Small steps

Sometimes I think that the only things worth celebrating are the big things…really big. You know what I mean–the ones that are worthy of newspaper stories or being entered into our family histories. But I’m beginning to understand that when we focus only on those big steps, we’re missing out on something important.

We don’t any of us get to make those big steps without having first made a lot of small steps. And it’s those small steps that we need to celebrate because they’re the things that put us on the road we really want to travel.

I have a dearly loved member of my family who has had some very difficult times in life–and who has made some choices that have not always been good. For quite a while, every time the phone has rung and I’ve heard a specific voice, my stomach churned because I wondered what had gone wrong this time.

When we were out of town last week, I asked for a promise…that while we were gone, the only phone calls we would receive would be positive ones. The phone didn’t ring, so I was hopeful that would be a positive sign. When we got back and did some catching up, there was both sort of bad and definitely good news. The bad news was that the child had wanted to make some poor choices…but the good news was that they hadn’t! And another piece of good news was that the child was willing to tell me rather than waiting for me to hear it second- or third-hand.

So…we have another challenge going…for there to be another week of only good phone calls.

Yesterday I got another phone call. In a very excited voice I was told that the child now has a learner’s permit…only missed one question and missed that one only because of second-guessing. After telling me all that, the child realized that this was definitely a good phone call…and it was one I could definitely congratulate them on.

I know there will undoubtedly be other missteps in the process of growing up and maturing…but the fact remains: we’ve had some positive small steps in the direction everyone wants to go. And that’s something to value.

It’s not all our doing by any stretch of the imagination. We’ve had significant people helping–both in professional capacities and as mentors. And that’s something to value as well.

So…let’s value the small steps!

You need to be content with small steps. That’s all life is. Small steps that you take every day so when you look back down the road it all adds up and you know you covered some distance. – Katie Kacvinsky

It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward – old Chinese proverb

I long to accomplish a great and noble task; but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. – Helen Keller

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. – Lao Tzu

One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time. – John Wanamaker

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