The Power of the Small 17

I have been thinking this week about small things. Little things. Salt. Yeast. A thank you. A hug.

You see, I truly believe that greatness is not made of one huge endeavor or success. Greatness comes from many, many acts of small and seemingly insignificant efforts. Like adding salt to your meal. Like adding yeast to your bread. You don’t need very much, but when added it begins to expand on itself. It creates.

You see, it is the small things accumulated that create love, peace, change, and overall greatness.

The Power of Small

Many, many people can do one big thing. But those consistent small things, those are the things that are truly symbolic of who we are. Those are the stories that make up our lives.

I read a story this week that I would like to share here:

Dr. William L. Stidger sat down and wrote a letter of thanks to a schoolteacher for having given him so much encouragement when he had been in her class thirty years before. The following week he received an answer, written in a very shaky hand. The letter read:

“My dear Willie: I want you to know what your note meant to me. I am an old lady in my eighties, living alone in a small room, cooking my own meals, lonely, and seeming like the last leaf on the tree. You will be interested to know, Willie, that I taught school for fifty years and in all that time, yours is the first letter of appreciation I have ever received. It came on a cold, blue morning and cheered my lonely old heart as nothing has cheered me in many years.”

Taken from Everyday Greatness, page 176.

Small things Great Love

I have had several small things make a difference in my life. They are seemingly insignificant probably to those who have done them, but very meaningful to me. They have come in different forms, at different times, and were all very, very small acts:

the friend who dropped off doughnuts unexpectedly at my house and stayed for a chat,

another who sent me an encouraging text message,

a mother who sends handwritten letters to my daughters,

a father who calls to chat with the girls,

a brother who calls on Sunday just to check in,

or a nephew who stops by on my birthday to see me.

It may be a hug at the end of a tough day,

or the sweet little arms around my neck and the small voice that says, “I love you mommy”

even when I had gotten angry earlier that day.

It may be the small feeling of peace I get when I pray,

or the kind comment I got on Facebook.

You see, small things get me through the day. Small things add up.

Small things create greatness.

Small Things Take Up the Most Space

So, today, I am calling you all to action. Do something small for someone else. Be the small in someone’s greatness today. You will find that it brings out the greatness in you. We can all do it. We can create greatness together.

Leave me a note about the small things that have helped you. Happy Sunday!



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Wife, mother of twins, speaker, and creator of Balm to My Soul.I love to write, speak, sleep, snuggle and, if I really get lucky, inspire and help others. I am clearly imperfect but determined to be a little better every day. Some days are better than others! Thanks for stopping by!
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About Elizabeth

Wife, mother of twins, speaker, and creator of Balm to My Soul. I love to write, speak, sleep, snuggle and, if I really get lucky, inspire and help others. I am clearly imperfect but determined to be a little better every day. Some days are better than others! Thanks for stopping by!

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17 thoughts on “The Power of the Small

  • Reply
    Jane H (Limeade Gal)

    Love your post Elizabeth ;). So very true and something so many take for granted. Appreciation of the small acts of kindness is so important. Thank you for a lovely post.
    Hope you have a beautiful week!

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Thank you, Jane. I am so grateful for you sweet comments and support. I hope you have a beautiful week as well!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Ana Lynn

    I seriously love this! I always said little things are the ones that matter the most. Tweeting this because it’s awesome and people need to be reminded to notice the little things!

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Thank you, Ana. It is the little things that really make a difference. Have a beautiful day! I hope you are feeling o.k. 🙂

  • Reply
    Joan Lloyd

    I loved this post, Elizabeth. I remember years ago I went to the Post Office to mail a letter. It was at a time when I was at my lowest, feeling devastated and sorry for myself.. I went to my car feeling all alone, thinking my trials would never end. Tears were flowing freely when something distracted me. I happened to look up and I saw a man who was very handicapped. He was coming toward my car. I thought he needed something, maybe even my help. He struggled to my car. I put my window down and he said: “Have a nice day. “Four words from a man who obviously was looking beyond his own problems, lifted my spirits. I can’t express in words how much that meant to me. I have never forgotten this small act of kindness. Your post did the very same thing for me this morning. I, in turn want to give you three words that come deep within my soul: “I love you.”

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Hello, Caroline! Thank you for your sweet comment. Seriously, it is the small stuff that makes a big difference for me.

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Me too, Megan. I know that the little things make a big difference for me, every day! Thanks for stopping over!

  • Reply
    Meredith Wouters

    This was an encouraging reminder to me today as I’m doing laundry and feeling like my world is made up of very small things. Thank you for sharing! I’m going to fold socks and see if I can come up with something small to do for someone else…

    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Thank you Meredith. You are already doing something small by folding those socks! Remember, tasks for our family members count too. We often forget that. Thank you for coming by! I really appreciate it!

  • Reply
    Lauren Tamm

    I can’t remember if I mentioned this before to you, but my dad always says, “the receiving is in the giving.” So yes, I agree doing something small for others every day is a powerful thing.


    • Reply
      balmtomysoul Post author

      Thanks Lauren. I love that quote by your dad. It is so true, and not just this time of year. Thanks for the tweet as well!