Sunday, January 27, 2008

Small Things

Do you ever wonder if you can make a difference in the world…from your small corner of the world?

Do you ever find yourself looking expectantly toward the next “Big Thing,” only to be disappointed?

Do you ever question what this moment, this day, these few hours are really here for?

If I were to ask myself these questions, of course I’d answer “Yes” to all of them. There are times when I get caught up in wanting something bigger and better for myself; sometimes I even get depressed wondering if what I’m doing as a wife or a parent or a woman or a Christian or a person is making a difference; at times, I can get caught up in the routine “day-to-day” rushing around that I wonder if I’m “missing” something.

Don’t you think we all feel that way at times?

That’s when I remind myself that, sure, life is about the big things. You know…birth, love, marriage, tragedies, great events, even death. But…the trick is to realize that the BIG things are made up of a lifetime of small moments.

And it’s these SMALL moments that we often go by too fast to notice. It’s these SMALL decisions that we overlook for their importance.

I recently happened upon three quotes that I just fell in love with. They inspired me to think about the small details in life…the small kindnesses we can share…the small moments that pass by way too quickly.

I thought I’d share them with you…

Harriet Beecher Stowe said,
“To be really great in little things, to be truly noble and heroic in the insipid details of everyday life, is a virtue so rare as to be worthy of canonization.”

Anne Frank (think about that for a minute), said this:
“How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment, we can start now, start slowly changing the world! How lovely that everyone, great and small, can make their contribution toward introducing justice straightaway... And you can always, always give something, even if it is only kindness!”

And the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge said this (and boy, do I love it!),
“The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions—the little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment.”

I am trying to more consciously be aware of the small details in my life that can make all the difference.

Things like the right word shared; the silly moment enjoyed; the hug given.

And I’m trying to be thankful for the small joys I have everyday.

Things like those I noticed this past weekend…

… popcorn and a movie
… a meaningful conversation with a daughter
… a happy sing-along to 80s music
… a mood-lifting conversation with a toddler
… redbirds in the backyard
… warm-from-the-oven brownies
… a husband’s hand on my shoulder at church

This week, I’m taking notice of those sorts of things everyday in a conscious way.

I’m also going to do my best to be “heroic” in small moments…so that I might make a difference to someone.

Yes, I want to leave a BIG mark when it’s all said and done. But I also want to be in the SMALL gestures and acts . . . because I really think that’s what is often noticed the most.


Adrienne said...

It really is all about the small things! Great post!

Dawn Bibbs said...

Oh Cheryl, what a great post. You're right, it does take the small things to make those big things happen and worthwhile. If we take a minute to look at the world as a whole and all the terrible things that go on everyday...we HAVE to recognize and be thankful for those small things. I mean, God forbid anything terrible happen to us and we're taken from this life, in what we & our families would consider an untimely manner. Wouldn't you want to be remembered by some or all of the small things you do? Those too, are what can make someones day. Also, sometimes, what WE'd consider to be small, may be HUGE to someone else. So with that, your new "venture" is definitely gonna be a journey worth taking. Tell ya what...I'll go with you :-).

Great post!!!

Latharia said...

I love your parting paragraph. I, too, want to treasure those big moments ... but in the end, the small moments are also what matter! I think that's why I truly enjoy taking photos of everyday things & celebrating the little elements of life ... it's ALL so wonderful, big or small!

Renee said...

I'm going to try and notice the little things, too, thanks to your post. I know there's lots of them; I'm just usually too busy to notice.

Anonymous said...

I think you have already left an impact on the world. Look how many of us follow your blog...that's fabulous right there!


Cheryl Wray said...

Hey Gals!!! Look at all of you out here on a Sunday afternoon!!!

I'm really wanting to be consciously this way from now on!!! I knew that all of you would totally "get" what I was talking about. And Jacquie, you are too sweet. I love meeting all of you guys and it thrills me to no end that you listen to my rantings like this. :-)

Edleen said...

Hi Cheryl, love your post today! it's the little things that we do that goes un~noticed by others but surely looked upon by God and the Angels around us :) and we know we did something truly nice and good and the best thing is that we feel good inside about it :)

have a Happy Week ahead!
*it's Monday here, lunch time! hehe..*

Gretchen said...

What a lovely post. You've inspired me to do the same, Cheryl. To notice and be a part of the little things. Add this to your heroism of one of my small moments. Thank you. (((hugs)))

Miss 1999 said...

That was such an inspiring post! It is so true, we get so consumed in worrying about "Big things", that we don't take the time to realize that small things can make a big difference.

Over the past year, I've been working on making sure to remember to be thankful for everything God has blessed me with, and do my best, with what I have. I must say, I've been much happier, especially with the little things *hugs*

Maria said...

It is so true, Cheryl....the small things are what craft life. This was such a BEAUTIFUL post! I loved everyone of those quotes you shared!

Misty Busic said...

Hey Cheryl! Just wanted to say Thank you for making Harper smile so much yesterday! He told Mark and I when we got in the car, "Ya know, I sure do like that Cheryl lady." We got a big laugh out of that. I know he talked your ears off. hehe. But thank you and I hope that he gets to spend time more time with "that Cheryl lady". (By the way, I did tell him to call you Mrs. Cheryl.)

Kari (GrannySkywalker) said...

I think we all deal with these sort of thoughts. I HOPE we do, anyway. That would mean we were all still trying!
I have a hard time giving and receiving compliments. Probably comes from my upbringing...modesty counted for a lot! I sometimes find myself calling someone after I've seen them to say, "hey, by the way, loved your new haircut" or "I meant to tell you, you really looked great" or "I had such a wonderful time with you. Can't wait to do it again". I'm THINKING these things while I'm with someone, but for some reason, I just don't think to SPEAK the words. But it's important to notice the little things. It's important to tell someone that you actually SAW and HEARD them, that they didn't just exchange mere "syllables" with you. Am I explaining this right? I guess it would have been sufficient to say "I agree with you". lol

Now in regards to the comment you left on my blog about my "celebrities in politics" post: I, too, am quite liberal, I guess you could say, on several subjects. That's why it irks me so much that Clooney so loudly and proudly proclaims himself as "liberal". I think he says it because he honestly believes himself to be an "artist" and he thinks "artists" are SUPPOSED to be liberal. In other words, I think a lot of his stances are more "Rebel without a clue" than "social activist". (Boy. I REALLY don't like him, do I? lol) The older I get, the harder it is for me to listen to some of the political nonsense that's clogging the airways. I'll be a basket case by November. ha

rhonda said...

my new car came with a satellite radio of the channels is an 80's favorite channel. It is ALL that I listen to when it's just me in the car!!! Of course Abbey knows that channel 115 is the Disney Radio channel!!!!

Little things really are the greatest things!

Patti said...

I think this is a wonderful post and small things make up the bigger in the end.

Frasypoo said...

Hi Cheryl
great post.everytime i try going forward something comes up that leaves me four steps behind.

Cheryl Wray said...

Ed--Mmm, lunchtime again!!! i will have to pop by your blog and see what's on the menu!! :-)

Gretchen--You're too sweet. I really am trying to make a small difference this week!

1999--It really is amazing, isn't it?, how noticing those things make a difference.

Maria--I LOVE those quotes too!

Misty--Harper is SO cute and sweet. I loved him talking to me so much!! :-)

Kari--You are so right about how we need to be more consciously aware of really listening and speaking to others. People really do notice when you take the time to focus on them, or do something for them.I am trying to be more noticeable of those things as well. I also may have a breakdown before Nov. I am very conflicted about different candidates and really don't know who I will vote for. We shall see!

Rhonda--yay for 8os music. Ha ha!!! Delaney is a big fan of the Disney Radio Channel too!


Cheryl Wray said...

Frasypoo--You snuck in on me. LOL I often feel the same way. A lot of times I really do just have to breathe deeply, try and prioritize, and enjoy the here-and-now. Hope you have a good day!

hippochick said...

What an inspiring post. It's funny how life works, this morning I asked the Lord to allow me to show Him in small ways, a smile, holding the door for someone, saying thank-you. Then I came home and read your post. Our sermon yesterday was about being a Christian in the community. I was inspired then, and I'm inspired again reading your post. Thanks for sharing. God bless you today.

Josie said...

It really is the small things, everyday things that make us who we are. I still struggle but your post was very inspirational..I'm going to print those quotes out and put them on my desk.

Gin said...

Your words are awesome today, Cheryl. Thanksfor the reminder. I really do need to be better about doing things for people everyday. Even the little things can make a difference.

Life with Two Boys said...

Hey Cheryl, I also wanted you to know that I started my own blog today so I would love for you to look at it. I think it is:

I am new at this so any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Cheryl said...

You have a great post today. You have already made a difference in my life by the kind comment that you left for me. I have been so upset, when my kids are upset so am I. A comment is such a small thing to some people but the kindness that shines through touches my heart. Thanks!

Kelly said...

thanks for the words of encouragement on my blog.

Sheila said...

A perfect post for my Tuesday morning. As I prepare for the day and interact with people, its the little things that make my day perfect, like a small sign of affection to my loved ones, makes my heart feel so big. Or like a smile that can brighten up the day for another person and knowing that it will be passed on makes that little smile worthwhile. Or just a simple pardon me & have a nice day can make someone's day better, let’s me know that it’s just the little things that makes all the difference to me.

Kathy said...

I totally LOVE this post! It's very thought provoking! You are SO RIGHT, about the little things in life. I keep wanting to start a gratitude journal to write all of those things down in, but I never seem to get around to it.

I really like what Dawn said about something WE'd consider to be small, may be HUGE to someone else! It's SO true!

Let's all go forward, and make the world a better place to live in! One "little" thing at a time!