Wednesday, October 26, 2011

31 Days: Letting Go of My Definition of Big

When we finally summoned our courage and decided to put our house on the market, I gave it one week, tops. The way I figured, God was just waiting on us to do our part, then he could continue on with His business. Once our act was together, it wouldn't take him long at all.

As we know, that didn't happen. Instead, I spent the next 14-odd months writing whiny, morose posts about how stinking hard it is to wait.

I was also secretly thinking that God had dropped the ball a little. How cool would it have been to make the big announcement that we were selling and then turn right around and scream "SOLD!" Everyone's heads were already spinning, why not make them spin in double-time?

God had an opportunity to show off and he blew it a little.

I am prone to believing that I would make a pretty great event-planner for God. I'd like to be His office manager. His Executive Assistant. The Deputy Assistant to the Chairman of the Universe. I have such good ideas, why doesn't He consult me more often?

I thought for sure (for a while) that the reason for our move would-be-should-be something big and crazy-scary. Maybe we'd wake up one morning half a world away. Maybe we'd go super far, or risky dark. We've all heard those stories. I wanted it to be me. I wanted to be stretched so thin that I was see-through in the middle. I wanted to see for myself what God could do in us, but it had to be Big stuff. BIG.

So, fast becomes slow and trans-continental turns into the town next door and when all is said and done, he's turned everything on its ear, including me. (It's uncomfortable here, on my ear.) God blows right through the big, braggy box I've put him in and says again that all of His work is big and that he doesn't need my coaching on how to show off, after all.

*For the rest of the Letting Go series, click here.


  1. Did I tell you this already?

    A few years ago my husband wanted to move the the next town over. 30 minutes away. I said no. They people were rude, unkind, cold-shoulderish. And... they were my high school rivals. Come on, really, it would be so wrong.

    We sat in church one Sunday and they played a video that asked how far would you go for God?

    It started in the church parking lot, moved to the street end, to the highway, and on to a sign that had that very town listed with an arrow pointing in that direction. I said no to myself. Then they moved on out and eventually made it to Mexico.

    I am all about Mexico. I would move there tonight. For realz.

    God got all up in my business and said:

    You'll move to another country, but you aren't willing to move 30 minutes down the street?

    I asked God if He had met those people in that town, and if He knew how rude they were?

    He assured me that He did actually know them.

    Long story short, we're leaning toward moving that way in a year or two, and oddly enough, I can not wait to get there.

    That God is something else. He does like to turn us up on our ears. I think He sort of laughs about it.

    I would if I were Him.


  2. bam.
    all of his work is big. he doesn't need me, he wants me to just trust and obey. {but i have such great ideas!}
    i am learning this, too.


  3. This post makes me uncomfortable & kinda scared.....hoping I'm NOT your 2nd cousin twice removed from 14 months ago!

  4. Oh, I miss you! Stopping in here to read is always such a refreshing dose of reality.

  5. your move is way bigger and farther than my non-move. ; )

    i'm reading so much about moving that i feel like i'm not being obedient if we're not moving. dumb, eh? i'm self-conscious like that. thank God for Grace. anyway, i'm reminded again of our separate journeys but same destinations thing.

    love this post, as always. and now i have the "God is bigger (than the boogeyman)" veggie tales song in my head. i'm such a mom.

  6. in college when we would be sharing our big scaries huddled up in dorm rooms and campus kitchens.. the girls would get all sniffly eyed saying how they were scared that if they said yes to God He would ask them to not get married and move to Africa. i always said i was scared he would ask me to get married and to stay right here. guess where i am? yep. 10 years later.. i'm still here. it took me 10 years to now be a little scared to leave.. so you know what that means. Jesus has one wicked sense of humor. :)

  7. He doesn't need us, but He wants us and loves us. Great post.

  8. Oh, shan. I wanted the same "Bam! Sold" Instead we got "Bam! Rented!"


    and now we're landlords. lol

    Funny how God takes what we think we know and says "Just wanna keep ya little rascal, you..."

    (I added that rascal part myself.)

    Channeling The Gaff.

    :) love ya!

  9. I sometimes wonder why I wasn't called to do something big and glossy. I am just a simple housewife with a bunch of grown kids and a farmer to love. I guess it was a good gig, but I wonder why I got it so easy and safe. Then just like that an opportunity to show how he has loved me comes my way and boom I get to brag about my love of the King. He is crazy good.

  10. "it's uncomfortable here, on my ear" DYING! AHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAH!
    I mean, oh, I'm sorry. I think we're all a bunch of 4 year olds in comparison to God. We tell Him the best thing for us would be halloween candy for dinner and he patiently feeds us healthy, nutritious veggies.

    I like it when He blows up's shocking.

  11. I totally had BIG plans for God. Event-planner for God - that description nails it. Unfortunately (or rather fortunately, I figure) I am more like "assistant to the regional manager," ... if even that.
    And He is showing me that I need to bloom where I am planted for the time being. I want out of here so much (location, situation, etc.), and He is closing doors that should be opened. Tonight at a small group training I got a glimpse of why He may have me exactly where I am for right now. And I think that even the "plans" I have for this season are not going to entirely end up being the plans He is going to have for us. Scary, hard, frustrating, but exciting if I would just completely surrender and embrace it.

  12. When you guys were little,I felt left out of God's big plans. It took me a long long time to realize that I could be a big part of His plans by praying, really praying, for the ones who were packing their bags to go over seas. As a mom of three kiddos, I could pray and fast and stand in the gap for others. I looked forward to getting up in the middle of the night to spend time with Him. Its funny how we see what the definition of BIG is as we live and grow.
    BIG is whatever God calls us to do and to be faithful in doing it.

  13. Sometimes we become stretched see-through thin just by doing the next obedient thing. I've been on both sides, small steps and large ones, and it takes just as much faith and maybe even more grace to follow through on the small ones. It's one of those mysteries of faith, like 'the last shall be first' or 'the meek shall inherit' sort of things.
    Love this series FPG!

  14. this is my favorite post of the whole series!!

  15. If one life is changed (and sometimes it's just ours) ain't that big enough? Sometimes I like to think that God needs me - ha.

  16. Oh I'm smiling this morning, because I've Seen this, too. It's often more about me than what grandiose ideas I have for other people or purposes. It's the space of living in the trust, living in the surrender and what that does to us--how it breaks who we've made ourselves to be and molds us more into His's there where there's such beauty of His Grace. It's a hard space, yet the most profound parts of our story, I think.

  17. Amen! I think we sometimes have to wait for the things we want so we can appreciate them when the arrive. Or, so we can spend that quiet time preparing our hearts for what getting what we want really means. :)

  18. Maybe the fact that it isn't BIG makes it big...if that makes any sense. To live our lives just following the BIG ten is pretty darn hard. All the world problems come back to people not obeying them. So if we do our best to teach our children this I think that makes a much better world. No one will write a book about us or make movies about us but we are the rock that is needed in a crazy world.

  19. God's organizer....
    Oh my. I would never ever want that job!
    You inspire me.
    Even when you are on your ear : )

  20. you're words are always right on time <3 I love how God is using you to get through to the rest of us!!!!!

  21. God's executive assistant....His event planner.....

    Yep, I've asked to be interviewed for those positions, too.

    I love it when he takes himself out of that big, braggy box that I force him to try and fit in....

    You're right. Every single thing he does is BIG and MIRACULOUS.

    You are knee deep in learning, friend, and I am there with you.

  22. I hear ya! A month ago our renters moved out of our house and we were going to sell it. To finally be free from the burden of a house that we don't live in and that drains us emotionally and sometimes, financially. I prayed hard and I spoke boldly about how it was going to sell and the story would be a miracle that I could share. Turns out that agents wouldn't even list it due to the economy and its location. And that hurt. But then, out of what seemed like nowhere, God brought us new renters. Renters who are already bought into that rough neighborhood (actually it is the definitions of 'hood) and were looking for a way into it. A miracle in and of itself. They are paying less than our mortgage, but I know that God brought them our way. A way that seems a big foggy right now. But I know that His story for this is so much bigger than the one I dreamed.

  23. "I am prone to believing that I would make a pretty great event-planner for God."


  24. Hey, I linked to your post.
    Here is the link..


  25. All so true. And so funny. And so very much like myself.

    If it's okay with you, I am totally pretending that your mom's words are my mom's words to me...

    "BIG is whatever God calls us to do and to be faithful in doing it."

    Yep. My mom was wise like that too.

  26. oh isn't this the truth! uncomfortable is good. just uncomfortable! :)

    p.s. thanks for the comment about the "comments!" i do love writing - i can't stop - it's like my own little therapy. thanks for the reminder of "why" i do write!

  27. Farmgirl?
    I love you.
    You are awesome.
    This post is awesome.
    This series is awesome.
    My niece and I (she's a fan of yours, btw) are sitting on a couch in Oregon right this very minute chatting about the fact that there are only a few days left in this month, and therefore, only a few days left in your series.
    That makes us sad.
    p.s. Did you sell my FNL poster in the garage sale?

  28. Shannan. I think sometimes what is BIG for us, may not look BIG to the "world". And then sometimes what isn't BIG to us, looks HUGE to everyone else. (like Katie Davis for instance) I feel like I'm on my ear, but not in a good way and I'm begging to be stood back up. Maybe I just need to roll over onto my face so that I can hear better and start listening to what He is trying to tell me. I also feel like only something BIG can get me out of this mess, all the while knowing (and focusing on remembering) that He is BIGGER. Luckily, everything He is does is BIG, so that means it will happen for me, for us. I just keep praying... I think I'm see-through in the middle...

  29. I can SO relate to this one. (I can relate to pretty much all of your 'letting go' posts, actually.) But this one... I had thoughts this week... Don't you have something BIGGER for me, God? Can living out your plan sometimes really feel this mundane?

    Yet I feel like He's got me right where He wants me, and that's a pretty BIG deal.

  30. Glory be,Ethel...stop reading my mail! I coulda written this about myself...c'mon, God,deepest,darkest Africa! See what you could accomplish through my WILLINGNESS?? And here we are..moved a few measly miles service to the complete opposite of poverty..stretched so far out of my comfort zone and so called abilities,its a good thing God is the rubber in this little band,otherwise,it would snap.we plan..God laughs. Rosa

  31. SHEW. I literally just breathed a sigh of relief. Audibly, it blew out of me. I'm so glad to know that I am not alone.
    I have always said that I am someone that God has to hit up side of the head with a two-by-four to get my attention. I mean, I really don't need HIM, do I? I have LOTS of great ideas. I tell HIM all the time. I'm obstinate and stubborn and can be downright hateful. Oh, yes, and sometimes..."in the name of God." But it is when he knocks me down and I'm flat on my back with nowhere to look up and that is when I say "yes, Lord?" He knows this awful child so well. I always express it this way...God has this little Cheryl drawer...and He opens it and peeks in on me and shakes His head and says "oh, my child." He had to put me in a cast for four months one time to teach me about faith and let me know it was time to go back to school and stop wasting what He had given to me...I nearly heard His voice out loud on that one...
    love, Cheryl