Making a Difference: Asking Yourself This One Question Every Day Can Leave a Lasting Impact

Mowing the yard is my absolute favorite household chore. Call me crazy, but give me a mower and an hour without kids asking for snacks every five minutes, and I’m in heaven.

My husband has allergies, so I often jump at the opportunity to make those pristine lines across our lawn. When the job is finished, I walk up the street from our driveway to the mailbox, admiring my work.

Those visible results satisfy a place in my soul that often feels parched.

Like the gold stars my kindergarten teacher used to put on my handwriting homework, the manicured lawn confirms my job is finished.

Life isn’t always so simple, is it? We pour time and energy into motherhood, relationships, work and our day-to-day life, sometimes wondering if anything we’re doing is making a difference. When we don’t see progress, we become discouraged.

A few years ago, God showed me how he works in moments that may seem insignificant to us, but are huge to others.

Making a difference

I had just finished mowing, and was out walking the dogs. Our neighbor with the crowned jewel yard lived about a block down the street, and as I walked by I noticed him sitting on the front porch. He was always outside during this time of year, either sitting in his rocker or working on his meticulously kept property.

The water flowing over his tiered fountain made a peaceful sound as I walked by and waved, making sure the dogs did not stop to do their business on the lush green grass. He waved back and asked about my husband.

After I made my circle and came back, he was still there. This time, he was hand watering the grass with his hose.

“Your yard looks really good!” he hollered as I walked by.

I almost stopped dead in my tracks. Our yard? The yard with the ground cover showing and the flowers half-eaten by deer? Surely I must have heard him wrong.

“Yeah, let your husband know he’s done a good job!” he said.

Yes, he credited my husband. But I couldn’t stop smiling.

“Thank you!” I yelled back.

I didn’t tell him that at the time, I worked outside more often than my husband. It didn’t matter. The man with the pristine yard had complimented us. I couldn’t have been happier if someone planted one of those blue ribbon stakes in it and named us yard of the month. As soon as I got home, I told my husband about our achievement.

As much as I enjoyed the compliment, God gave me a deeper insight into what this neighbor said and showed me it wasn’t the yard that was important. It was something more meaningful.

Abby McDonald
Abby McDonald
Abby is a writing coach and the author of Shift: Changing Our Focus to See the Presence of God. Her mission is to empower women to seek God in the middle of life’s messes and to share their faith with courage. Abby writes regularly for Proverbs 31 Ministries’ daily devotions team, and her work has been featured in numerous publications. You can connect with Abby on her website where you can grab a free worship playlist to help you shift your focus toward God. You can also connect with Abby on Instagram.

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