Friday, February 21, 2014

When You're Afraid Your Life Is Small

An offhanded comment was all it took. Something lighthearted and small about getting out more into that mythical "real world," far away from my popcorn strewn living room in the heart of the longest winter I can remember.  At first I couldn't put my finger on it, why my heart sunk, my defensiveness bubbled up. Why I felt like I'd been kicked right in the center of the chest.

It doesn't take much force for a nerve to spasm when it's been hit. I had no idea this was such a sore spot for me until that moment. The excuses kept coming, reasons why not. I worked it out in housework and finally cleared enough air to see what the issue was. The comment made me feel like my life was small. Worse than that, that it was a waste. Day after day being cooped up - that wording doesn't feel right, doesn't speak to what I feel homelife really is. Yes, even on the hardest days.

We live in an interesting time. A time where we tell our children they can be whatever it is they want to be, a time where success is measured by making something of yourself in some tangible way. We tell ourselves fame and fortune don't matter, but then live lives that say the exact opposite. We struggle and strive to be known, to be celebrated, to be appreciated, to be respected. We crave the spotlight, something bigger and better.

My kids and I read the bible story of the great general Naaman being healed of event set into motion by a little slave girl who had been kidnapped during a conflict and brought into his home. As I read to my kids, she's there in the back of my mind. Nameless, in this story...yet the key to something bigger. Important? Yes! Celebrated? Hardly. Was her life small? Undoubtedly. We don't know what happened to her after that...likely nothing spectacular. But even the smallest of lives, steeped in the mundane, has the potential to be used by God to pave the way for a miracle.

My life is small. In the center of a tiny house, my time spent mostly on the daily needs of 7 other people. Nothing spectacular, nothing particularly praiseworthy. My life is small but not unimportant. Even if I don't get out into the real world or talk to anyone older than 10  day in and day out. Being in the center of where I'm called to be, I can trust that He's got me where He wants me - and although it may be hard to see, each life on this earth breathes His name.

Not everyone is meant for the history books. Not me, I know this. Likely not my children. But we're all meant for His story book. And that, right there, is good enough for me.

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    Should Scriptures be interpreted or should they be read and understood? When men claim that Scriptures are subject to interpretation, what they normally mean is subject to explanation according to their denominational view point. Case in point Acts 2:38.

    God's Point of View: Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let everyone one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall received the gift of the Holy Spirit. (NKJV)

    Man's Interpretation: Peter said to them your sins were forgiven and you received the gift of the Holy Spirit the minute you believed. Repentance and water baptism follow forgiveness from sins and reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    God's point of View: Acts 2:38 Peter, "All of you must turn away from your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then your sins will be forgiven. You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.(New International Reader's Version NIRV)

    Man's Interpretation: Water baptism is simply an act of obedience and is not essential to the forgiveness of sins. Receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit precedes repentance and water baptism.

    God's Point of View: Acts 2:38 Reconsider your lives; change your direction. Participate in the ceremonial washing of baptism in the name of Jesus God's Anointed, the Liberating King. Then your sins will be forgiven, and the gift of the Holy Spirit will be yours. (The Voice VOICE)

    Man's Interpretation: Bible commentaries and church catechisms are more accurate than the Bible.

    God's Point of View: Acts 2:38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible NIV )

    Man's Interpretation: God is not smart enough to guide men into an accurate translation of the Bible. It has to be explained by Priests, Preachers, and denominational leaders.



  2. your blog is set to my home page. i read it every morning after my bible and before breakfast begins (and the cleaning! the endless cleaning) begins. you are not small to me. i value your words and encouragement greatly. but yes, even my efforts to tell you your world is BIG to me is not important - i struggle with this too. i want a Big life sometimes... something More and Big and that has a Point. So i get this. but i just wanted you to know, that to me your writing is a Big deal, and a Great help. :)

  3. Dana - thank you so much for that. Your comment really encouraged me and touched my heart today!

  4. Thank you for this, Lydia. Since my disability 6 years ago, I have struggled with accepting that I must live a smaller life. It IS hard with all of the pressure society puts on us to be satisfied with this idea. Your statement about the potential for God's work to create a miracle has really helped! The yarn fairy says, " Keep writing, Lydia!"

  5. Most days I'm so thankful for small, but occasionally I struggle with this too, this feeling that my resume could be much more impressive. And I second what Dana said - your words matter very much to me, too. Wishing you sunshine soon!

  6. Lydia, You have expressed so much in this short entry. I can so identify with the temptation to fear the smallness, the sameness of being wife and mother and that it is not "enough" and is insignificant. Thank you for speaking against that lie. Because it is true that when our lives are steeped in the Word of God and what he is doing in us and through us it is very meaningful and profound. Keep up the fight and the beautiful job you are doing with your small ones. Spring is on the way!! <3

  7. Lydia,
    Thank you so much for this reminder today.

  8. This so resonated with me!! Being content in this small, mundane, repetitive life of home has been the hardest struggle of all for me. I went to university! I was a track star!! I was supposed to be Someone. Happily, I've come to know that being Everything to these small hearts in this small home is the greatest Something I could ever be.

  9. This is interesting, especially since I just read this article today about Generation Y Lots to think about.

  10. Sweet Lydia, You are among the most inspirational people I can think of. A small life? Not yours! The words from your heart reach so far and touch so many. You cannot know what an encouragement these posts are to others - especially me. We, who are quietly at home and faithfully serving the needs of those therein, are raising children - the next generation. In the simpleness of our lives, we give our children stability. Something strong and anchored. Like your mom did for you and your brothers and sisters. I have read your words, with great interest, of her importance in your life. Her steadiness. Her rock solid strength and faithfulness. Would you have seen that in her had she been a harried mother - over committed and finding herself strung out with too much coming and going? Not likely. Instead, you describe sweet, contented days at home. A mother singing while holding a toddler and stirring something at the stove. That scene pricks my conscience and evokes such a longing in me to hear my children describe me that way someday. It inspires me to do better. I see you as the fruit of a mother who laid it all down to raise her children. You are now taking that into your own mothering. Her influence is far reaching. I am gently reminded that what we do and the decisions we make really matter to these little ones of ours. The "gentle view" you described in a recent post hit me right between the eyes. How will they will remember their lives at home and us as their mommas? Right now, their memories are forming and will always be part of them. It will in fact influence how they parent their own children. I imagine, from the way you write, you are mothering much as your mother did. And I can tell you that it works! You are living proof of it. As for living a simple life, we cannot mother running breathlessly from here to there and then back here again. Home is not supposed to be a stopping off place but rather the sacred refuge of our lives. It is something firm beneath their feet in this crazy world. Our homes, no matter how small, are priceless to our children. The family they are in, is even more so... Your children are so, SO blessed to have you and your husband and each other. It is all they need. The lives we lead may not be as exciting as that big world out there. There will come a time (far sooner than we would like) for them to go and explore that later when the roots of their faith and values run deep and they are like mighty oaks - strong, sturdy and able to stand against the winds of this world. Yes, the big, wide world awaits them when the time is right. But right now, for this short, fleeting season, home and family is what really matters. You are giving them such a sweet gift, Lydia. A blessed childhood. You're daily sacrifice of serving them is not in vain. I know you know that. :) You remind us of that all the time. I want to encourage you a little bit right now. ;) You are keeping those home fires burning and making precious memories for your children along the way. Keep up the good work and thank you so much for writing these things down and sharing them. You are such a blessing to me!

  11. This truly beautiful. Thank you for writing it.


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