Small, service-minded goals (#frosty)

toothbrush kindnessHappy New Year! It’s going to be the BEST year so far!

If there is one principle that Heavenly Father continues to teach me over and over, it is “…that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass, and small means in many instances doth confound the wise” (Alma 37:6).  He says that this is the way He works (see verse 7).

I like to dream big. I have always had big ambitions, which I have learned can be discouraging if I don’t approach these dreams with a plan that is broken down into small steps. And then I have to be willing to patiently take one step at a time. (And breathe. I need to breathe. And keep breathing. Relax. That’s it. Keep going. Self-talk here, folks.)

That’s been a challenging lesson for me, but obviously an essential one. Over the years, I discovered I couldn’t bear my goal of 12 children at once (my love and prayers to those who have 4 at once!), and when I have the opportunity to learn what it takes to raise 7, I might discover that this was a sufficient goal with which I am quite grateful and content. I learned that starting a music program can begin with one person, but it requires more than one person to grow it and carry it on. I learned that living in a large home can be well maintained by one person, if it is that person’s full-time job, but it is better if it is maintained by more than one person, if that one person would like to do other things besides housecleaning.

And I have learned that if I want to accomplish something BIG and SUPER VALUABLE like having love at home, I can start with myself, doing little things that show my love.

My husband has helped me learn this. I don’t know how long it’s been, or when it started, but some time ago, he started putting my toothpaste on my toothbrush for me at night and leaving it on the side of the sink for me when I was getting ready for bed. Such a little thing! But every time I see it, I am reminded that my husband loves me.

I have a blog about nurturing others because I have so much to learn and develop in this area. And at the start of the new year, when I’m considering what areas I want to change and improve in my life, I know that if I begin small, it is more likely that I will be able to continue steadily in that area. And I also know that if at least one of those areas includes service to my own family members, that the fruits of that goal are going to be happiness, greater love, better relationships, and more love at home. It can be as simple as putting toothpaste on a toothbrush.

My son Nate wrote something really goofy for his Senior quote in his yearbook. It was meant to be a joke to his friends who understood:

Nate toothpaste yearbook


After he read this, Peter quoted him for the next week–at least a thousand times (at least it felt like a thousand times).

But when it comes to doing something as small as putting toothpaste on a toothbrush, Nate is right. (Or covering up a nail hole in the wall.)

🙂 Liz*  #frosty

*I think this year I’m going to omit the “Happy…” closings of my posts, even though I love happy endings. But I’ll retain the smiles. And for this post, I’ll still close with how I started: “Happy New Year!”


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