Never Despise Small Beginnings

Have you Chosen your One Word for 2019?

So, everyone is talking resolutions or #ONEWORD365 so I may as well join in the “fun”. Honestly, it’s getting a bit frustrating to meet any kind of goal these days. I’m coming up on 8 years of chronic pain. As you may have noticed just by looking at my one words I started out with a good attitude but to tell the truth, I’m getting frustrated about it all.

Before Chronic Pain, I tried to set goals that never seemed to accomplish much. Then I learned about ONEWORD365. This challenge is where you choose a word you apply to your life throughout the year. Whenever you have a decision to make or an issue to deal with, you apply the word and let it make you a better person. I liked the idea so decided to try it out.

Looking Back

Wait 2012

This was the year of discovery, waiting in doctors offices, waiting for test results, waiting for answers. I wrote about my journey with chronic pain. Click here for my Story of Chronic Pain.

Bold 2013

I choose to be bold this year. Bold as I suffered through the pain, bold as I endured injections and surgeries. Bold as I left the Children’s ministry behind and begin to work with adult women. (where I never thought I would be) .. Now I was offering Bible Studies to women.

Joy 2014

This year my sister introduced me to the writing of Ann Voskamp. I learned so much about finding joy in life while making my list of blessings every day.

Less 2015

“More of Him and less of Me” was my theme. My desire was to weigh less, to have less debt, to have less stuff. This was indeed God working to prepare us for job loss, which led to no home to live in. We had to downsize greatly and learn to give up things that were precious to us.

Expect 2016

Still keeping my hopes high and desiring a new start from the Lord. I took Habakkuk 1:5 to heart.  “Look and be amazed. For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.”

Persevere 2017

God took me back to James where He says to have Joy in trials and this will produce perseverance. So let perseverance do its work to make you mature and complete. I wrote many devotions on perseverance this year. And I tried to persevere, continuing  to do my best

Behold/Watch/Look 2018

God said, “keeping doing what you are doing, don’t add anything to what you are already doing.” Look around you and notice what He is doing. Realize that He is working, even in the darkness.

So here we are in 2019,

The years are certainly flying by so apparently, God is carrying us through the difficult times. Spiritually, God has taught me so much about waiting and persevering with joy no matter the circumstance. But my Type-A personality still wants my life back. You know, the life before chronic pain. The life that had me running ten miles a minute and forgetting to lean on God. I am always wanting to run full speed ahead…ahead of God and His plan. I want to bite off large chunks of work and call it a success.  But God keeps saying to me,

Zechariah 410
Zechariah 4:10

Never Despise Small BeginningsDo not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” Zechariah 4:10 Share on X

The first time I heard this was several years back watching the Love Comes Softly movie series. It was when Missy met her husband. He gave her the hair ribbons that he had stolen from her hair back in their school days. As he walked out, she remembered her father telling her to never despise small beginnings.

Recently, I learned that this is a scripture verse from the prophecies. It seems this is God’s response whenever I become frustrated and want to run ahead of Him. He has a perfect plan and I need to take things slow and do small things to make the way straight.

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Small Beginnings

So this year, the Word is SMALL. Take small steps and make the way straight. Rather than significant, unattainable goals. This year I will take tiny steps, I will take it slow and measured. I will make a tiny new goal week by week. I will find small goals to care for myself physically, spiritually, emotionally, and in the home.

[ctt template=”3″ link=”fxz85″ via=”yes” ] Take small steps and make the way straight.[/ctt]

The Mighty is an online group of people struggling with all sorts of physical illnesses. Recently, I have connected with the chronic illness group within a large conglomerate of people all over the world. The Mighty. It’s a place where we can share our stories. and connect with others going through the same thing. it’s very informative and encouraging for anyone (and their loved ones) going through a chronic illness.


This year, they have made a challenge to take small steps toward self-care. It’s called 52 Small Things. So together we will work to add a small thing each week to our lives. You can come up with your own small things but they will also give a suggestion each week. This week the challenge is to state 3 things you are grateful for each morning. Wouldn’t you know, I’ve been thinking I should get back to making that JOY list which I have let slide.

Another Challenge

Then my friend, Sara at Faithful Finish Lines, offered the One Small Change Cards for just $3. For 3 bucks you can get a downloadable, printable file of cards that will give you a challenge for each day to help you lose weight. Since it is a small thing to do, I decided to use these cards as well.  I’ll use these to help me come up with small things to add to my 52 small things with The Mighty Challenge.

And Then This Small Thing

Since I’ve struggled with chronic pain, my husband and daughter have been doing most of the work around the house. Now that my pain is being managed and our daughter is married, I think I need to try to help out more. I’ll use the Fly Lady to help me with this. She has a new habit each month and challenges for a different room each week. I’m going to at least add the new habits for each month.

So this is where my Small Beginnings Start

  1. One Small Change Christian Weight Loss Note Cards

small changes

If you want a bit more help, check out this free 5-day course from Faithful Finsh Lines to help you get on the right track.

faithful finish lines

2. Get Back to doing small chores around the house

This month’s habit is Shining the Sink!

Kitchen sink

3. Participate in the 52 Small Things challenge

This challenge is from The Mighty #52 Small Things 

For the first week, the small thing was to list 3 things you are grateful for each day. I’ll probably use a lot of Ann Voskamp’s Joy prompts for this one.. Check out my Gratitude list so far below my signature. I’ll list new ones each time I post for accountability.

Tell me in the comments. What small step will you take this year?

Let’s do it together!

Mandy Farmer

#52smallthings  #gratitude

Gratitude List

  1.  ACV
  2. lifesavers
  3. Chili
  4. New Glasses for Michael
  5. Candles
  6. Children who love the Lord
  7. Loving husband
  8. Freshly washed sheets
  9. Redbirds in the yard
  10. For my Christian heritage
  11. Raised on a farm
  12. Music
  13. That God loves me enough to die for me
  14. He forgives me time and again
  15. He never leaves my side
  16. Sweaters
  17. Baking pans
  18. A cup of coffee with a friend
  19. our car
  20. my computer – to connect with the world
  21. on my plate – quinoa, yum!
  22. sunshine
  23. sweaters
  24. blankets
  25. Something held – Norwex cleaning cloths that make clean up so easy
  26. Something passed by – Live oak trees
  27. Sat with – my husband
  28. sour – Apple Cider Vinegar
  29. sweet – ice cream purchased for me by my son
  30. just right – homemade chili. Yum!

About Mandy Farmer

Pastor's Wife (retired) &  Chronic Pain Warrior blogs about how to make it through anything by relating her own life experiences to her writing. She is passionate about her love for the Lord and desires to spread that passion to others. She has a great desire to encourage women who are following behind her.

View all posts by Mandy Farmer

12 Comments on “Never Despise Small Beginnings”

  1. My small step is to remember that I am free in Christ. I don’t want to get bogged down with with worry or live my life distracted. I want to live as a child of God.

  2. Amen Mandy! God has been continuing to show me that I don’t have to go back to my old way of living–that stressing and pushing of self-sufficiency. But wouldn’t you know, just today I caught myself longing for that again. He is so good to keep showing us that the small things are beautiful in His eyes! He has so much for us right here. Glad we can pray for each other on this journey!

  3. I love your word! What a powerful way to remember that God wants us to take small steps and doesn’t expect us to go to ginormous–but simply act obedient in small ways all the time.

  4. dear partner in pain! 🙂
    God reminds me every day to keep is small and turn my eyes on Him. So grateful for your prayers. Please know I pray for you as well,

  5. Right, Susan,
    Too often we get our eyes on the big picture. I’m just reminded that my mother would say at supper, “You eyes were too big for your stomach.” Ha! Don’t we do that in life? Our eyes are too big for our abilities at that moment. Not that it can’t be accomplished, but we gotta start SMALL.

  6. I am sorry that you are experiencing chronic pain, Mandy.

    I love your attitude, how you are looking for one small change, one small thing to do and be thankful for, each day, each week. All the little things add up and show you how much God cares for you and is involved in your life, chronic pain or not.

    May we all have that attitude!

  7. Cindy,

    Thanks for coming by! And especially thanks for the encouragement. One can stay strong for a bit, but it is always helpful to get a little encouragement along the way. Blessings!

  8. Mandy, I really needed all of this! I am in a very vulnerable state at the moment and it is easy to find the little steps when all you see are giant ones. I am trying to rest in the Lord and let Him show me the path He has for me; however, it is so hard not to shut the world out.

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