We started in small places that turn into four glorious years. The days come where I want to quit and the tears make me shut the books, but we keep on watering and weeding. Great things start small. Tweet This
My six-year old daughter draws the planets with colored pencils as she studies library books. It is 7:30 a.m., and she is teaching herself on our first day of homeschooling.
It’s 2011. I have answered Abby’s question to be homeschooled with a yes. Even though the public school assigns her the best first grade teacher in the school and family and neighbors ask why, starting this small dream feels right. I don’t know much about starting, risking, or going against the status quo, but we do it anyway. We won’t know until we try.
I sticky tack my little girl’s solar system on her brother’s wall like a model, the order and distance from the sun estimated as best we can.
God can create within us a kernel of a dream and stretch it’s season for a lifetime.
We start the schooling, the daily creating, writing, drawing, baking, adding, subtracting, telling time, and exploring of a new world. Sitting in the driveway spelling words with chalk feels small, not big. Banging colored bottles with wooden spoons to make music doesn’t seem like it’s changing the world, but it is.
Each day we learn and do life alongside one another, two little children learn to love each other better than they could have apart. This mother sees the heart of her strong-willed girl in a newborn light. Small seeds grow into years of trying new things, small bites of grammar, spelling, history, science, and math.
It’s like waiting for bulbs, planting them and waiting months for blossoms—beauty buried in a promise.
This teaching thing I said I would never do, wasn’t made to do—well, I do it. My daughter I have fought to understand, I grow to know deeply. My son whose energy overwhelms, I begin to hear his unique voice and find mysterious worlds of pine trees for him to explore and scale straight up into the sky.
The daily showing up with a small plan of minutes or hours, of repeating a routine, being faithful to a call, being open to failure, and learning to forge on and see what God will create in us.
Yes, great things start small. It’s hard to believe, but they do. We all start from somewhere: some with every advantage and some with nothing. Some of us start motherhood, adulthood, a business, parenting, a book, a job from the tiniest promise. God can create within us a kernel of a dream and stretch it’s season for a lifetime.
Sometimes circumstances make us completely start over, straight from the barren ground. We start any great thing, any dream, from what we have been given, which doesn’t always amount to much in our eyes. God is right there in the start of somewhere. Tweet This
The kids and I started and we went, taking small bites of a great life every day. We became questioners, explorers, time-savorers, bad attitude fighters. We grew into a deeply rooted knowledge of each other. There we invite God into small moments, instead of quick dinner time prayers.
This year we start a new small—the kids going to public school and me writing daily, wondering if these small seeds of starting we are planting will grow into anything.
Those who are doing great things have been at it a long time. The daily showing up with a small plan of minutes or hours, of repeating a routine, being faithful to a call, being open to failure, and learning to forge on and see what God will create in us. It takes years for a tree to mature. I must be patient through seasons and changes to let the sprouting take root and the plants to mature, slowly.
I must tend my soul and my work, my family and my life with an attitude of smallness. Here in the tiny seed of faithful starting, tilling cold soil and digging a place for new life, I cover up the bulbs, the seeds, the promises and pray for growth. I wait and I water and I anticipate. I don’t abandon the planting, I keep at it—even if it takes years. I thank God for every dash of green in the garden, each ounce of progress. I praise Him.
It’s hard to trust in the promise of a seed or the place of struggle, where green shoots push through solid walls and fight soil and gravity, where air and chlorophyll do not find us, but we must find them, making our way past the seemingly insignificant and unimportant until greatness grows up.
I see my daughter biking, cooking, independently studying, working for her new teacher. I see my imaginative son learning to do make his own lunch, to clean up his room. The smallness of mothering and teaching for these long years are a glorious tree giving my soul shade every day. Soon it will cover the entire house.
Great beauty is buried in small promises. Tweet This
Will you explore with me how great things start small this week? Subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss 2 more tremendous stories (about Starting Over) and a giveaway.