Loose ends. We all encounter them. Some of us are good at wrapping up loose ends and moving on. Others of us tend to leave loose ends dangling here and there. I’m realizing that with work and some everyday responsibilities, I can be a wrapper upper with the best of ‘em. But with several home repair projects, I am a dangler. Sigh.
There’s the smoke detector without batteries. A carbon monoxide detector sitting on a laundry room shelf. The half-dozen stained deck pickets needing to be drilled back in place. A handful of new flowers still in their flimsy plastic containers. Artwork in the living room that longs to displayed on the newly painted walls. You get the picture.
Is Finding a Spouse the Answer?
Some might say I need to hire a handyman. Or, maybe I just need to find me my man to marry. But as many a married girlfriend as warned me, not all spouses are Tim the Toolman. Nor are all guys good with cars or budgets or rodents. What’s a single gal to do?
I think I stumbled onto a solution today: Think of my dad and how he encouraged me to turn the impossible into possible. In a sense, he taught me to erase the “im” out of impossible by deleting the self-talk that whines, I’m too tired.I’mtoo busy. I’m not capable.
Bit of Dear Dad Advice
As we celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, I am going to remember my dad not so much for his pep talks, but his modeling to wrap up unfinished loose ends. Instead of getting all tangled up in a gazillion projects and to-dos, Dad would bit by bit conquer each one.
British author George Eliot (which, by the way, was a pen name for Mary Ann Evans) sums up a battle cry for those loose ends danglers like me. “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” I like this perspective of whittling away in a “series of small things” to accomplish something great.
And did you know that God loves to transform the small things into something possible and colossal? Just in the New Testament alone, we find Him turning a “few small fish” into a hearty meal for thousands (Matthew 15:32-39). He applauded the widow’s “two small copper coins” (Mark 12:41-44). Jesus also noticed and praised Zaccheus even though this rich tax collector was “small in stature” (Luke 19:1-10).
A series of small things + a series of small things = great things. Putting batteries in the smoke detector. Transferring those new flowers into the ground. Writing this next sentence.
Thanks, Dad, for your example of erasing the im out of impossible.
Simply beautiful and oh, how true!
Thank you, Edie. Bit by bit we work our way through.
I remember your dad fondly. I cherish the memories of eating at the tavern with him and the kind, and how he was such s kind, easy to be with gentle fella.
Angie, it was always so fun to eat up at “the Tav” and head out to the farm. Dad truly adored you and I loved how my last photo of him is of you two checking out the wheat.
Thanks Beth for sharing!!!
You are welcome, Shelly. It helps to learn project management and organizational skills from friends like you. 🙂
“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much” A Bible quote.
Thanks for sharing this verse, Sandra. It sure helps to know that God is faithful to see us through.
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful in much. Quote from the Bible
Always liked the Bird by Bird concept from Anne Lamott! Just one loose end at a time. ????
That’s right, Nancy. I forgot about Anne’s advice. Good reminder.
It was you who taught me to “JUST DO THE NEXT THING”.
It’s a helpful principle, isn’t it? I think the originator of “Just do the next one thing” or “the next one right thing” is actually Elisabeth Elliot.
Such a simple but oh so true story of all of us, at one time or another????????????
Thanks, Petey. It’s good to know that I’m not the only one who sometimes gets under a pile of loose ends. Bit by bit and those ends are shored up.