This is day 24 of Soulful Simplicity, a 31-day series through the month of October. The series can be found here, and I hope you find it enriching and encouraging. If you have any questions or would otherwise like to connect, feel free to send me a note: lightandloveliness [at] gmail [dot] com.
It is easy to get caught in a cycle of looking ahead to what might be in the future, or looking behind and dwelling on everything that happened in the past, but never really owning the space we fill in the present. It is good to dream and cast vision for what is ahead, and it is good to reflect on experiences and lessons learned to process how we feel about them and how we have been shaped by them.
It is also good to find joy in the small place of this present moment, which might feel ordinary and like nothing special.
Let me tell you, today is special, and it holds unique opportunities for you. Maybe it’s not a terribly exciting day, and maybe you’re not doing terribly exciting things, but it is my guess that even if it’s just an ordinary day, you are pressing forward with all the courage you’ve got, attempting to do whatever is in front of you to the best of your ability.
Maybe you are gaining ground, little by little, and while your accomplishments for the day may not be garnering public attention and praise, you are taking steps forward from where you are. You may be inching along, or you may be sprinting to the finish line of a goal, but in either case, today I want to ask you to celebrate your small victories.
When you celebrate small victories, you acknowledge that the beauty of life is not only about big milestones, but also includes the in-between choices to be faithful in small things that turn out to be not so small after all.
An abundant life comes about because of seemingly insignificant choices to be faithful in everyday, ordinary tasks. These choices are not insignificant. They are the very things that build memories, build character, build a family, and ultimately build our lives. We look back on the highlights of our lives and can easily forget about all the living we did between the milestones. The interesting part is that the choices we make between milestones make a far bigger impact on the way our lives unfold.
The small choices you make matter. The choices you make to do the next right thing—to engage hurts and troubles, to invest in others, to connect, to create, and respond with love—build on each other and lead to bigger victories in life.
I see it like adding dry beans to a scale. Each little bean seems rather insignificant on its own, but as you add one after another, at some point, the scales are going to tip and you are going to recognize the greater accomplishment of what you have produced with your daily efforts.
Every step toward simplicity, toward wholeness, adds up. I’m comforted by this reality because there are so many days that are hard for one reason or another, but celebrating my small victories makes encouragement the force behind the momentum I have to continue forward. Whether you are gaining ground by inches or miles, the point is, you’re gaining ground.
Celebrating the small victories of my children are the very things that shape their character. Sure, there have to be limits and boundaries and lessons, but children are most motivated to do what they believe will be valued and celebrated. For this reason, I give high praise for the times they display servant-heartedness toward others in our family because that makes them interested and willing to serve in the future, knowing that their contributions and attitudes really make a difference for everyone.
I think the acknowledgment of small victories brings about affirmation that we are doing well. So often we want praise from others, but we can be encouraged in the quiet of our hearts by recognizing what we have accomplished in the small spaces of life and celebrating those efforts in our own ways.
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
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