Today was a day of small things. It looked something like this:
- Walk the dog
- Clear off kitchen counter
- Make grocery list at breakfast
- Take a phone message
- Put a load of jeans in the washer
- Teach young one’s schoolwork
- Empty the recycle bin
- Listen to another phone message
- Supervise older one’s schoolwork
- Transfer jeans to dryer; put towels in washer
- Read aloud during lunch of leftovers
- Put potatoes in the slow cooker for supper
- Quiet time
- Put towels in dryer; fold jeans
- Computer time
- Read to young one
- Finish cooking and eat supper
- Put young one to bed
Not much excitement. Nothing earth-shaking or life-altering. And yet there is a certain sense of satisfaction that comes from a day of small things. Though the events of the day were not of huge proportions, they were still of value.
I think that’s what Charlotte Mason had in mind when she said, “Let us not despise the day of small things nor grow weary in well-doing” (Vol. 3, p. 23).
To despise something is to have a low opinion of it. It’s easy to start despising our daily tasks and regular chores. Our opinion of them tends to sink the more we perform them. The sheer unending-ness of caring for the house and the meals and the clothes and the children and the schedule and the schoolwork can wear us down if we are not careful.
Careful to . . . what? Careful to keep the right perspective. Though our list may be full of small things, yet they are good things. We are doing well; and Charlotte encouraged us to lift our heads and not grow weary in well-doing.
The small things matter. We are striving to create an environment of small comforts and lots of love—an environment that will make up one-third of our children’s education. We are attempting to teach and reinforce small habits that will combine to shape our children’s characters—habits that make up another third of their education. We are mirroring the faithfulness of God as we faithfully perform those unceasing small acts.
We are doing a good work. Let’s celebrate a day of small things!