Something magical happens when one encounters a bubble. I mean, I vividly remember being a child chasing after hundreds of bubbles, hunting for a very specific one, the very biggest one my curious eye could find. I skipped after the chosen one, hoping the tip of my extended, little index finger would meet the alluring blob. What a dilemma it was deliberating between wanting to experience the rush from bursting it into a flash explosion of iridescent specks, while secretly hoping to catch this delicate little friend and cradle the shiny wonder in the palm of my hand.
As the weather has turned warmer the past few weeks we have purchased quite a collection of bubble solutions and a bounty of different shaped, colored, and sized bubble wands. Both of my girls love bubbles. Brinley, with her three-year-old attention span, wants to chase them; pop them; catch them; twirl in them; attempt to blow some by her “big-girl-self;” change wands a few times; then repeat this process every sixty or so seconds. Ella, and her oh, so squish-able, not-walking-yet, 15-month-old self swats at the air, hooting and exclaiming, “woooooow,” fascinated as they float into the distance. While I’m a decent bubble blower, I think my husband is the bubble king. Brinley always begs, “Do a big one, Daddy—a BIG one, okay?” She wants Daddy to blow the very, biggest bubble humanly possible, with high anticipation of her moves following its release from the wand. Because the biggest bubbles have the maximum giggle inducing splatter effect, at least to a child (they are much too sticky for my taste as an adult).
Just like Brinley goes straight for the largest, grandest looking bubble wand we own, to chase after a single, giant bubble at a time, we as mommies, women, friends, humans… can get so focused and consumed by the biggest (coolest, newest, trendiest) thing to catch our wondering eye. Is there a new, more noticed position at your job? Is there a group of people you long to be friends with or noticed by? Do you make uncomfortable choices as a mother, hoping to be accepted by the “best” moms you know? We all chase after accomplishments, statuses, and positions, to obtain something we are certain will fulfill whatever area we have deemed lacking in our lives. Unfortunately, fulfillment like this generally bursts; along with all the shimmering splendor we hoped would bring us joy. We are left to search for the next “big thing” to fill a void within.
Tonight, during Brinley’s fortieth plea for “a vewy big bubble,” Kyle cleverly picked up the smallest wand of our collection, dunked it into the slimy solution, and proceeded to blow a stream of tiny, gleaming bubbles into the evening air. Brinley paused her request, awed by the number of bubbles pouring from such a tiny tool. Her eyes grew wider and more intrigued. She could not restrain from dashing into the sea of swirling sparkles. In a quiet moment, Brinley discovered the beautiful potential of something likely lackluster. While chasing after a single giant bubble was a fun one-hit-wonder, she lost herself and discovered excitement in the mystery of bubbles, when Daddy surrounded her with hundreds of smaller bubbles all at once.
We all have seasons, filled with “small days,” where something grander looks so much more appealing than going to our “small” job, coming home to small humans (literally), and cutting small food into even smaller pieces. Seriously, I often wonder if there is something “bigger” I should be chasing. But when I liken my actions and attitudes to those of chasing a single, fateful bubble, versus surrendering to the complete beauty of all the small tasks and motions of life combined, I find myself lost in a shimmering sea of a wondrous life. I know God has big plans, big dreams He’s placed in my heart with such purpose, but I trust for right now, these small days will add up to something much greater than any single better or bigger thing I could be doing.
If you are feeling insignificant and overwhelmed with intense feelings from difficult days, my prayer for you this week is that God overwhelms you with a storm of sparkling bubbles throughout your week. I pray that you will see every small thing in your life for the important piece each one is to big dreams He’s preparing you for. Because there truly is wonder and surprise in every honest, loving, small action. I pray you can step back from the chasing, striving, and doing of this week, and look, from the inside of your life outward, at the greatness your “small” actions will contribute to your future and the future of your children. Big lessons lie awaiting in the midst of otherwise insignificant actions. And even if at the end of the day, you feel you have done nothing of significance, some days it really is okay to tell yourself, “I have kept humans alive (yourself and your child) that would not have otherwise survived the day without my actions… and for today, that is enough.”
by Jacqueline Fox