Changing the World with the Everyday Mundane

Dear Beautiful Important One:

Yes, I am talking to you!

Sometimes our life seems normal. Mundane. Routine. Boring.

Very little excitement is popping into our daily grind, except when we sleep through our alarm and try to get ready in less than 2 minutes. Which of course can’t be done. Or maybe you count the dog getting sick in the middle of the living room rug as a change of pace. Or the news that your child who was too shy to speak in class, is now the class clown and was sent to the principal’s office three times last week.

Occasionally there is the heart stopping recent hissy fit with the neighbor who was kindly telling you that she was going to report you to the homeowners’ association after she asked if you obtained permission to build that new shed in the back yard. One forgotten small detail you hadn’t thought of.

If your life is like mine, there is a lot of regularity and predictability with a few surprises thrown in, like your car insurance doubling for the coming year or your co-worker getting the promotion and not you. Once in a while, throw in some tragic news, a family crisis, a health concern, and that is life. At least mine. Maybe even yours.

Years go by and it seems you are doing nothing much at all. Unless you count washing dishes and grocery shopping, big things.

One day you figure out how many years you have been changing diapers, and you wonder if your talents have been wasted.

Shouldn’t you be doing something big? Something radical? Something more important than refereeing siblings during car trips across town and potty training the puppy and toddler. Or maybe you’ve had the same job for years and you wonder if you would even be noticed if you quit, or if you would be replaced just like that and forgotten in the first month. Maybe you wonder if your husband would be happier without you, or if the children will really rise up and call you blessed.

Other people seem to be more important. Doing better work. More involved in changing the world. Coming up with radical ideas that better things.

We may feel invisible. Insignificant. But that doesn’t mean we are. No matter how you feel. You are important and doing important things.

When you are changing that baby for the twentieth time in one day, you are serving the least of these. When you are wiping the noses of toddlers and teaching math to a tween, you are imparting knowledge. When you are helping your teen drive, you are laying your life down for another. When you are counting to ten at the sassy remark of your child and not retaliating in anger, you are dying to self. When you are crawling out of bed to care for a sick child, you are giving up your own needs and wants. When you are reading bible stories to kids who seem not to be listening, you are tucking God’s word into their hearts. When you are greeting your husband with a smile after your own hard day, especially when you would rather first complain, you are putting yourself in his shoes.

You are changing the world. One small service at a time.

When you smile at your neighbor, listen to a co-worker’s troubles, pray with a friend, ask the checkout clerk how her day is going, help the lady at the licensing department figure out how to take a ticket and get in line, you are serving, loving, and helping others.

You are changing the world. One small act at a time.

When you apologize for losing your temper, you are modeling a servant’s heart. When you listen to and respect your mate, you are modeling laying down your life for others. When you forgo new shoes, so your child can instead have a pair, you are modeling sacrifice. When you work late to help the boss, you are modeling commitment. When you encourage the waitress, after she messes up your order, you are modeling kindness and empathy. When you praise your child more than you criticize, you are modeling grace. When you realize that the kid at school is a bully because that is all he has known or been shown, you are modeling compassion. When you forgive your parents, who were far from perfect, you are modeling forgiveness. When you give up your plans to accept new plans, you are modeling dying to self. When you help at the food pantry, we are modeling loving the needy. When you begin to see others through God’s eyes, you are modeling his heart.

What you do, your children see. Your mate sees. Others around you see. God sees.   

You don’t need to be known by the news or seen as important to change the world. You just need to be faithful with the small and often taken-for-granted opportunities that present themselves throughout the day. When we give of our time, switch our attention to another, sacrifice our desires and give up our wants, we are doing kingdom work. We are changing the course of history. We are loving and serving those around us and becoming like Christ. We are letting the spirit change and mold us into new creatures.

Multiple times per day we have the opportunity with husbands, kids, co-workers, neighbors, friends, and strangers to show the love of God. To lay down our lives for those in our life. To impact others positively. It is our choice if we will do it.

It is our choice if we will benefit, bless, help, or serve those around us. Just like we choose if we will criticize, demean, withhold love, or not serve those around us. Yes, the ways for us to show love to others in our daily life are often small and seem unimportant. But all those small ways add up to huge ways.

Quit worrying about not doing great big wonderful things. Keep serving others. Dying to self. Loving others. Sacrificing for others. Multiple times a day. This will change today and the future. It will change you and those around you. It will affect eternity.

Each small act changes the world for the better. Changes us for better. Changes those around us for better.

Sure, you will fail. Repent, accept God’s grace (which can never run out) and keep trying. God wants you to succeed. He will make sure you do succeed. He does not start a good work and then abandon it. He is rooting for you and helping you. Calling you blessed. Calling you an overcomer.

Be faithful. Love those around you well. Serve them with joy. Cheer them on.

Your seemingly small and insignificant daily offerings will ripple across the pond and change into a giant wave of good.

Give your most important commodities. Your time. Your attention. Your love.

Despite what it feels like, you will be impacting the world in big wonderful ways. Ways you can’t even begin to imagine.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

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Join the discussion: What are some insignificant things people did for you that changed you?

May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory); and Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope),  Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

12 thoughts on “Changing the World with the Everyday Mundane

  1. Thanks for these words (and for the beautiful pictures!) as they really encouraged me today. I liked this quote the best for its imagery and truth, “Your seemingly small and insignificant daily offerings will ripple across the pond and change into a giant wave of good.” Your neighbor #63 on Holley Gerth’s linkup.

  2. Wonderful words, Theresa. Thank you. I just asked the Lord to help me in the mundane this morning. I love this point: “Give your most important commodities. Your time. Your attention. Your love.” We forget that those commodities are what have an impact, and their quantity accumulates in all the little acts of faithfulness. Thank you!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Bethany. I know that those three commodities, time, attention, and love are the ones I guard the most and am more choosy about releasing unless I see the need. But their impact, like you mentioned, have the greatest impact. I think back and those who spent time with me when I was growing up and gave me their attention and love made the biggest impact on my life and its direction. Those who are willing to listen and give me their attention even now, impact me the most. They are free commodities, yet so valuable when shared with others.

  3. Dear Theresa, what an encouraging post! Is there any woman who hasn’t felt unimportant or invisible at times? We need to hear that the service of minutia we offer every day matters. Even if no earthbound person notices, our Heavenly Father does. Thank you for these beautiful words. Now excuse me while I wander back through your amazing garden 🙂

  4. Thanks for reminding us that the small things DO matter. “You are changing the world. One small service at a time.” Amen! Sometimes we underestimate those small things, but they can be huge things to the one we’re doing them with.

    • So right Lisa. Those small things can be huge things to the person we’re doing them with. And I would add, that we are doing them for. I can think of tons of little things people have done for me, like reading to me as a child, that were big things to me. Great insight. Thanks.

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