Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It's the Little Things

Photo by Pam Williams

Sometimes, it’s the little things that get to us.

I am currently hiding from the frigid temps by holing up in our toasty family room, creating bracelets from beads. It is such fun planning the patterns and colors. I love learning new techniques and tricks to incorporate in my craft.

Seed beads, however, the tiny ones used to encrust wedding dresses, shoe tops, etc, are my nemesis. Though others deftly manipulate them to fashion intricate cuff bracelets or spiral beaded necklaces, they give me a pain in the neck—literally!

When I try to work with seed beads I feel like I am all thumbs. They fly every which way, bouncing off my workspace onto the floor, down between the couch cushions, and within the folds of my shirt or pants. A project takes so many of them and they are tedious to string. I find myself rubbing the back of my neck to try to loosen the tensed muscles. These miniscule beads sap hours of time and concentration!

Sometimes the little things in life can get to me in the same way. I can spend hours fretting and stewing over a little thing—a chance word misspoken by a friend, what to serve for a meal with guests, searching for a misplaced item, how to admit I made a mistake, or any one of a number of similar situations that turn out to be just a tiny incident in the long run—like a single bead in a bracelet.

How should I handle these small irritants? How do I avoid ending up as frustrated as if I was working with seed beads?

Focus on the big picture. When a bracelet is done, its beauty overrides all the frustration wrought in creating it, so I try to keep that in mind while beading.

In life, small, mundane things can be loom large. I must constantly ask myself, “Have I lost sight of the goal?” (Philippians 3:17)

Re-evaluate. Some aspects of a bracelet pattern really matter—for instance, the number of beads you need. Other things, like bead colors, are flexible. However, when I focus on the inconsequential aspects of a project, I can drive myself nuts.

Sadly, I do the same thing in life. So when I feel frustrated over the little things, I need to decide “How important is this? Am I paying attention to what is worthwhile or worthless?” (Psalm 119:37)

Get help. I love it when someone shows me a tricky or technique. I can learn so much faster.

The same is true with challenges in life—we can learn from other believers how to handle the things that bug us.  (Proverbs 27:17)

How do the little things affect you? What has God taught you through the little things in life? I would love to hear about them in the comments section.


©2015 Pamela D. Williams