Sunrise to Sunrise—I count my days by bright, joyful dawns. I savor each precious moment as it turns to a memory, a habit, a way of life with those I love.
Mountains, Rivers and Salmon
My earliest sunrises were in Anchorage, Alaska—my childhood home. I loved the long summer days, the towering mountains and the expanse of ocean. My dad took advantage of the salmon-filled rivers, and we went fishing more often than we went to the movies. Our freezer was filled with delicious fresh salmon we caught from the Little Susitna and Kenai Rivers. My mom had scads of 3×5 recipe cards that featured salmon.
My favorite was salmon pasta.
I loved when I found out we were having salmon pasta for dinner. Come to think of it, I liked almost all Mom’s recipes. She didn’t love to cook, but we always had family dinner. And I loved that.
Family Dinners and Daily Tasks
I wonder what life would have been like if Mom had decided it didn’t matter whether or not we ate dinner together. What if she had thought, “Is all this effort worth it? The grocery shopping, the prep time, the dishes, kids complaining about green onions.” What if she had stopped making family dinner because it felt like it didn’t matter —like the rewards weren’t worth the cost?
What if we gave up on the routine daily tasks because we didn’t feel like they mattered? Sometimes it is hard to know if they do. Making the bed, preparing sack lunches, saving leftovers, driving carpool, sending emails, responding to texts and folding the laundry can definitely feel monotonous—even repetitive and boring. Not to mention thankless. I can’t remember the last time I received a pat on the back for shaking out the bathroom rugs or starting the dishwasher.
As one who has done a lot of these things often, I know that they do matter! They are adding up to happy families, successful marriages, healthy relationships and organized homes! I would shout that truth from the rooftops—if my balance were good enough.
Author and popular speaker Mandy Hale, expressed the significance: “To make a difference in someone’s life you don’t have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful or perfect. You just have to care.”
I am thankful for all the people who care! I’m so grateful my mom didn’t close the kitchen. She probably wanted to at times. While she was stirring, chopping and baking, she was creating a happy home where we felt loved and cared for.
Service for Christ
Did my mom have time to connect with Christ? She didn’t have to make time: she was connecting with Christ with every loving service of her day.
Prophet-King Benjamin referred to common labor for daily necessity as he led his people toward the commitment they would be making to change their hearts and their minds to become Christ’s fully dedicated disciples—with no more inclination for selfishness. Reminding them that he, their king, had supported himself with the labor of his own hands (rather than taxing his people), he explained that he did not boast or ask for thanks:
And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. (Mosiah 2:17)
Consider the little everyday acts of love and service. These things can feel mundane, but they are miraculous. They might seem ordinary, but our Savior recognizes them as part of something extraordinary. We are engaged in the holiness of everyday service.
Behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes. (Alma 37:6-7)
Doctrine and Covenants 64:33-34 reads, Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye arelaying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.”
In a message entitled “Out of Small Things Proceedeth That Which Is Great,” Kim A. Clark said,
Well-doing occurs through small things; great things come from small things. It is natural to grow weary in doing small things; but if we give our hearts and minds to the Lord, we will not grow weary, we will do the small things that make great things happen, and we will build Zion.
I promise you the small mundane (as well as the big, notable) things you do each day are adding up to strengthen many people and to please our Savior. I feel so passionately about this truth, I wrote a song about it: “Sunrise to Sunrise.”
One of my favorite lyrics in “Sunrise to Sunrise” is “Do the little things in front of me—Adding up to something bigger, even if it’s hard to see.” I know this principle is true!
If you need reassurance that the small things you are doing are making a difference, I invite you to listen to “Sunrise to Sunrise” above.