LITTLE THINGS CAN DO BIG THINGS

Please welcome Aimee Niebuhr of MamaCentric. Aimee is a homeschooling mother to three and wife to one who writes to stay centered.  She keeps it honest, raw and real as she discusses parenting, soul-searching and journeying. 

Without further delay, let's follow along with Aimee as she reminds us all of the power of little things.

I am a mess. Not a catastrophe-level mess. I am a home-under-renovation; dust-covered-from-crumbling-walls; scattered-blueprints kind of mess. 

You see, mothering is messy. It is an incessant calling to dive in fully and get your hands dirty with the work of loving, and teaching, and giving to someone else. It renders your heart a space of endless renovation, a perpetual work in progress. 

Weary from it all, one day my waning patience cracks. I am short. I am frustrated. I am breaking, until a little, chubby hand reaches for mine, calling out, “Be calm, mama. Little things can do big things.” 

Though I have encouraged my children many times over with this mantra, when the words emerge from my three-year-old’s tender heart, they strike me in the way that lightning breaks across a warm, summer sky, electrifying the dusk with clarity. 

How easy it is to lose our footing and slip away into the landslide that is the early years of parenting. The reverence of a spectacular sunrise is dimmed against the demand for milk in the one cup that happens to be dirty. The majesty of a starlit sky is shrouded by requests for bedtime stories and glasses of water…and hugs…and monster-checks…and lullabies. 

What was once a lifetime of possibility sprawled beneath an infinite horizon becomes dulled by the habitualness of the routine: The diaper changes; the laundry pile; the kissing of scraped knees; the worrying in our sleep.  

With this constant occupation of our hands and of our minds, it is easy to see how we can overlook the wonder that is to be found in the simplest of things. And yet, how ironic that the little ones responsible for this preoccupation are the very ones who can set us free. 

They are the messengers reminding us: Little things can do big things. 

When I am questioning my fortitude in this great, wide world we wander, and you’ve beckoned me out to play; dancing through the golden grasses, rolling as gently as a swelling sea, you delight at the way they sway. You remind me that this magnificent field grew from tiny roots and withstood the wind. You show me: Little things can do big things. 

When I am suffocating from feeling as though I will never be enough, and you’ve called me to the water’s edge; marveling at the river, shimmering as brightly as jewels under the sun, you are mesmerized by how quietly it flows. You remind me that one, small drop of water, together with the rest, moved as slowly as it needed to, and still carved out a place in the world. Suddenly my feelings calm. Suddenly I see: In their own time, at their own pace, little things can do big things.

When it feels as though life is hitting me with blow after crushing blow, and you’ve asked if we can get away; standing before the breaking ocean, in-and-out through the tide we play. Though wave upon wave knocks you off of your feet, you emerge triumphant from the water with glee.  Peace fills me like the ocean’s warmth, and yet again, I see: No force in this life is too powerful; little things can do big things. 

Though this mess of mothering is as tiring as can be; though I question my every move and often relegate my sanity; when I breathe in your newness, it becomes so clear to me: There is nothing else quite like it that can break you, as this will do, but I will trust the brokenness – I am broken, so that I might be built anew. This mess is just the evidence of life, of growth, of renovation. And in this renovated heart, my dear little ones, I’ll forever hold a space for you. For little things have the power to do such big and mighty things; each day you show me this is true.

 

All photos courtesy of Aimee Niebuhr.


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