Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Significance Factor

Oh, significance and the question of its presence.  Why does this topic always seem to float back through me from time to time?  I know why.  But I am quite irritated by it today.  I don't even want to give it the dignity of my thoughts, much less my words.  I do know, however, that my thoughts seem to focus when I get my thoughts out and turn them to words.

The questions come out in the flood of thoughts when I am scrubbing pots from last night's dinner.  It was 8:00 in the morning.  First load of laundry on, lunches packed, 2 kids off for the day, 1 sitting at the table eating scrambled eggs.  The packed dishwasher had been unloaded and was already being refilled.  The pans that had been soaking all night were on their way to being clean.  A bit of a "spinning my wheels" moment. 

Then off to the bus stop in the driving rain and wind.  Huddled under an umbrella with my daughter, holding onto the outside of the umbrella so it doesn't blow inside out, the umbrella doing a less than effective job at keeping the rain off.  The bus was late, compliments of the construction.  When the bus finally drove off, I hurried home to warm back up.

As I was battling through the rain, I was making a mental list of all I had to finish before I left for work:  getting dinner started so I could get it done easily tonight, squished between hosting extra kids after school today and getting off to a concert tonight, finishing the laundry and putting it away, cleaning toilets, bake off the last of the cookie dough for the kids to devour when they get home, vacuum....basically as much as I can cram in. 

From there my thoughts went to people I know who are doing really grand things.  Really grand.  Humbling grand.  And thus rose up the significance factor.  What am I doing?  I have the hopes of grandness, but in the meantime, I'm just doing the daily.  And my thoughts, of course, started in with all the things I am not.  Friends who have fallen away.  Family members that have rejected.  Things I'd love to finish, but can't even seem to start.  All reinforcing to me that I'm not enough.

And then, through that cloud of crap (I apologize, but I sat here and tried and couldn't come up with a more appropriate word), I started forcing those thoughts to submit to the truth.  The Truth. 

Everything I do in the "daily" is significant in the lives of those I love the most.  Even if it's just cooking their food and cleaning their clothes.  Throw on top of that my love, my support, my encouragement, my anything-I-can-offer-to-make-your-day-better, and I matter. 

And here's the truth that spoke so loud:  sometimes significance comes in events, and sometimes it comes in moments.   My significance is in moments.  Lots of little moments sprinkled through the daily.

Maybe it's just cooking a meal, just trying to keep my daughter sheltered from the rain at the bus stop, just the extra long hug at bedtime, just the hug and kiss as one hurries out the door, just the encouraging word spoken to a little one at school, just telling a little person who seems to really need to hear it that she's beautiful, just looking out for someone who may not be bringing lunch to school, just being positive and friendly to people who need it, just supporting my husband and doing my best to make him feel loved and respected and cherished...I could just keep going.

But maybe it's a lot more than "just".  Maybe all those moments of being significant add up to a whole lot of significance.  In my life, they do.

Maybe someday in my life I'll have a significant event.  But maybe the sweet spot to be is just living with the awareness of all the significant moments I am blessed to be a part of, daily.


  1. Thank you for the reminder of how what we do in "the daily" really is the significant stuff!

  2. Oh girl, as you see on my post this is where I am and of course you put is so's the 'moments' not one big thing...'moments' and it feels good to feel good about feeling significant because I do laundry, dishes, kiss an owie, cook, clean, etc. You are significant!! Thank you for this my dear....

    can't wait for our weekend!

    Love, Marlece

  3. Did you open my head and dump the ideas out? You are singing my song, sister! I have to trust that these little things are significant in their own way. They make life rich for those around us. I guess I only notice the truth of that when I see people who lack that type of "insignificant significance". Lately I've been working with a lot of people who don't have a family member (or even a friend) close enough to visit them in the hospital. And there are others who have nobody to help them at home. It makes me sad and I realize that all these little things that express care and love really do matter. They are significant.

  4. You read my mind Leanne! I love the paragraph, "Everything I do in the daily is significant...Even if it's just..." We moms do matter. Thanks for sharing. Ellen