When Nothing May Be Everything

“Not all of us can do great things.

But we can do small things with great love.”

Mother Teresa

Bidonville, Casablanca

We all would like to have remarkable lives – applauded, noticed, valued, validated. Wouldn’t we? We search for meaning in life through the accolades and attention of others. But what if we led unremarkable lives? Lives where our generosity is given in secret. Jesus reminds us that “ When you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”

I was sweetly reminded of this at a dear friend’s Mom’s memorial service. Her mom was a lovely person- a devoted sister, mom, friend, and grandmom who consistently prayed for her family. What I found most remarkable was that each person who stood up to honor her basically said the same thing. “ I knew that when I phoned her, I would hear a voice at the other end of the line. She always had time for me. She was my cheerleader and she believed in me.“ Each person felt special and loved by this woman. She would never call attention to herself. She loved unself- consciously.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to travel to the wild Scottish Highlands. Thanks to a dear friend in Edinburgh who was gracious enough to host me, I had the freedom to travel from there to a remote highland village called Applecross. I met a friend of a friend who had built an exquisite resort called “Eagle Rock”. It truly is one of the wildest places that I have ever visited.

Applecross, Scottish Highlands

She told me of a Celtic woman who could no longer leave her house because of health issues. All day long, she sits by the window facing the road. It appears to others that she is doing nothing but she actually prays for the people in each car that travels down her narrow country road. Who knows what powerful transformations are taking place!

So take heart, all of you who are steadfast in your vocation, living one day at a time, even when it gets boring, wearisome, or discouraging. Carrying on with great love in your heart is everything in God’s eyes.

God has a sense of humor and an incredible sense of timing. I didn’t know what I was going to write about this week. I was organizing my office and was going through a music folder when suddenly this journal entry fell out! It reminded me of the ongoing, unapplauded , resolute devotion of parents.

“I love being a Mom, even though at times it can be quite trying. Some days can be most difficult. I had a infant, toddler, and was working full time. I had been up most of the night with a cranky infant. In the morning, we had breakfast and the baby took a morning nap. I was exhausted. Just then my toddler spilled his cereal all over himself and the floor. I went to clean it up and heard a horrible sound coming from the nursery. The baby had vomited all over himself and the crib. So I removed him from the mess, cleaned both boys, soothed the infant, and entertained the toddler while trying to maintain my sanity. My infant finally fell back to sleep. Instead of resting and staying calm, I sat on the steps and had a good, hard cry. Suddenly, I heard the pitter-patter of little footsteps. A sweet voice said “Here Mom” and took me by the hand. He led me to the sofa, offered me his favorite ‘blankey’, and patted on the sofa saying “Night-nights”. With tears rolling down my cheeks, I looked at my sweet son and was consoled. He covered me up and I pretended to sleep with a heart now warmed by the kind act of my son.”

I did not accomplish much that day for the world to see, yet much was accomplished.

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For Encouragement and Refreshment

Only The Good Stuff:Multivitamins for Your Weekend – Ann Voskamp

Book – The Ministry of Ordinary Places(Waking Up To Gods’s Goodness Around You) – Shannon Martin

Book – Liturgy of the Ordinary – Tish Warren Harrison

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