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What huge task are you facing?   Maybe you need to lose 20 or so pounds.  Or your house is full to the rafters and a bit of a mess.  Or there’s that book you’ve been meaning to write.

Huge tasks are daunting.  Not making any progress on them is demoralizing.

Fortunately, a friend of mind has a saying that she shares with the rest of us at times like this.  “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”

Even a huge task can be accomplished if you break it into smaller steps.  Don’t contemplate losing 20 pounds.  Focus on 5.  There is no way to declutter and fix up your whole house at once.  Focus on a kitchen drawer – like Ruth’s utility drawer.  Until she wrote that post, I had forgotten that that is what my grandmother called it.  Practical Missouri German that she was, she didn’t have a junk drawer but a utility drawer.  So you want to write a book?  Focus on writing one page.

So many of the things that overwhelm us can be handled by focusing on the small.  The world is an unkind place?  Post a positive quote or a prayer every day.  Smile at your noisy neighbor.  Say good morning.  Hold a door for someone.  Little by little we can all spread God’s light and accomplish mighty things.


The enormous pile of stuff in my garage/basement/bedroom/office.  Hunger in my community and the world.  Whether the problem is decluttering or something less personal and more of a community problem, problems like these feel overwhelming.  Where do I start, Lord?  How can I really make an impact?

Step by step.  One small task at a time.

Today I saw a news story that reminded me of this.  At the Sakima Halal Grill in Washington DC, the owner feed every homeless person who comes in.  Because there was a point in his life when he didn’t have money for food, he knows what an impact a single meal can have. (See the video below).

Feed one hungry person one meal.

Recycle, repurpose, or put away a handful of the items cluttering your home.

Write one letter to your congressman.

Sew on one button.

Listen to one person who feels unheard.

Be Christ’s hands and feet. See the poor.  Hear the troubled.  Drip by drip, an impact is made.


Have a Mary Little Christmas

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