Monday, January 5, 2015

When The Little Things Really Are The Big Things

And then you have one of those days when God keeps hitting you with one life lesson after another, in the most inopportune times and most unexpectedly. 

I was lucky enough to get two days in a row like that. 

It began yesterday when I was mad at my husband. About what doesn't even matter, but I was angry and felt like I had no voice in "the matter." 

The truth is that I had a voice, but Joe's voice made more sense than mine did in that situation. I went for a walk, huffing along like a toddler whose candy had been taken away. At the end of my tantrum walk, I sat on the steps for a while before going in. I had my ear buds in and was listening to some music and staring at the sky. It was dusk.

I love staring at the sky. It's often when God chooses to "speak" to me. I think it's because that's when I feel the enormity of who He is. Watching a never-ending sky roll overhead has a way of putting my SMALLness and His BIGness in perspective.

It was while I sat with my chin in my hand that I "heard" Him say, "You have to die to yourself,"

In the "big" things of life (salvation, the gospel, ministry, etc) I almost think it's easier to die to self than it is in the everyday things. At least for me. 

Want me to sacrifice personal time to lead this ministry? Done!

Need me to carve time out of my day to talk or pray with someone who needs a listening ear? I'm happy to do it!

I need to give up creature comforts to help out those less fortunate? Not a problem!

But when God whispers in my ear to let go of my stance on an issue that really isn't that important, I balk. 

"Are you serious, God?" I ask as I jam my fists against my hips. "Just give in? But I'm right!"

But yesterday I got it. 

Taking up my cross and dying to self is about everything...not just the big things. 

And tonight...tonight my world stopped when I was frazzled about a different situation and trying to send out necessary texts and messages while putting my kids in bed. I rushed everyone into their jammies, oversaw teeth brushing like a general, and then scooted everyone in bed. 

Apparently my oldest didn't get the memo that mommy had some business to attend to because before I could slink downstairs and breathe the bedtime sigh of relief, he had dashed into the bathroom and was poised over the toilet bowl, ready to throw up, complaining that his stomach ached. 

I wish I could say that my immediate thought was to comfort him.

But I'm going to be transparent here and tell you that I stood in the hallway and continued to send out the messages that I needed to send while coaching my little guy to calm down from a safe distance.

He didn't end up throwing up and I was able to tuck him in. 

(And if I may...he actually told me to leave him alone anyway. He is almost a man, after all, at 9 1/2 years old.)

The messages I was sending and the situation I was handling were pressing, in my defense, but not more pressing than my son. I should have put down my phone and attended to him.

My next wake up call was as I was checking on everyone before I finally did tip toe downstairs. My youngest daughter who is 3 was talking in her sleepy state. Most of what she said was garbled, but one thing that I definitely had no trouble understanding was, 

"Are you watching, Mommy?!"

And I knew instantly that she was dreaming about something she likes to do many times a day: run from our kitchen to our living room, pretending to be a horse, and show me how "fast" she is. Usually I watch to appease her, but lately I've taken to saying, "Oh, you've shown me hundreds of times how fast you are, silly!" and tune out. 

In that moment while her tiny little head was on her little pink, princess pillow and she was asking me with such excitement in her sleep if I was watching...I got it

I am her world. 

She is so excited for me to notice her. All she wants from me is to see her. My attention matters to her.

She thinks about it so much that she dreams about it. 

And when I heard her little voice say that, all the breath went out of me. 

Even now my eyes fill with tears.

I leaned over and pressed my cheek against hers and said, "I can't take my eyes off you, sweet girl." 

And I didn't take my eyes off of her for several, long minutes. I watched her little chest rise and fall as she lay bundled up in her blankets.

And as I walked out of her room, she called out, "I love you, Mommy." 

And my heart was so full. 

I had a friend tell me last night, "Don't let blogging create a false sense of urgency." 

And after the past 2 days of God-sized lessons in my tiny, everyday life, I get it

Loving and honoring the Lord in the big things requires loving and honoring Him in the little things. And even more often do I have the big things confused with the little things??

And, as is His way, God taught me BIG lessons just by stepping into my everyday, mundane life. 

May the Lord continue to speak softly to our hearts and point us toward what is really important.

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