Small Success: What do we give in the time we have?


Hello everyone!

It’s Thursday, and that means it’s time to count the blessings of the past week. We survived the first full week of school, three Back to School Nights, two cross-country meets and our son turning nine. Spending just a few minutes each day in adoration has helped me to attack the rest of the day with more grace than I would otherwise, and I shudder to think of how I’d work through all that comes due without it.

In earlier years, I found the regimen challenges my brain, my heart, my creativity, my soul and my body, my everything, and that when I would get to all of them on the list, I somehow felt I’d been a good steward of the day. While the need to get to all of it isn’t as driving to me as it once was, but it still holds within it, things I aspire to do: pray, write daily, get in shape, become more educated, become more emotionally available to others, and improve my creative playing skills beyond what they’ve forgotten since high school. All good ideas, all good habits to return to, until reality broke in and reasserted why I don’t do this … good plans, healthy plans … insanely unnecessary plans. Fortunately, God uses reality to remind me: scale it back.

Friday … I prayed, paid the bills, watched a movie, washed my hair and read. Two out of the total six.

Saturday, I wrote, read, took the kids to a party and met a few friends, ate too much and found the day evaporated. A friend linked to an article about learning to “Rest in God” which meant allowing one’s self not to be defined by endless devotion, but by devotion itself. We didn’t need to be super-humans always on, we needed to be always human, and that would be super. Last week I wrote about all the messages to “Be still,” which I heard and promptly said, “Yes yes yes, that was last week. Now I’m busy. See God? I’m being busy …” But no. God wants our whole attention. Our whole hearts. Apparently I need near-constant reminders.

So God gave me Sunday, my son’s ninth birthday, to remind me to stop because once again I needed to stop. He felt joy just pounding the piano next to me. We went to Mass. We celebrated and I remembered it’s not how much you do with the time you are given, it’s how much you give in the time you have. (I wondered if I needed to plaster it on my phone, computer, calendar and frankly, tattoo it to my arm.) We wrapped his presents, we held a feast with cake, and took him to an air show. It was a good day, even if very little of the to-do list got done.

What small successes are you celebrating this week?

Copyright 2017 Sherry Antonetti


About Author

Sherry Antonetti is a mother of ten children, published author of The Book of Helen and a freelance writer of humor and family life columns. You can read additional pieces from her blog,

1 Comment

  1. This week: I’m still in the learning phase of my new part-time job, and I managed to bang out some things I thought would take FOR-EV-ER but really didn’t take much time at all.
    I attended a parent event for my son’s sports team with no anxiety. (There was bonding over shared parental misery regarding a new school dress code rule involving socks. We’re all in it together.)
    I shuffled my schedule around the other day so I could take my daughter out to breakfast when she stopped home (from college) on the way to an appointment.
    And the past couple of days have been rescheduled, and rescheduled again, due to my son’s recent soccer injury. I’ve been graceful about the rescheduling part, though I still reserve the right to rant about ridiculous doctor’s-office procedures.
    I didn’t make it to Mass or Adoration today because of said doctor’s appointments, but he’ll be OK, and I didn’t complain about what I was missing. (That’s grace right there, my friend.)

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