Tuesday Thoughts: Church of the Small Things

Hello, friends, from a soggy Atlanta. I have to begin by extending my thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by Irma… I began to see pics of our beloved USVI on Friday and positively wept. The devastation is horrific in the wake of this storm, both in the Caribbean and in Florida. We were in a state of “lock down” here in an abundance of caution and so I spent yesterday alternating between watching hurricane and storm coverage and the 9/11 ceremonies and documentaries.  And I was struck by one thing — heroism is alive and well!  Whether it’s a terrorist attack or a Category 4 hurricane, I witnessed ordinary Americans rushing to help their neighbors in need.  Not turning a blind eye, but wading into waters and rushing up smoke-filled stairwells, offering water, rides, comfort, a hand to assist in the flight from danger.  My deepest prayer is that we can continue to come together as a country to aid our neighbors in need. Storms like Irma and Harvey do not discriminate.

I mentioned last week that one of my new finds was this amazing little book, Church of the Small Things. I began reading it this summer as part of the launch team and God certainly knew what He was doing when he sowed that seed in my mind to get my hands on this book.

How often do we find ourselves questioning our worth?  Comparing our home to those on Pinterest?  Looking for the BIG THING we can do/should do/need to do?  I’m raising my hand — guilty as charged.  How many moments have I missed in my life in pursuit of the Big Thing?  In pursuit of the blog post that will go viral, the decorating project that will be pinned thousands of times, and even the preschool that will have wait lists for each and every age group.  How often do I lose sight of the Small Things that make up a life, a ministry, a marriage — those things in our everyday that bring joy, that refuel us, that can sustain us in times of trouble? Those same small things that seem unimportant, even tiresome, on the surface – wiping noses, paying bills, cooking supper after a long day when you’re not even hungry but your family is.  Where do those fit in in our Try Hard lives these days?

Melanie’s book is full of gentle reminders and heartwarming anecdotes and examples from her own life that have pointed her time and time again back to the Small Things and God’s will in her life.  From her early days of marriage and parenting, to the dream of writing a book, to the loss of a dear friend, and many more, Melanie shares her observations of how God prompted her to return to His Word, His great love, and the many, many Small Things that make up a life well-lived in His eyes.  If you have never read Melanie’s writings before, you’re in for a treat!  She marries doses of humor and easy readability with a powerful message — one that I clearly needed with the chaos of the last few months.

In my reading of this I realized that I’ve neglected my ongoing list of gifts I observe in my everyday, I have focused on Big Things — getting the school open for the year, approving budgets, selling my house and moving.  So much BIG STUFF.  And what I really need is to focus on the Small Things, because training your energy on the Big Things is exhausting and life-sucking.  And while we can’t always avoid the Big Things, wouldn’t they be more bearable if they were seasoned with small, ordinary things?  He gives us the tools in His Word!  Trust, rest, His strength and not our own!

Church of the Small Things

When there are SO MANY nuggets to bookmark!

Do you know when God is nudging you?  When the same message appears in various forms and various places.

About the time I was wrapping up my reading of The Church of the Small Things,  I read this in my latest devotional from She Reads Truth

…”may we be drawn less to grand feats of faith and more to the everyday outflow of a life lived in prayer, Scripture, repentance, and obedience to the Lord.” (She Reads Truth).

Amen!!

And then just yesterday in my Jesus Calling:

So many people dream of the day when they will finally be happy: when they are out of debt, when their children are out of trouble, when they have more leisure time, and so on.  While they daydream, their moments are trickling into the ground like precious balm spilling wastefully from overturned bottles.

Amen, Amen!!  Small things are exactly those moments… are we wasting them, ignoring them?

And in the words of Melanie herself:

“A life isn’t made from one thing, one big moment, or one huge success.  It’s created moment by moment, often with pieces that don’t look like anything beautiful on their own, but are the very fabric of who God meant for us become as we pack lunches, raise kids, love our neighbors, and simply be who he created us to be; nothing more, nothing less.

Five stars, my friends… click HERE to pre-order yours.  And snag one for your mom, your sister and your girlfriend, too. 🙂

Have a wonderful, safe Tuesday and appreciate all those small things in the wake of the Big Things going on in the world.  I’ll be compiling a list of ways to help our neighbors in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean to share later this week.  Be blessed!

*Some links in this post are affiliate links; all opinions and observations are my own.

 

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