31 Days of Breaking Bread: for when you're feeling small

In this stage of my life, I’ve called myself “just a mom” more times than I’d like to admit. I always try to catch myself and backtrack so I’m not diminishing the role I play in my kids’ lives, but it’s still something I say.

I clean up messes. I read books. I teach. I discipline. I referee. I kiss boo boos and hold tiny hands to walk across parking lots.

And there have been plenty of times when I wonder if I can do more. How can I make a difference?

With disease and terrorism and hatred and crime and poverty and so much that breaks our hearts every day, what can I do? Who can I impact?

It’s when we can slow down and become noticers of the people around us, right in front of us, that we can have the biggest impact.

The new mom down the street who never imagined she could be lonely at home with a newborn. Stopping by with a meal and her favorite Starbucks drink means the world to her. Or an offer for you to watch her baby while she showers and actually dries her hair for the first time in two weeks.

The family that just moved to town and the mom who is feeling lost and alone in her new city. All she wants is an invitation to a play date at the park so her kids can be in the company of other kids.

The elderly woman who slowly shuffles through the grocery store every Monday morning and would love someone to stop and talk to her and maybe even walk with her to her car.

I know that I am way too often too busy and wrapped up in my to-do list and dealing with our own family matters to even notice what is happening right in front of me. But I know that these people are there, just going through the motions of every day life. And being noticed could open up the door to beautiful community and trust. A real opportunity to make a difference.

Smallness can give us the opportunity to make huge impacts for His kingdom, if we’re open and available and willing to be noticers.

31 days of breaking bread


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  1. says

    Yes to this! I try to see those around me. I know I could do a better job…but I have committed to a few people that I regularly see. There is an elderly man at church who is ALWAYS visiting in the lobby at church. One day I ran into him at Walmart and we talked for a long time. He lost a daughter. I’m not sure of the details, but I found out he really misses hugging her. So I make a point to go out of my way to walk by him, wait to talk to him, and hug the heck out of him each week. And the special times are when I run into him out and about and get to squeeze in an extra hug for the week. I bet it does more for my spirit than it does his.

  2. Michele says

    About 7 years ago, I ran to the grocery store with the little boy I was nannying. We were strolling around, and I recognized a man that is known in our city as being a bit crazy and possibly homeless. He tries to talk to everyone, but has difficulty making sense and people tend to shy away from him. I’m embarrassed to say I was trying to avoid him in the store, because I knew an uncomfortable interaction was coming if he stopped me (I’m even a social worker! This things should not bother me at all, but I’m also human). Well, he did stop me, and I tried my best to just go along with his talk about whatever odd interest he was in. I was polite and smiled a lot, but then told him we had to go. As we went to walk away, he said, “Thank you so much for talking to me – you are the only one who did that today.” I was blown away. I’ve never forgotten that interaction, ever. He was so sincere in thanking me. Those little interactions really do make a difference!

  3. says

    so so so true!!
    Sometimes I will get a little down because I haven’t been invited into anyones home in a long while…. then I think to myself…. well… I haven’t EVER invited anyone into MINE that isn’t family. This is all a huge eye opener Erin!!

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