Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Little Things

Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things.
~ Bruce Barton

(Chalk this post up to a big anniversary and a big birthday this month - it seemed a reasonable time for some reflection and reminiscing...)  

Almost five years ago, a friend introduced me to a young woman from Mexico named Ana, who wanted to learn how to sew.  Just one little wrinkle - Ana didn't speak English and I didn't speak Spanish.

I struggled for several days with the question of whether or not to offer her sewing lessons.  I kept thinking that it would be crazy -  my life was busy, I had never taught anyone to sew, we couldn't even speak the same language...  and the list went on.

But something kept calling to me, and I finally decided to give it a try - my "logic" was three-fold:
  1. I figured that I could probably accomplish a lot just by showing her things - it wouldn't rely completely on being able to communicate through words, 
  2. I didn't have to be great - all I had to do was be better than nothing (!), and 
  3. it wasn't exactly a life time commitment - if it didn't work, I could stop.  
(You can read about our adventures sewing together on my old blog - for example, here, herehere, here and here...)

And that little decision - to reach out to someone new and try to give her a hand - has changed my life profoundly in ways I never could have anticipated...  

We became friends.  

I started learning some Spanish.

She talked me into volunteering to be an aide in her church's ESL program.

We grew closer.

I learned more Spanish.  

She brought a number of other families into my life -  people I never would have met otherwise.  

And now, almost five years later, I am into my third year of teaching ESL at that church and we are having those children over every month for pool parties and I am learning how to write video games along with one of those kids... 

And Ana has moved into my heart permanently and become the daughter that I never had...  

All because I took a tiny step and made a decision to try something, rather than turn my back and walk away.  

Bruce Barton (see quote above) may be on to something...  ;)


  1. Replies
    1. I guess you never know what is behind door #2 until you open it, do you? ;)

  2. Your Ana was blessed, and so were you!

    1. Me, definitely! :)

      Ana? I sure hope she thinks so... I'm afraid I may drive her crazy sometimes! ;)