The Small Things In Life

A few years ago I used to clean homes for extra money. The homes of older women were the best to clean, as by and large, I found older women to be more appreciative of just about any help at all. 

Helen was one such lady. I had first met her when I cleaned along with a friend; we laughingly referred to ourselves as “partners in grime”. That first day at Helen’s, we were giggling and I think Helen may have been a bit suspicious of us– she may have been old, but she was nobody’s fool. She was a tall woman and had severe pain in her back and could only walk very slowly. My friend and I vacuumed, cleaned her kitchen, dusted, and waxed her kitchen cabinets (she was so proud of her cabinets). It wasn’t long and I was flying solo as a house cleaner, and Helen called me to clean again. 

The deal with housecleaning is that you can set your own schedule, and the pay is quite good. Obviously, Helen had plenty of downtime on her hands, and I was smart enough to know that if I took some time to sit and visit with her after I finished tidying up, it would be to both of our advantages. So that day, I sat at Helen’s table while she wrote out a check and began visiting. She had the time, and I did too. She wanted to know about me (turns out, she was a good friend to my husband’s grandmother years ago), and I answered her questions and asked about her. Old folks have lots of good stories you know, and plenty of common sense and most likely, a smidge or two of wisdom.

Helen and I came to know each other real well, and she came to trust and like me, and I came to appreciate and treasure all that she was. She had a fire in her, and a bit of mischievousness, and a healthy dose of “Maxine“, that cranky old cartoon woman–I got a kick out of that attribute the most. Yes, Helen and I “bonded”.

One day she happened to mention she wanted to sell her car, but couldn’t find the title. I suggested that we pray and ask the Lord to show her where it was.  She was kind of taken aback and asked did I really think the Lord cared about something so small and insignificant?  I stated that He did, and so, we bowed our heads, and I prayed.  A couple of days later, I received a call from Helen. She was elated to tell me that she had found the title to her car, and then, she suggested that maybe I had “special connections” to our heavenly Father.  It was a neat experience, and I’m sure it increased her faith. (MIne too!)

In Luke 12, vs 6 & 7, we read:  “Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God.  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.”  And, Psalm 139:2,  “You know when I sit down and rise up; you understand my thought from afar.”  And, 1Peter 5:7, “…casting all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.”  And let’s not forget the birds of the air who neither sow nor reap… are we not worth much more than they?  (Matthew 6:26). 

Do I run to God with the “little” things that are on my heart? Or just the “big” things”?  I know if my husband lost his job, there I would be, flat on the floor begging God to send another job, money, food, a winning lottery ticket… (just kidding, I don’t waste my money on lottery tickets).  But do I go to Him for the “small, insignificant” issues I am dealing with? I thought about that for just a few seconds and the answer is “yes”.  The examples I could give you might seem silly, but here are a few: I ask for help from God for blog topics, verses for the topic, what to make for dinner, how to create something attractive with what I have on hand, how to sew an item that I can’t figure out what the next step is, to help me not to be nervous if I have to talk to someone about a difficult topic, to help me choose the right words to say to that person, to show me the perfect gift for a person, to give me ideas on how to decorate a room and spend nothing… you know, little things. Maybe this comes easy to me because I like to talk to myself, (I always win arguments!) so talking to God is just an easy extension of that… but think about it; God cares more about me than he cares about sparrows, He knows how many hairs I have on my head, He knows my heart, He knows my thoughts, longings, dreams, sorrows, hurts… He knows it all. He’s closer to me than anyone, so why wouldn’t I share all of my concerns?  The wool couldn’t be pulled over Helen’s eyes, and it can’t be pulled over God’s eyes either.

Time for honesty, time for barring one’s soul, time for letting God take control… He can handle it, He has the power. He has set the stars and the moon and the sun in the sky. I don’t have any more of a special connection to God than Helen or any other believer has; we just need to choose to put our trust in the God of this universe who loves us with an everlasting love, and delights in answering those seemingly “little” prayers.

My dear friend Helen passed on a little over a year ago at the age of 92. At her memorial a few days after Christmas, her granddaughters told me that Helen had truly loved me. I could hardly believe it–I could hardly believe that I had made such an impact on her life, but I’m so thankful I did.  Just a gentle reminder here, reach out to those who God puts in your path and on your heart… let them see the light and love of Christ through you, share what you know about our loving Creator, you never know if what you say might increase their faith. Helen is on the list of those I will see when I reach the “Promised Land”.



30 thoughts on “The Small Things In Life

  1. Great story, it’s wonderful that you were able to offer practical help through prayer! How many people would have done the same? I have tried reading many “Christian” blogs (and often been disappointed) yours rings true every time. Hoping you have a good week, and carry on be a blessing to those you meet and serve.

  2. ˇThank you for a great reminder that God does care about the simple things in our lives like the hair on our heads:) I love this particular verse and I would have loved Helen too…I love her generation and I miss my folks….they were older when they had me so I grew up with that awesome generation…you were such a “Blessing” to Helen…and Helen was precious in His sight and so are you:) Have a peaceful night:)

    • She and I had some great visits. She shared the story of the time she poured vinegar into her sister’s drinking glass and the sister took a big gulp before realizing… Keep in mind, this woman was born in 1918! Wow!

      • They had such stories and lived through live so differently…my Dad was born in 1914 and Mom in 1918 too…an incredible generation…and she would have been a fun sister:)

  3. Hello Joy.
    I also like talking to older ladies, they seem to be full of smiles and act as if they are amazed someone stopped to chat. I sometimes think God must be numerically challenged, I mean look at my head 🙂
    But seriously though, there are millions of neglected people in the world and every one of them has a story to tell, all it takes is for someone to listen. You did just that and look how blessed both of you were.
    Bless you Joy, you’ve published another very encouraging post, Geoff.

  4. What a wonderful testimony Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”
    You knew that (and still do). I love how the Lord gave you an opportunity to share Him with her. I am so scatterbrained and unorganized that I HAVE to pray for every little thing–I can’t even clean a closet without prayer. I used to be embarassed about that but now I know better, the more I am honest and bear my soul and surrender to God’s control the more work He can do in and through me. Thank you for this reminder and encouragement. I have a unbelieving wido neighbor that has asked if I can clean her home–God used you to confirm what He wants me to do 😉

  5. Another wonderful post, Joy Your taking time to talk with an older person was so sweet and now telling about it has blessed many lives. Jesus was never in a hurry and we shouldn’t be either. I regret the many opportunities I missed because I just wasn’t will to take the time to listen. Pray without ceasing and I guess that means about everything. Oh that I should be so wise!

  6. Good words. The fact that God even cares for those little things is awesome, but the awesome thing is that It’s not even about the little things, it’s about who He is. So good, thanks for the words.

  7. great reminder Joy 🙂 I had the privilege of spending some quality time with my grandmother the last few years of her life it was a blessing to us both. Sometimes during my hectic days I forget that God wants to be involved in every area of my life so this was perfectly timed! Thank you for being open to God working through you 🙂

  8. A great story of how one person can make a difference when that person is committed to following her Lord. Thank you for sharing and for the challenge.
    We serve an amazing God who delights to work in us so He can work through us.

  9. HI Joy,

    First time visiting your blog. I really enjoyed reading this post. I think that too often we do not ask the “Helen’s” of the world if they would like us to pray for them or with them and we miss the opportunity for Him to show up and do something so cool. Thanks for the share.

  10. THUMBS UP! This post is so inspiring. 🙂
    Indeed, praying even for the small things in our lives shows our dependence on God.
    May our good Lord continually use you to be a channel of blessings to everyone.
    Have a nice day!

    • humble (really!) thanks. I appreciate it. thank you for stopping by and I think you’re following, so I appreciate that. May the Lord use ALL of us to reach out and show the world what He is like!

      • Amen. 🙂
        Yes Ma’am, I’m following your blog. Am excited to read more on how God works in your life.
        Thanks for sharing!

  11. What strikes me most in your blog is the question of whether God wants us to come to Him with the little things on our hearts or does He only want the things? I don’t think I can begin to comprehend His interest, His involvement, or His desire to be part of my life. If I, as a parent, want my child to be part of my life, why am I surprised He wants to be part of mine? I want my child to come to me with everything that interests her, or concerns her, or worries her, or that she needs an opinion on…and I am only human. The bigger question is why would God loves us this much? I don’t know the answer, but I am so grateful He does. Thanks for sharing your insights. I look forward to each post.

    • “pray without ceasing…” Excellent point, Good Sally.

      In addtion, my history with my earthly father has been marginal at best, so fully comprehending the love, care, and concern a heavenly Father would have for me is still a discovering process. I am amazed more each day of how much He cares and the comments you folks have left here have inspired me, encouraged me, and calmed my anxious heart! I truly appreciate everyone’s input. It is so interesting to learn what God is teaching each one of us.

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