Often it's the little things that mean the most.
DeAnne Flynn was reading the story of the widow's mite in the New Testament, about how the poor woman who offered her tiny coins "cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury" (Mark 12:43).
It occurred to Flynn that motherhood is often like that — the frozen pizza at the end of an exhausting day, the clean sheets and folded laundry, the quiet moment drinking hot chocolate after shoveling the snow.
These are all simple offerings, but they mean a great deal, she says.
"Even though it seems like a little, we have given our all," says Flynn.
That's when she began to look around at the women in her life, and began recognizing their offerings for what they were: gifts of immeasurable love and service.
And that's when the idea for "The Mother's Mite" (Deseret Book, $18.99) was born. The book gathers together anecdotal stories that represent such offerings as nourishment, trust, optimism, family legacy, consideration, reassurance and more. They are interspersed with ideas on offerings to make, comments from children and adults about their mothers, and even a few favorite recipes.
Flynn, who is the mother of seven children, received a degree in broadcast journalism from BYU and worked as a news anchor, scriptwriter and public relations director. After writing a book called "The Time-Starved Family," she began participating in Time Out for Women programs sponsored by Deseret Book around the country.
"I loved meeting and talking with so many different women," she said, "but I discovered an interesting thing — so many of them don't feel valued, feel like they don't do enough, don't realize that anything is really everything."
Part of that, she feels, comes from images portrayed in the media of super moms; part is "a natural inclination for women to compare our worst to someone else's best. We all feel like our neighbors are much better at it than we are; that our lives are harder and not exactly what we envisioned."
But, she says, "we all need to realize that we are works in progress. We can make small, steady steps."
And that's true, she says, for every king of woman, with every kind of background, whether they have given birth or not. Any and all women who nurture can offer mother's mites.
To go along with her book, Flynn has created a Mother's Mite pendant, which includes a replica of the mite coin and a tiny pearl. It is available on her website, www.MothersMite.com. Proceeds are donated to women's charities, including The Road Home.
"It's an awesome book," says Flynn's daughter Sarah. "She put her motherhood into it. A lot of the women quoted are dear friends and relatives, so that makes it especially nice. But it makes me appreciate all the little things Mom does for me even more."