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December 2021- February 2022

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When a Little Is a Lot

By Audrey Hollifield


When I was a child, my mom created scavenger hunts for me and my brother. We would search for an old jewelry box that was hers when she was younger. Sometimes, we found stickers in the box at the end of the hunt. Other times, we found candy, and sometimes, when we were lucky, we would find some loose change. At four years old, a handful of pennies, nickels, and dimes felt like real treasure. A little seemed like a lot.

All of us had those moments as children, whether it was a trip for ice cream, a quarter under our pillow for losing a tooth, or a sticker for a job well done. These moments made us excited and held so much meaning. Though small, they felt huge. As time goes by, and we start adding years to life, I think it is easy to lose this “little is a lot” mindset. We start to compare our lives with others, seeing what they have and noticing what we do not. We become aware of more responsibilities and anxieties. We go from thinking a little is a lot to adopting the opposite mindset, where what we have seems like too little.

We can learn a great deal from children. One of the most well-known lessons is found in the New Testament when Jesus told His followers to receive Him and His Kingdom with the same vigor, excitement, and enthusiasm as a child. In the same way, I think children teach us another valuable lesson when they take small, seemingly insignificant things and turn them into momentous moments. It is a good reminder for us to do the same. Adults find great value in adopting the “little is a lot” mindset, and it can especially be helpful when it comes to money and finances.

When I was growing up, my dad often said, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Just as taking things step-by-step is helpful and important when you may have too much on your plate, the same can be said when trying to build something up, small piece by small piece. Maybe you want to start a savings account but are disheartened because you are starting from scratch. Just like eating an elephant, starting and building a savings account is best done a bite at a time. No amount you save is insignificant. Every penny, dime, or dollar is valuable. The amount may feel small, but over time, if you keep putting it away bit by bit, you will see it grow.

I wouldn’t say I am the world’s best budgeter or saver, and sometimes I forget the “little is a lot” mentality. However, I can say that I’ve tried my best to tuck a small amount away into my savings account each month. I’m not always consistent, but I have seen firsthand the benefits and value of these small “bites,” and how they grow into a substantial amount.

As a result, I have gotten to see some corners of the world I never thought I would. In 2018, I visited London, England, with my friend Katy. In 2019, I walked the streets Jesus walked in Jerusalem and Galilee. These are small examples of how I reached some personal goals (traveling) because of the small amounts I put away, piece by piece. Each of those small amounts were valuable.

Ultimately, I think we could all use the reminder to appreciate the little things in our lives, from the value of a single dollar being tucked away for later or putting our phones down to appreciate the scenery along the way. A wonderful sweetness comes from enjoying and appreciating what we normally overlook or think trivial or insignificant.

Let’s be more like ourselves at four years old. Let’s find joy and value in the small and remember a little is a lot.

About the Author: Audrey Hollifield joined the Board of Retirement in September of 2017. She is a Nashville native and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development with a Business Emphasis from Lee University. Learn more:


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