Crudites and Careers

parenting_teensJen’s Gem: If you do the little things well, the big things will come to you.

 One of my tasks for the elaborate holiday meals my mom would prepare was the crudité tray. To say that I despised this activity would be an understatement. (Although basting the candied yams ranks right up there.)

While my mom would be making her famous bread or delectable sauce, there I was cutting up celery sticks and arranging them into their respective compartment on the green glass platter.

As I sliced each carrot and turned each radish into a rose, I bemoaned the repetition and complained louder and louder each time my mom would declare “you need more.”

Needless to say, my bad behavior did nothing to shake my mom. She was not swayed by the drama in my voice nor the slamming of the bags of carrots on the table. In short, my temper tantrums were ignored.

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

The fact of the matter was my mom needed my help and that of my five siblings to pull off this billion-course meal along with homemade pies and other mouth-watering desserts. Somehow she was able to tune out the meltdowns as she kept her eye on the goal. A lovely holiday meal for her family.To this day, I am not a fan of making crudité trays. Even though they make an appearance at nearly every gathering at my house and sometimes at the ‘regular’ dinner table when I’ve no other vegetable choice for my children, I’d almost always rather be doing something else. Something bigger and more meaningful.

On the rare occasions when my kids assist in meal preparations, I see this same behavior. Neither wants to measure the ingredients for the chocolate chip cookies. They want to run the mixer. Neither wants to cut up the potatoes to be mashed. They want to sauté the mushrooms.

I can’t blame them. What’s so sexy about measuring cups and paring knives anyway?

This blog topic came to me while I was preparing dinner last night. As I sprinkled the spices on the salmon and readied it for the oven, I realized I had no vegetables. My only choice was to include a small raw veggie tray in their place. I laid out a colorful array of what was in my vegetable drawer and thanked God for bags of baby carrots.Since Friday was a snow day here in Connecticut, I spent a few hours poring over old notebooks from when I had my baby gift business, Frittabello nearly ten years ago. The pages were worn but filled with notes from conferences, people to contact and a boatload of To-Do lists. The little things.

Call the accountant. Reach out to so and so. Set up social media. In and of themselves, menial tasks. Many times, boring tasks (especially the accountant one!). Had I not been faithful and diligent about doing the little things, the big things would not have happened.

In a world filled with people doing big things, it’s hard to imagine they started out peeling carrots in a small kitchen in Long Island. We tend to think people wake up and instantly became the next Oprah or Steve Jobs. Not likely.

Everything Has a Purpose

As I reviewed my notebooks I saw the plethora of little things I did to grow my business. Thousands of tasks that led to awards and television appearances and ultimately, the closing of that business when it could not support my family. I wasn’t sad or regretful because the day-to-day retail and wholesale operations of a small business were not my core strengths. I had to learn that lesson.What I discovered during that chapter was my love of writing and of helping others with my words.  This is evidenced as I read your emails when a particular blog post hits home. I’m so grateful because while writing these posts makes my heart happy, what makes me even happier is knowing they helped someone else. Whether it is providing you with a chuckle at my parenting foibles or the sharing of a tough lesson learned, I’m doing my part to bring joy to someone in need.

I have big goals and dreams for what I want to turn these blogs into but right now, I have to focus on the preparations. I have to make celery sticks before I bake a homemade apple pie. Being patient during this process is crazy difficult. Trusting that those goals will be achieved is even tougher. However, I’ve seen the result when I skip a step. I’ve seen what happens when I step out before I’m ready and it hasn’t been pretty.

Dream On…

So I will wait and trust that God’s plan for me is unfolding one broccoli floret at a time.  If I remain faithful in the little things, if I do these things well, then I can move on to the bigger things. I’m confident that I’m on the right path and look forward to the end result.And I have my mom to thank for that.

What are the things you are doing today to achieve your goals? Are you doing them with a great attitude or are you trudging through them bemoaning their existence? I’d love to hear how you do your little things well.

He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.” (Luke 16:10)

Jennifer Covello is The Purposeful Parent, an award-winning author and owner of Frittabello baby gifts. Her passion for motherhood is evident through her writings and her speaking on topics that impact moms and children. As a mother of two children, Ms. Covello, continually searches for the lessons her children teach her along her parenting journey.

Posted in Mompreneurs, Parenting Teens, Single Moms, Spiritual Parenting Tagged with: , ,

About Jennifer Covello

We’ve all heard that people come into our lives for a reason. For a long time, for me, those “people” were friends, colleagues, DMV personnel, bank tellers, and customer service reps at the utility companies. You get the idea... (read more)
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Frittabello and his Angel

Jennifer Covello, Author

A children’s book telling the story of a little soul making its way to earth and learning how to rely upon his guardian angel.


Asserting Importance of Trust of My Readers