The Little Things
Why do little things cause us to come unglued? They are, little things, after all. After contemplating this question this week, I have decided that the answer lies in the fact that big things are created from little things. If a hundred little things were piled in the corner, it would look like a pretty big pile. Big piles of things are irritating, in the way, inconvenient, messy, and exhausting to move. As a result, when we have to deal with a bunch of little things we can get worn down and snap. Well, they make me want to snap anyway, and if you are human, you know what I’m talking about. If you are a human mom, you really know what I’m talking about.
For example: a little black ant was on my kitchen counter the other week. Without thinking too much into it, I killed it and went about my business. The next morning, I got up to make coffee, and there was another one on the kitchen floor. Again, I was thinking more about making coffee than I was thinking about the significance of seeing two ants, two days in a row. A couple days later, I walked in my front door, after a busy day in Atlanta, and found about 15 along my entry way doorstop. “Hmm, I might need to look into this,” I thought. I sprayed them all with Windex. It worked. Done. Mission accomplished. About three days later I stumbled into the kitchen while talking to God about my need for Him and coffee, and I opened my spice and coffee cabinet only to be greeted by a couple hundred or a couple thousand little black ants! “My Coffee!” I cried out. Reaching up, and shaking the ants off of my sealed (thank God) container, I squealed, jumped up and down, shook my head around to get them out of my hair (just in case), slammed the cabinets, and prayed. Yes, I did that all within 1 second. I emptied my entire kitchen, sprayed and scrubbed it all down, and I put in a 911 call to my bug man. He came. He conquered the ants. Mission accomplished.
A week or so later, I got up, made coffee, read my Bible, prayed, and sat down in the living room to open my eyes. My husband left a kitchen towel on the back of the loveseat. “He always does that!” I muttered. I find kitchen hand towels on the entry way table, in the living room, in the bathroom, and in my bedroom . It’s like my husband gives them legs and tells them to “go forth, proclaiming the good news or something!” “Sorry, Lord. That was rude of me, I know.” I said. I knew I had a bad attitude. As much as my husband thinks that I’m a morning person. I’ve only been a so-called morning person since I had children (18 years ago). When you become a mom, you are immediately converted to a morning person because you have an infant who depends on you. Your ears become attuned to the sound of a faint diaper-crinkle at 1 am, or any other faint sound for the rest of your life. Regardless, I wasn’t, technically a morning person until after 2 small cups of coffee, and time with God. Speaking of my second cup of coffee, I sat down on the love seat with the same momentum as if jumping out of a five-story building, onto a big bouncy, blow up, safety pad. My coffee swished and swooshed as it tried to hold on for dear life to the rim of my cup, but to no avail. As it leaped out of my cup onto my lap I yelped (as if that would help). I immediately looked around for someone to help me. Everyone was still sleeping, but you would never believe what was still sitting on the back of the loveseat. You guessed it: a kitchen towel, left there from the night before by my loving, wonderful husband! I laughed aloud and talked with God about how one minute I’m complaining about a little “irritating” thing, and the next second I’m thankful for it.
I’m not leading up to some wonderful statement about how I found good qualities regarding the colony of ants that invaded my kitchen. In fact, my kitchen remains in boxes, and a new bug company is coming out today to bomb my house. I’ve contemplated bombing my house myself, literally. I’ve also contemplated crying about the ants, but I decided that I would not let such insignificant, non-feeling, irritating bugs get the best of me. I am a stubborn-person in recovery so once I decide to do or not do something you can still count on me! So, you won’t see any tears from this Warrior Mom. But, it has caused me to think about the little things, a lot. Little things can make us or break us. I have decided that it is a million little moments that make up the entirety of our lives. How we respond to each one determines the kind of attitude, experiences, people, and memories that will fill our days. And how we respond to one moment, can affect how we respond to the next, and on and on. I have decided that little things are profoundly important in our lives because they equate to bigger somethings.
So now, I’m asking myself, “Is this little something really worth exerting negative energy?” or, “Is this little something actually placed here to bless me or someone else later?” “Is this little something really worth me giving into tears and defeat?” or “Are these little ants, I mean: somethings, really an opportunity for me to trust God, despite my circumstances?” “If a test-amony is about having a story to tell about God’s faithfulness after you’ve been tested, do I want to be able to tell how I trusted God, or how I teared up and fell on the floor in a fetal position, demanding a bottle when God wanted to give me spiritual meat to help me grow and mature?”
Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly – mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly?
1 Corinthians 3:1-3
I know we all have things in our lives that are much more heart-breaking and challenging than a colony of ants. I’m just using them as my example because they are frustrating relentless! I believe situations and people that we deal with can feel just as difficult to handle as a colony of ants – actually, more so. This morning as I sprayed ants with Windex like some kind of wild-west cowgirl, and made my coffee among piles of boxes, I told God, “May my faith in you be as relentless as an ant.”
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child. When I became a man [A Warrior Mom],I put childish ways behind me.
1 Corinthians 13:11
The Warrior Mom Ministry was founded by Kristina Seymour, author of The Warrior Mom Handbook – Equipping Women through the Word, a Bible study for moms who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. Kristina has learned that moms can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about The Warrior Mom Handbook, the Warrior Mom Ministry, and to sign up for daily encouragement, visit, www.warriormoms.net.
Originally published Tuesday, 10 December 2013.