“Yet, O Lord, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand.” – Isaiah 64:8
For the past few years, I’ve gotten used to big changes. This year, however, has seen a lot of little changes. I’m not posting everyday on Instagram. I’ve been writing more poetry than prose. I went on a weekend trip to Dallas where all I did was wander around the local Arboretum.
It always seems like my life has been this song playing constantly on loop:
I’ve been working and waiting for whatever comes next. Something I didn’t learn until recently, though, is that life goes on even while you’re waiting.
I have a mourning dove nesting in my backyard that I’ve named Genevieve. She’s been there for almost a month now. Her babies hatched sometime last week and it’ll be about another month before the birds start leaving the nest. I’ve also made some new friends and got to know a few saints. I didn’t write a 50,000 word novel, but I started working on a fantasy/horror series that took me straight out of my comfort zone in terms of writing. And if I combine all the work I did towards that with the poetry I wrote last month, I’m pretty sure that I wrote way more thank 50K in one month. I didn’t write a poem-a-day, but I am proud of the poems that I ended up writing.
I know that all of these things don’t seem like a lot, but if there’s anything I learned from spring, it’s that a lot of little things add up to a lot over time. When you plant seeds in a garden, they don’t grow into flowers right away. Gardens take a lot of work and time. In a similar way, I feel as though all the little changes I’ve been experiencing have been like God making tiny changes in my soul, the same way that a sculptor chips away at marble or a potter making tiny dents into clay.
In other words, life for me lately has been all about all the small things. Pennies in a jar or drops in the bucket that have slowly been filling up over time. What it’ll all add up to is yet to be seen.
If you feel like nothing big has been happening in your life, I recommend keeping a daily gratitude journal. In The Gospel of Happiness, Christopher Kazor recommends focusing on something different each day when it comes to gratitude. According to the book, Mondays are dedicated to thinking about ways in which we’ve received gifts from others and how might respond in gratitude. Tuesdays are meant to recall a good that is going to end soon. On Wednesday, we consider our blessings through the perspective of “what if they never existed?” Thursdays are devoted to considerting to whom we are grateful for and for what. Fridays are dedicated to writing about times in which something bad eventually led to something good.
I also recommend praying the Examen. There are many ways to pray the Examen, one of which I outline in my “Gratitude” Bible Study. I also recommend reading Leah Libresco’s Arriving At Amen which also has another Examen variation.
Moral of the story: Don’t overlook the little things in your life. They’re gonna add up to a lot sooner or later.