Big Things VS the Little Things

Maybe the big things are not actually the big things.

Maybe the little things are the big things, after all.

At the very beginning of this year, I did something I never do- I spent some time hanging out in the pictures folder of my phone. I looked back over pictures from years ago, before we bought our house and before we had our oldest son. As I scrolled, I could feel the disappointments that I had then and was struck that they were the same now.

After all this time, after so much has changed, so many of the things that held my emotions hostage as I celebrated Christmas after Christmas were still hanging heavy on my heart. I’m not sure if you can identify with any of these thoughts, but they read something like, next year I’ll:

  • Have a completely clean house

  • Lose the weight

  • Do a daily devotional

  • Actually believe my husband loves me

  • Have more money

  • Make my house more beautiful

  • Figure out how to be truly happy

Without fail, I’ve gotten around the holidays for 5 straight years and each year, I’ve gone over that internal list and been disappointed.

Let’s not forget that in the time that I spent being so disappointed about the former list, I:

  • Brought two lives into the world

  • Started two new businesses

  • Laugh more than ever before

  • Started the journey to making peace with my body

  • Learned the value of saying “no”

  • Understood that I am worthy of boundaries

  • Allowed myself to truly feel and name my feelings

I looked over pictures in my phone and while I could recognize the disappointment I felt on the “big days” (holidays), the little days in between showed me a different picture. A picture of love and laughter. Of belonging and change and growth. Of growing through pain and entering into community and continuing treasured friendships along the way. Life is being lived in the day to day, and the “big” things that seem to bring me disappointment year after year only seem to pop up around one specific time of year. In those photos, I saw that life has unfolded beautifully and in ways I never could have dreamed or planned on my own.

Maybe the little things are not the little things, and they actually are the big things.


Maybe the things that I think are big are actually wolves in sheep’s clothing- calling me in to dwell on them instead of all of the beauty that makes up the actual life I’m living. And, maybe in the things that I think are big, there are less opportunities to measure my failure and more opportunities to give myself abundant grace. Lavish grace.

Maybe the next time I choose to move my body, I should recognize that as a small win. Maybe the next time I save more than I spend, I recognize that as a small step forward. Maybe, when my husband goes to work before the sun comes up so that he can be home as early as possible, I hear the message of “I love you” as it is communicated. Maybe I break down the big disappointments and allow them to be opportunities for growth instead of impossible standards I won’t achieve.

Maybe I finally recognize that the big things are NOT the big things, and I give gratitude for the small things that are actually weaving the fabric of my life story.

Does this thought resonate with you? Are you able to see the pattern of a beautiful life that you are creating and living in the day-to-day? I would love to hear what tapestry is being woven in your daily life. How can you show yourself lavish, abundant grace?