When Little is Huge by Sarah Reinhard


reinhard_newLove starts at home.

Easy for me to say, I know.  I’m far more excited to take a hot meal to the stranger from church who just had a baby than I am to serve it to my own clan.  I’m hot with tears over world disasters but strangely cold about the fighting between my own children.

The way I’ve been working on changing this attitude is through a discipline that’s alarmingly old-fashioned.  It reminds me of my grandma’s generation and might well make you roll your eyes.

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

It started when I figured out how much my husband was spending on eating out at lunch, not to mention the unhealthiness of all those cheeseburgers.  Though I knew I’d never get him to eat salads even if I packed them for him, I figured we could, at the very least, save some money packing his lunch.

The problem was that I would have to be the one to pack his lunch.

It’s not just that he’s not a morning person.  It’s not just that he needs as much sleep as he can get.  It’s not just that I’m already up and about and able to remember these things before the sun rises.

It’s that I love him.

Those three minutes I spend most mornings assembling his lunch connect me to his work world in a small way.  They insert my love for him and my appreciation for his commitment despite long and grueling days into the heart of his day.  Sometimes I slip a note in, reminiscent of our courtship, when I’d write him a daily note and leave it for him at work.  Other times, I slip in an extra cupcake or something special.

He doesn’t often tell me thank you with words, and when I forget or neglect to pack his lunch, he’s never recriminating.

I know he appreciates it, though.  I can tell by the way he carefully puts the fork or spoon back in, wrapped in a napkin.  I know from the fact that he always returns the lunchbox to me after work.

It’s something so small, packing my husband’s lunch.  It’s not as much work as the Clean Floor Pickup the kids and I try to do before he gets home, but it is a reminder, ever morning, of how hard we work for this domestic church of ours.  The work is sometimes mundane and unremarkable, but it’s taking us ever closer to our goal: heaven.

Copyright 2010 Sarah Reinhard


About Author

When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. She writes and works in the midst of rural farm life with little ones underfoot. She is part of the team for the award-winning Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, as well as the author of a number of books. You can join her for a weekday take on Catholic life by subscribing to Three Shots and follow her writing at Snoring Scholar.


  1. Sara,
    How lovely, charity begins at home, nice reminder. Underneath the aggravation, we really love our family and need to show it more. I’m sure he feels loved by your few minutes of care. Thank you,

  2. Thank you Sara for this lovely reminder! Thinking like this got me out of bed this morning to make him his sandwich with the bread I’d baked for him the night before. Do you make his lunches mostly in the morning or at night?

  3. Thanks for your kind comments. Many blessings to you all!

    Simplemama, I make them in the morning. I’m better at remembering things in the morning and terrible with things at night (I am very much an early bird). Also, and this will sound a little funny, he can taste when sandwiches are made the night before, and he prefers them fresh. He’ll eat them however I make them, but since I know this, I try to make them that way (when it’s sandwiches — lately, it’s been leftovers a lot).

    When I have a baby or other weird things that keep me from popping up early, I will get the dry stuff/non-cold stuff together the night before.

    Hope that helps, and so humbled that I could inspire you to bring a smile to your vocation too.

  4. Beautiful (as always!). I’m a goal-oriented person, but sometimes I fail to keep my eyes fixed on the Lord and focus on the BIG goal of heaven. Thank you for the reminder. God bless.

  5. i have noticed myself falling into the same slump of serving everyone but my own family. Thanks for the little reminder to start from home!

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