Because Baby Steps are No Small Thing

November 7, 2012

in Small Things

‘Why don’t we say she’s so many months now?  Why did Elaine skip being twelve months?’

I tell my big girl that the days and the months add up and twelve whole months make one year. Is she really already one whole year?

We put one candle in a cupcake and the little one’s in awe that we’re all looking at her all at once.  This little one who gets spun round in the circle and chaos of our days.

She, the fourth in a row of blessings, gets carried along for the bumpy ride most days.  But this one, this was her day, and we all sat, at least for a second, and said thanks for her one life.

She inhaled the sugar and screamed to get down and walked right out of the room.  She walked, well, she toddled.  But she was upright and taking her own beautiful baby steps.

And I remembered thishow I’d pictured this day back in January, back at the start of this year.

“I wake in the early morning and hold this small thing, this girl who weighs only ten pounds.  I hold her tight, hear those big breaths and that steady heart and wonder that I haven’t woken up to this before.  Haven’t I seen the truth of the small things in this small bundle?  Each small drop I feed her, each faithful moment of sitting and filling, each of these little moments will grow her up big in just one year.”

I do wonder at where the time went.  How the days can just run together and all of the sudden you’ve crossed one more finish line.

I watch her stumble to stand tall, chest out and knees locked and think about how the small things really do matter, how you really do have to sweat the small stuff.

How different would she look if she’d spent these last 365 days in an orphanage, in a famine stricken corner of Africa, in a home where she’d never been rocked to the lullaby of ‘Jesus Loves Me?’  How different would she look if I’d been different, treated her different, done even small things differently?

I wonder at how the differences can stack up and finally make a big difference.

She goes to sleep a baby and wakes up a toddler girl, grown out of her months and right into a full year, and she walks at the stairs and rushes to find my worn Bible, a perfect size for her one year old hands,  sitting there in front of the fireplace with the pencil holding my place.  She grabs both and carries them to me, smiling big.

She comes and shows me what she’s got-I see the colored underlines from this year of my small reading moments, the pen underlines from last year’s.  

I read a few small words, I see her, this small one becoming big on every small thing.  

And I pray to give attention to all these details, and thanks for all the ways a big God can make good on small efforts.  

Sorry I’ve been gone for so long.  Forgive me?  I’m hoping to write short posts here in the coming days about all the small things that have added up to something big in my heart this year.  I hope you’ll come to visit and perhaps share your own small things.


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