Small Things Take Up A Lot Of Space

“Sometimes”, said Pooh,” the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” —A.A. Milne

There is amazing power in the one small thing.  One small thing can create a big impact on a body, a soul, a mind, a heart, a moment, a day.

Like the last drop of rain on a leaf is enough to break the bough, tipping the scale, tipping it over.

Rippling through for better or worse, making its mark, this one small thing can impact with force.

One small fleck of dust in the eye distracts and blurs vision.

One small splinter in the finger causes pain and attention directed to the throbbing digit.

 And as a crack in the hull can sink the Titantic,  one word can start a war, one gesture can mend a wounded spirit, so one small action can really  shake things up.

I woke early, very early, restless.

What a slow learner I am.  How slowly I let lessons creep in, settle in and then stay.

I had stumbled, tripped up, been tripped up. And wanting a do-over, yearning for new-found patience, hungry for a re-written script of my narrative was surely at the root of my sleeplessness.

And a message pops up in the pre-dawn hours which changes me.  It softens and it loves through a back-lit screen.  It tenderizes the tough spots. And salves the tender ones.

A note so simple saying she just didn’t know why but she was praying for me.

A small few black words on a white background delivering hope and ecouragement.  The floodgates open and my insides want to erupt with the ripeness of the moment, hitting the bullseye of my heart with perfection.  Love crawling across a screen to meet my insomnia and my woundedness.

I receive so much from a young mother who is up nursing her baby.  She also nurses my soul.

She says that she just doesn’t know why but she can’t stop thinking of me, I am stuck in her head and when that happens she just prays.  So, she continues, “you are getting a lot of prayers.” And she says she just wanted to check in with me.

I will get to thank her today and to wrap my arms around her sweet spirit. And I will smell and touch and hug her first-born son, who is weeks old.

Because her one sweet small note to me opened up communication, I am now privileged to spend time over lunch and a new born with this precious young woman. Amazing grace. And if a note on a screen can deliver such joy and hope, I cannot imagine what time in the flesh will present to this soul.

And oh, how I want to stretch this forward to another. To go be small to someone today. To show-up in a life, to a heart, to a friend, to a stranger in all my smallness.

Don’t we long for these encounters with others.  How many have I missed.

Small opportunity.

Small invitation.

Small calls to be obedient in love, in encouragement, in offering a lifeline.

This blog is a baby.  It is a new-born by the world’s standards, months old.

As it grows up a little, I pray that God will use these pages in a small way.

But more importantly, that I will have ears to hear, and a heart to listen.

As I write, and I blog, and I listen, and respond, and dig in, and wrestle with, and process, and  tackle, and ponder and question, my hope and prayer is that it is pleasing to Him.

My sweet friend has taken up a lot of space in my heart today. Her gesture just sits there being all big and beautiful.

May we all go seek out and be one small thing in someone’s life today, delivering Joy, Hope, and Grace by the boatload.

I started my day praying for forgiveness and I will probably end it the same way.  But maybe  in the in-between times God can use this broken soul to be a blessing to another, to serve as I have been served in love and in obedience.

Up On The Tightrope Wire

“A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life”  –William Arthur Ward

I may have lost it.  My sense of humor that is.  Do you know the guards at Buckingham Palace.  The ones who stand guard like concrete statues.The ones  you cannot get to flinch, to smile, to giggle, to break their poker face icey stares. That is me.  If this mothering gig doesn’t work out I have a great chance of signing on at Buckingham Palace as the first female guard.  You cannot break this stone-face stare.

I stand guard at the threshold of my home.  These teenagers and occassionally our adult child have to pass through my icey stare and answer all the questions.  How was this?  How was that?  Fun right.  And I don’t blink.  This job of mine has such dire consequences, if I stumble and fall,  they ALL fall down.

Or so I believe.  What if the first thing they see is a smile? Will they reflect joy.  What if the first thing they are met with is a warm embrace.  Will they reflect compassion. What if I warmly insert  humor in my third degree line of questioning.

I am bone-tired of standing like a soldier, guarding my chicks like a stoic mother-hen.  Wait can a hen be stoic.  What if a grade slips, or a curfew isn’t met, or an errand isn’t completed on time.  Or sunscreen isn’t worn, or a pill isn’t taken, or youth-group is missed to go support a friends soccer match.  What if.  What is the worst thing that can happen.

“A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.”- Proverbs 17:22

I need to cheer-up this disposition of mine.  I need a spirit of cheerfulness and light-heartedness.  Pronto.

To remind myself that I had not lost my sense of humor I went and found a picture  of myself smiling.  Gosh it is so old. It may have been taken before Mayberry went into re-reuns.

I am going to find a recent one of me laughing so I know there is potential there.

This tightrope act.  This thing we call balance.  It is just plain hard.  When to speak and when to listen.  When to reprimand, when to remain silent.  When to  speak words of praise, encouragement, discipline,challenge,love, hope and pride.  When to rein in.  When to loose the grip, the grasp on these children we love so, and when to tighten and cinch in the boundaries.

When to press in on standards and conformity, and when to let loose  to allow and even encourage creativity and individuality to flow freely.

I love what they are becoming and who they are becoming.  In Christ.

But as it says in the Proverbs, “gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.”  It is time for a season of laughter.  Of joy.  Of smiling and letting little things just lie.

I need humor to walk this tightrope of life.  I may stumble and I may fall.  I may slip up and fail.  No, I will stumble, I will fall, I will fail, but I want to go down with a smile on my face.  I want my children to see joy and laughter in my contenance.

I want them to experience Grace when they are in my presence.  I want it to wear a smile.

And I don’t want to move to London this close to Mother’s Day.

There Is A Place Somewhere, I Imagine

“One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others”    —    Lewis Carroll

And there is a place somewhere I imagine,

where all of the small things are really quiet large.

Where one small word has the power to change hearts.

Where one word of gratitude changes perspective, forever.

Where one apology heals the broken and restores love.

Where  a word of encouragement mends a fence between a mother and a child.

Where a small meal is like a feast at a banquet when family gathers around.

Where one phrase spoken in love and compassion brings healing between friends.

Where one sign of hope restores faith.

Where one moment of silence can restore peace in the soul.

Where one small prayer uttered in faith tethers the heart of a believer to her God.

Where one simple thing in all the world points a searching world to God’s Grace, God’s Mercy, and God’s Love.