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Monthly Archives: August 2013

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How Even Five Minutes of Worshiping God Can Make Him Smile

Today is Friday, and I’m offering up an unedited Friday five minutes straight from my heart to my hands to the words on this screen. That’s a Five Minute Friday. And it’s what I’m doing today. Join us?

Worship

I want my life, everything I do, to point to Jesus. When I writing. Or drive. Or grocery shop.

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offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1)

It used to seem so pious. So holier-than-thou. A life of worship. Worship time. Let’s enter into a time of worship. All the words to get us there that pastors and worship leaders use to get the rest of us to join the singing. The praising God. The seeking His face on a Sunday morning.

But I believe God wants our worship to make up our lives. I think He wants us all-in, for the moments and the hours and the days between Sundays. A life of worship that points to Him. That knows him so well it can’t help but adore Him. Living that flows from the depths of amazed and straight into doing stuff that makes Him stop in His tracks, nudge an angel in the ribs and just enjoy the view of His precious child loving Him.

Worship.

 

When God Makes You Small To Show You His Grace

I dove into last Tuesday morning with a plan. I would think through my blogging. Take three hours the day my kids started school and fill in my Blog Planning Kit with the purposes I’ve been asking God to clarify for me.

But God had different plans. Same purpose. Different methods.

He wanted to remind me that small steps lead to huge purpose when it comes to His ways.

So I followed Him to the hospital where my grandpa-in-law would spend his last few days. He showed me through the Emergency Room and then up to Floor Two. Then down to Floor One. Then to the big, beautiful room reserved for Hospice and goodbyeing.

I followed God later to my grandma-in-law’s side. To my father- and mother-in-laws’ embrace. To my husband’s hand.

He showed me what love looks like for a couple married more than 70 years. The faithful hand stroking. The grieving concern.

The pain of life’s end.

God took me from my own plans and led me into His. He let me be part of the sacred moments and difficult doctor visits.Red heart leaf with grace

I am certain it was God’s grace alone that led me into that family. To know and love a grandpa who was not mine by blood. To play a relative’s role in the lives now mine by virtue of marriage.

Because I don’t know what to say and I talk when I’m nervous and I often ruin quiet moments with stupid things like, “Do you want some coffee?” and “Where’s the bathroom?”

And I know all I can do is just offer my presence, but it feels so small in the midst of this great big moment. The one that takes two days to sum up a 91-year-old man’s life, a 70 year marriage, a legacy of life and love and Navy stories and hand-carved walking sticks.

Even though I know it, my mouth won’t let it be and I talk when I shouldn’t and I say more stupid stuff.

And still they want me there.

And I am humbled because we all know I don’t deserve the honor.

Truth is, I don’t deserve this family God has blessed me with in my in-laws. Or the love we share even when nobody’s saying a word.

It’s all grace, Ann Voskamp is teaching me to sayEvery last ounce of everything I have is grace straight from God’s hand.

God’s undeserved gift in the form of a family with whom I share no genes. A family by whom I am amazingly loved.

 

p.s. I’m an affiliate for The Blog Planning Kit, so if you click on that link and decide you want to buy it, I’ll get to go to Starbucks. 🙂

The Call to Stay Small

I hadn’t planned it to be this way. But it seems I have for the most part taken the summer off from this cyber place. As it turned out, adjusting to life here in the land of excessive ease and beautiful muffins required more than I’d planned for. So I left the writing in this place take a sort of backseat while I loved on my kids and helped them re-acquaint themselves with friends and grandparents and the new kittens that live next door.

All the while, I’ve been praying about this space right here. The one I call home when I turn on my computer. Seeking God’s advice about where He might want it to go. How He might want to use it to help make Himself famous.

And I’ve been trying to figure out how to return. When to do it. What to write to re-introduce my writing, God’s prompting in my heart, the dreams I have for this small place I call home here in cyberland.

I mean, I haven’t written here in more than a month. It’s time to return.

So today when I saw Lisa-Jo’s 5-minute-Friday prompt word, it seemed like a perfect place to jump back in. I’ll write more next week, but today, I ask you to bear with me as I contemplate SMALL, in (a little more than) five small minutes.

Go:

I thought I wanted to be big. So I started this blog. Started writing and thinking and dreaming all big.

I chased dreams for the sake of their bigness, thinking huge and fame and glory.

But God wanted me small. So He could prove Himself big. He wanted to use me in small ways.

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I called it trying to make Him famous. And really that’s what I wanted. His glory. His Kingdom. Only by way of me.

I wanted to be a big part of His glory. He just wanted me to take the next small step.

He wanted to keep me small so I’d keep looking to Him.

I wanted to be like the famous bloggers who’ve made it big. The ones with the big platform and all the friends and the thousands of commenters every week.

Then it occurred to me I’d not really asked God. What was it He saw as big for me? What kinds of big things could I do.

So I started asking Him daily. On my face praying.

And I found out what He wanted. What He wants. For me. For my blog. For my every ounce of everything I do in the name of His fame and His glory.

Whether through a post on my blog or a conversation with the Walmart cashier.

He wants me small so I can show off His big.

He wants nothing more from me than to remember that He’s the One worth all the fame. He wants me to take the next step, however small it might be. And He wants me to do it really, really well.

Small blog? Do it well.

Tiny platform? Use it for Him.

Two commenters? Love them like He does.

He wants me to show Him to anyone. Everyone. By way of whoever He might put in my path.

To let my smallness point to Him in whatever ways He chooses.

STOP

 

*Over the next few weeks, you might notice some changes around here. Some will be big. Others will be small. But each one will be intentional. The main difference will be the focus of my writing. I want to do it well. I want to love you well. I want to encourage you and cheer you towards Jesus and the real life He gives. Might I ask you to pray? For this new focus. That God will use my small words for His huge fame. To encourage and love and help everyone who visits to live more fully.

Thank you so much!

See you next week.

Bria