Little things: beginnings

I couldn’t think about anything else until I peeked. Just one little look. I wouldn’t have to go further.

I peeled back the tiniest portion of carpeting in the bedroom, and lifting a few square inches in the corner revealed exactly what I wanted: a hardwood floor. Despite its roughness, I spied potential. I ripped further.

It was 2002, and we were new to the house and not in a position to do any renovations yet. But to me, the timing was ideal; Husband was at work.

Nervous excitement roiling my stomach, I tore the stinky old carpeting free from the nails that anchored it. I heaped the offending mass in the dining room, whipping up excuses for why it needed to go that day. Several young children had lived in the house before us. How many times had their bodily fluids puddled up on the beige fibers and seeped through to the pad underneath? And with kids of our own, how many times would we add our own muck to the hard-to-clean textile? It was better off gone.

My picking away at the flooring ushered in a big project, and my impatience propelled it to its end.

Over the years, many other small beginnings have zinged me in the gut too: the initial step into the kindergarten classroom for each of my girls, the starting payment on a large bill, the first word of a manuscript pecked out on my keyboard.  

Frustration floods me—anxiety too sometimes—because first movements seem too tiny to accomplish big things, and I don’t like them. I’d rather jump to the grand, satisfying conclusion: the graduation, the pay-off check, my story’s The End.

But outside of time and space, Someone else values the nearly invisible debut, the almost imperceptible start.

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.

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*Names in this blog have been changed to protect my family, neighbors, and friends in the neighborhood, and in a nod of appreciation to the beloved Swedish author Maj Lindman, I’ve renamed my three blondies Flicka, Ricka, and Dicka.