as a God-honoring employment opportunity from my Lord and King.
Author and missionary, Elisabeth Elliot said, “The God who created, names and numbers the stars in the heavens also numbers the hairs of my head. He pays attention to very big things and to very small ones. What matters to me matters to Him, and that changes my life.”
Do you realize how much small beginnings make for a much bigger end result?
Small Beginnings—Big Results
Teach your child to pick up their toys—you raise a responsible adult.
Teach your child to share—you raise kind adults.
Teach your child to choose their words carefully—you raise encouraging adults.
Teach your child to serve—you raise adults who serve.
Teach your child patience—you raise an adult who knows peace.
Teach your child about hard work—you raise an adult who will never go hungry.
Teach your child about heartache—you raise an adult who has joy in any storm.
Teach your child not to fear—you raise an adult to face any adventure life brings.
Teach your child to appreciate differences—you raise adults who respect all people.
Teach your child to be happy with little—you raise an adult who is content.
Teach your child you love God—you raise an adult who may desire to love God, too.
As a mom I partner with God daily to help build an immovable foundation in my child’s life. This assists God’s plans for their future. Be encouraged. No matter what small thing you are doing today, no matter what itty bitty something you do for the umpteenth time this week, stand strong and remember—small beginnings are holy work in your child’s life.
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