Welcome to Day 21 of 31 Ways to Embrace Lopsided Living!
Well, it’s Friday. Y’all, I’m tired. For real. I could give you all the reasons but I don’t think they are much different from yours. So, I’ll spare you the details and let’s just both agree some weeks are just long and tiring, deal?
I’ve received so many emails from women who are reading this series. Here are two I received this week:
“Your words help me to stop and think and appreciate all that God has done for me.”
“Thanks again for giving us bite-sized nuggets to swallow in order to help manage our lives better!”
Both reminded me how much we really need to hear those “bite-sized nuggets.”
As I’ve been looking back over what all we’ve covered so far, I realized so much of what I want you to know is connected to this simple truth:
SMALL CHANGES COUNT.
Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in doing something BIG and HUGE and LIFE CHANGING … and I miss out on the value of small and steady and day changing.
Maybe, just maybe, that happens to you also? This quote from Annie Dillard keeps popping up around me.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
It’s true, you know. What we’re doing every day becomes the sum total of our lives.
Four years ago yesterday, my Pepa passed away. He was an incredibly successful businessman and a devoted husband both to my grandmother who passed away in 1981 and to our Nana Jo who passed away in 2010. He raised five incredible children, the youngest of whom is my mom. My relationship with my Pepa was the best kind. Since I’ve been working on my book manuscript, he’s been on my mind a lot. He was a writer too. I have countless poems he wrote for me, for every season of my life. The last poem he ever gave me was about three girls — my mom, me, and my daughter.
Scott’s grandmother has been under hospice care in her home since February of this year. Over the past few days, there has been a noticeable decline in her cognitive function and memory. Which is, for me, a much easier thing to write than, “She’s dying.” Last weekend when I was there for a few moments, she knew who I was, but she’s becoming less and less herself. She is confused a lot. Her daughter, who lives with her, is a nurse and has been the most tender caretaker for her mom. It’s been that hard beautiful to watch.
Here’s the thing, Mamaw Underwood didn’t write a best selling book, start a nonprofit, or build a business empire. She was a housewife and mom. She loved her husband, nurtured her children, cooked meals, vacuumed floors, grew beautiful flowers, folded laundry, did equisite needlework. In her 91 years she has buried her parents, her husband, her siblings, and her son. She has loved on four great-grandchildren and made sure there was plenty of bacon and cherry tomatoes available for their visits to her house.
Last year at the dotMOM conference, Karen Kingsbury spoke about writing a best seller with our lives. My Pepa and our beloved Mamaw Underwood have done just that! They’ve left indelible marks on the people they loved and the ones they served. We know Mamaw’s days here with us are not many more — and it’s sad and hard. But we know she’ll be met by her Savior who will welcome her with these beautiful words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant, enter into your rest.”
Y’all, those small things matter. Changing our focus from the dishes to our daughters. Changing our schedules to go to lunch with a friend. Changing our plans to spend time with our husbands. Changing our minds and serving others when we’d rather sit it out. It matters.
Here’s the challenge for today:
MAKE A SMALL CHANGE.
Drink water instead of soda. Play a game with your family instead of watching TV. Let something go and spend time with someone. The ways to do this are endless … but so is the reward!
Don’t underestimate the value of a small change to have a huge impact! Let’s be women who are spending our days to write best sellers with our lives!
Yesterday’s post: It’s Okay to Do Something instead of Everything
Coming tomorrow: Try something new.
Index to every post in this series here.