It only took me about 28 years, but I’ve finally started to make my bed every morning. I pick up all the clothes scattered around the floor, open the curtains, and turn on the oil diffuser. It takes me 5 minutes at most but is a great start to my day. I’ve heard it takes at least 21 days to create a habit. and I’m fairly certain I’ve made my bed that many days. A lot the time, it gets unmade by one of the resident monsters that live in my house (see below).
Similarly, celebrating small — praising God in the small things of everyday life — is a habit that must be cultivated. At least for me, this is something that does not come naturally. Finding the joy in each and every day is like finding a needle in a haystack some days when my temper is as high as the temperatures in Kathmandu. When my heart dreams big and longs for more fulfilling days, praising Him for anything other than His innate goodness seems pretty much impossible. Retraining myself to think praisefully –to celebrate small– is a task ongoing. I’ve found there some questions I can ask myself to help me see so that I may rewire this mind set to default negative.
How did God show up today?
How did God speak to me today?
Did He answer a prayer or give hope in a situation?
Did He allow me to get one step closer to a big dream?
Did God use me in the life of another person — or someone else in my life?
These are just starter questions. The point is to create a habit of seeing God in our daily lives and praising Him for the little victories He graciously gives us each day. Remembering the end goal isn’t everything, we can magnify God in the mundane and praise Him with each painstakingly small step of progress towards our big dreams.
Thinking this way is maybe the only better start to each day than a freshly made bed. I’m so glad I’ve created this habit.
There’s a quote I’ve seen floating around the internet in various meme forms — “Don’t tell God how big your mountain is. Tell the mountain how big your God is.” It’s a good one, right? Makes ya wanna pump your fist in Satan’s face, yeah? I think so, too. God is certainly bigger than any problems we face. As I dwell on this, I can hear my sweet daughter’s voice singing, “Higher than the mountains that I face… stronger than the power of the grave!” — she never remembers that last word, and I have to remind her each time. But it’s worth reminding her and me too. Our God is mighty.
BUT God wants His children to tell Him about those big mountains, too. God desires that I share my big dreams with Him along with all the fears and doubts that muddle their clarity and my ability to see His hand delicately working in each situation. He wants me to tell Him about the seemingly unsurpassable mountain, and all the ways I’m sure I’m not the one to attempt to scale it. Telling my mountains about my big God isn’t for the mountain, it’s for me. He shows me my smallness and complete inability to do anything useful apart from Him because He wants me to depend on Him.
I’m telling God about my mountains today — about my big dreams. I’ll share a few with you here so you can see what I mean, and I hope you’ll take the time to tell God about those big mountains of yours as well.
Marriage – to have a life-long, happy marriage which reflects Christ’s beautiful union with His bride, the church and conforms us into His image.
Motherhood- to raise babies into young adults who love Jesus and are submissive to His will for their lives.
Missional Living- to assist my husband in seeing a church-planting movement in Nepal and to be a faithful light in my spheres of influence.
As we celebrate small, we can praise Him for all the ways He works along the way. No matter how taxing the journey may seem, we take hope in a God who never tires and supplies strength to our feeble minds and bodies as it is needed. Take heart, friend. The end goal or grand finale may seem a world away with a thousand obstacles in between, but our God goes with us and before us to give us the victory.
I’ve talked a lot here on my little blog about dreaming big as a missionary, wife, and mom. I’ve got one of those wild hearts that wants to do big things for Him. Fears and discouragement tangle and tame, but I carry these dreams that can turn into burdens all the same. Maybe you have a wild heart, too, and it runs away with your thoughts and emotions much like mine does. What I have come to find in the dreaming big is I fail to see the small victories God graciously grants each day as I chase the grand finale. Do you, too, find this to be true?
God has done a work in my heart to change this way of thinking that translates itself into living. This way of living — of constantly spinning and chasing — is exhausting and not always productive. I get bogged down in the big-dreaming but little-accomplishing. I get discouraged in the day-to-day. As I’ve trained myself to celebrate small, God has been faithful to reveal Himself to me in all the little ways He’s working. I trust that the grand finales in the endeavors of ministry, marriage, and motherhood are coming. By His glorious grace, each day is a step towards them. However, I’ve come to see that each day has its own joys and victories if I train myself to see them.
Will you train yourself to celebrate small with me? In celebrating small, we praise God for what He has done. As we praise Him for what He has done, we worship Him for who He is because we know, without Him, we can do nothing. We can’t dream big dreams. We don’t have victory. We can’t see great things done for His glory. We must train ourselves to see Him in all the small ways He works to accomplish the big for His kingdom. If we don’t, we fail to worship Him like we ought.
I’m so excited to begin this journey with you over the next 30 days! I trust God has big things in store, and I so anticipate the culmination of those things. For now, I will celebrate the small, praising Him for what He has done and worshiping Him for who He is. He is so good, friend.
About this time last year, I hopped on a Facetime call with the lovely Kate Motaung of Five Minute Friday. The first thing that struck me about her was her beautiful voice and calming demeanor. She minimized my fears about stepping out into the writing world and helped me think through my writing goals– which, by the way, are pretty long-term. While I don’t see myself first and foremost as a writer, she encouraged me to begin to call myself a writer. My roles as a church-planting wife and mom will always rank at the top of my priorities and dictate my to-do list. However, writing is something I am passionate about and desire to pursue alongside my most important ministries.
One thing Kate shared with me really stuck. She told me a story from when she had first begun to write and had not yet gained all the confidence she needed to move forward. A friend reached out to her and expressed a simple but meaningful sentiment in just a few words. She said, “Thank you for your faithfulness to write.” This was the encouragement she needed to continue. The words she shared did matter. God was using them in His own way and in His own timing; that was enough. She has been faithful ever since.
Further, she has been faithful to encourage and instruct other writers with the knowledge she has learned along the way. She has recently partnered with Fist Bump Media to provide Start-Up Guide for Online Writers. I was privileged enough to be a part of the launch team and get a sneak peek of this blog-/life- changing content! She has managed to pack A TON of helpful content into a digestible amount and has broken down an overwhelming task list into simple, achievable goals for writers at both the beginner and advanced levels. When stacked upon one another, these goals can pave the way to success in the world of online writing. For me, this means making meaningful connections and influencing women to serve Christ with their lives. For others, this means making an income or creating a platform.
I’m certainly thankful for the help and encouragement I’ve received in my role as an online writer from Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday Community. You do not want to miss the opportunity to snatch up this gold at its special introductory price now through September 19.
What are your writing goals? Will you take this opportunity to propel your writing career?
Talk to me in the comment section below!
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“You speak our language?” they ask in amazement. “I do,” I respond as humbly as I can despite how proud I am of myself and thankful I am to finally live in this reality.
And with this hard-fought-for ability comes a great responsibility. My words in any language have always had weight as I have spoken with believers and unbelievers alike. There is always an opportunity to speak truth and love, but there is equal opportunity to spew condescension or judgment. With all my heart, I hope to steward these opportunities wisely for the glory of God.
Such conversations often move quickly to the whys of our living here and what we are hoping to do. Question after question rolls out in my direction in effort to know more about me, but what I really desire the person on the other end of the conversation to know about is JESUS. On the days I am feeling confident and not overly bogged down by the previous events of the day, I try to steer in that direction. I wish I did this each and every time because the result is generally sweet, something certainly to be savored. Occasionally, my sudden shift to spiritual things is not welcomed, and I sense this in sharp vocal tones and stiff body language. I thank God for the opportunity to speak of Him and trust Him to multiply the fraction of truth I have presented and build upon the fragile foundation I have created in simple words spoken in foreign tongue.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,