Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Ministry of Small Things for Busy Moms

Even small flowers brighten the environment!
Do you ever feel that caring for your home and family is so all-consuming that you don’t have enough time or energy to reach out to people in your community?  You know that ministry to your family is your high calling, but sometimes you struggle with wishing you could do MORE. If you’re a cross-cultural worker/mom maybe you feel like you might as well be back in your home country since you spend all your time at home with the kids anyway.

If you feel that way today, take heart and consider the ministry of small things.

I sometimes get discouraged and wonder if I’m having any impact in my Middle Eastern community. With fewer conveniences, caring for my home is labor intensive. When the kids were small, I spent my days watching over them. Now they’re older and more independent. Although I can do more outside my home, it also seems like my teenagers need more of me: more conversation and more effort to cultivate our relationship.  So I come back to the question, “What am I doing here anyway?” I might as well be back home.

God reminds me that I can take small steps to bless those outside my family. Maybe one day I’ll be able to do “big things” for God, but for now I want to be content and faithful with the small things. 

A ministry of small things, done faithfully day by day, can create a life that makes a difference.

My Small Things


I keep a prayer list and take a thirty minute walk most mornings before my kids wake up to pray through my list. Prayer is probably the most important thing I do here, where virtually no one has mothers, aunts, or sisters who pray for them.

Telephone Calls

Personal connection is vital in the Middle East, and a telephone call communicates that you care.  My closest friendship started years ago with a phone call, and still today my Turkish sister and I talk several times a week. We share prayer requests and sometimes even pray on the phone. While I make dinner or after my kids are in bed it’s easy for me to make a five minute phone call to check up on a friend I don’t get to see often.


Occasionally I like to write short notes, e-mails, or even Facebook messages to share a verse of scripture or just to say hello. 

Short Visits

Middle Easterners love visiting, and they might stay for at least 3 hours.  It’s hard for my husband and I to carve three hours out of our schedule, so we sometimes drop by friends’ homes for short visits. I often combine these visits with errands, and I tell people in advance, “I’m going to be out anyway, so I’d love to stop by for an hour to see you.”

Your small things may be different than mine, but done faithfully from day to day, they can impact those around you.  

What does your ministry of small things look like? What things can you do to make a difference where you are?


Choate Family said...

Our lists of "small things" look very similar, but we love to include food as an encouragement, too. While we are in the States, we're enjoying taking cookies or banana bread to the library or church staff or post office. Nothing says "thank you" like warm chocolate chip cookies!

Alida said...

Text messages go a long way here. I pass on scripture or let someone know I am thinking of them.

I also walk daily and pray while I'm out.

We give rides whenever we can also.

OliveTree said...

Text messages and baking for people are great ideas. I have done those as well. And giving rides is big here too, where few people have cars.

Creatively Content said...

Olive, GREAT post. So glad to be back. Thanks for your encouraging comments and faithful writing. Your blog is full of things to think on and truly consider. Glad to have found you! Press on!

Annmarie Pipa said...

love your tips!! yes, St Teresa said her place in life was to do little things but with great love..

Kris Thede said...

Counting the days until our return to Haiti when the pace will slow down and I can again focus on some of the 'small' yet all so important ways to reach out to folks.