Being Big in Small Places

I just finished writing a letter to my daughter.  She is away for the summer at a remote camp for Dad’s and their kids.  It is a very rustic and simple place where dad’s are given the opportunity to connect with individual children in a unique and personal way; to share memories that only the two of them will have the rest of their lives.

It’s an amazing, magical place!

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The work my daughter is doing is deliberate, mundane, and routine.  She is one of the crew than maintains this robust place with all it’s dirt and out houses!  She also facilitates adventures for the dad’s and their kids and helps create a bonding atmosphere through music during sessions and camp fires.  She works from sun up to sun down.

There are no big roles, there is no spotlight.  It’s simple service.  

It’s being BIG in small places.

If I can be honest I admit that I seek out notable ways to show that what I do matters. I want it to be visible that I’m doing something BIG or that I’m a part of something radical and marvelous.

What a twist on things…being big in small places.  

In our mission driven culture I get sucked into the thinking that I’m not doing anything if it doesn’t have the some seemingly profound purpose.   In reality this is just another ploy to make so many of us think that what we have to offer isn’t good enough.  That what we do isn’t enough.

My daughters work this summer has me re-investigating what it means to do good, think good, be good in the small routine, expected places of my life, the place I spend most of my time.  So I just started rattling off a list of things that when it comes down to it have important purposes in daily life.  What would you add to this list?

  • Emptying the dishwasher is BIG…because it matters
  • Calling to check on a friend who is dealing with a lot is BIG…because it matters
  • Picking up extra kids for basket ball practice so they can play is BIG…because it matters
  • Making time to pray for family and friends is BIG…
  • Taking care of children and managing them well is BIG…
  • Making the effort to get to know a new co-worker is BIG….
  • Being better at listening in my marriage instead of talking is BIG…
  • Staying on top of bill paying is BIG…
  • Being another set of hands on when the call goes out for help is BIG..
  • Speaking with kindness and patience to a 6 year old is BIG…
  • Walking the dog is BIG…
  • Stopping to talk to your elderly neighbor is BIG…
  • Providing an environment for people to connect and grow is BIG….
  • Maintaining effort to eat well and exercise is BIG…
  • Sponsoring a child that needs aide is BIG…
  • Delivering a meal to a sick friend is BIG…
  • Giving someone another chance when they are on thin ice is BIG….
  • Vacuuming your husbands car is BIG…
  • Taking someone else’s kids for the weekend is BIG…
  • Going the extra mile with re-asuurance and encouragement for a co-worker who is insecure is BIG…
  • Creating opportunity for your teenager to have responsibility is BIG…
  • Having lunch with the “difficult” person at work is BIG…
  • Welcoming the new neighbors to your home for dinner is BIG….
  • Cutting the grass for someone who can no longer do it is BIG….

Are you beginning to get the idea?  All of life is BIG.  The question is are we ok to be BIG in the small places?

“Anyone who wants to be the first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” ~ Jesus



  1. Thanks Randi! I needed this. I was thinking about this very thing this morning, and praying that I would be able to show up and play my part – even if it wasn’t huge or in the spotlight. Thanks for putting this into words better than I could have ever done.

  2. such a good reminder to read today! Thanks for proclaiming truth about all our “little” actions that really do matter in a big way.

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