Sunday, November 1, 2015

Every Little Thing Matters

Growing up, I really felt that to be the best servant of God I could be I would need to be a missionary. And so, even though the idea scared me and didn't necessarily feel like my calling, a missionary is what I was going to be. Deep down all I really wanted to be was a wife and mother but that just didn't seem like a big enough dream to claim. It was too safe, too comfortable and surely not enough. But God gave me the desire of my heart and I married a very good man and had 3 little boys. Life got busy just taking care of the needs of my family and it started to feel like being used by God was going to be put on hold for this season of life. As much fulfillment as running a household and raising my children brings, I sometimes yearn for a little bit bigger impact with this one short life I have. So I keep praying God would use me in my little corner of the world and would lead me to opportunities, even if it means outside of my comfort zone.
 I have found ministries to invest in that I get to see God work in on a regular basis. My husband and I open up our home each Thursday night to a diverse group of teens for youth group. They are rowdy and rambunctious and some weeks it feels like the bible study doesn't sink in much at all, but they keep coming back and they keep bringing their friends. God is working there. Then there is the Godly Moms' group my church has been hosting for a few years now. It is a program that really fills a need in moms looking for community and encouragement as they try to do their best to live out this big calling that is Motherhood. We have women from several different churches come and scores of children each week. There is always challenging teaching, encouraging discussions and lots of "me too" moments. So, I have slowly come to find that this chapter of life doesn't mean my usefulness to God is put on hold. I have even come to relish living a small life made up of ordinary days.

Every Little Thing: Making a World of Difference Right Where You Are  by Deidra Riggs was the perfect read for this time of slow realization. Deidra first helps us realize that we can't do any good thing on our own. Even as we want to be the Good Samaritan in the sphere of our lives, we are first in need of some saving grace ourselves. Then we must be able to let go of the burden of our shame and let ourselves be identified as washed clean by Christ and prepared to be used by God, in every little big and little thing. If we can trust in the Lord to walk us through our fears and into big dreams that He has made us distinctively for, we're in for a great adventure!
Many times when God places a dream just for us in our hearts, it's easy to dismiss it with a "that's something for someone better equipped than me" or " that's already been done." And even if we do actually take heed to the pull of our hearts, we will usually quickly find that we don't get to see thrbs e big picture. We have to just take a breath and take the next small step in faith. Like Gideon, God works in a big way when we are small and seemingly at a disadvantage.
The chapter that made the whole book for me was chapter 7- The gospel needs to be lived. I really appreciated the reminder of what the gospel means to us in everyday and needed to hear what Deidra had to say about it. I don't go to a "relevant" mega-church and I am not a modern day Proverbs 31 woman with the perfectly style wardrobe, well behaved genius children and it all documented on her adorable blog with thousands of followers. I am the mom living on the farm with her slightly crazy little boys and who has plenty of her own "hot mess" moments. I go to a little community church in the country. I see women who are living out very similar lives to mine but they sure do see to be doing it a whole lot better than me.(and most definitely with more style!) I love the line Deidra uses against this mindset- "Let me warn you right here and now, and let me be clear when I say it: it is a dangerous thing to think that we can measure the impact of the gospel in our lives against the very same gospel in someone else's life." That is a challenging, yet refreshing charge. I really love how Deidra goes on to remind us that the Gospel doesn't need our help to make it more trendy and relevant; the gospel stands on it's own. How freeing- His word does not come back void.
This book was a great encouragement to me; a reminder that if I give my best to His purposes, God will use every little thing for His glory.
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

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