No Small Life

Recently, the subject of living a life of purpose came up in a conversation that I was having with a friend. She just couldn’t see how her life was being lived for God when it seemed so ordinary and plain. This is someone who has seen suffering around the world firsthand and yet is living in the here and now of her life, just following God everyday, as best as she knows how. She was wondering how she is making any kind of difference whatsoever.

Her questions and concerns struck a nerve within me – like, I almost couldn’t respond to her without bursting out into tears myself. This is my heart. I also want, more than anything, to live a life of purpose. I want, more than anything, to change the world. I want to bring healing and hope and love and joy to a desperate, broken people. But you know what I do? I change diapers all day. I comfort a crying baby. I undercook cookie bars. I watch Elmo and Mr. Rogers. I play with singing caterpillars and disturbing little glowbug creatures. I read the same book at least 20 times a day. I clean toilets and wash dishes. I lose my patience. I cook chicken till it’s so tough that it’s hardly edible.

Looking at my everyday tells me that my life is small. It’s such a far cry from changing the world. But this is where God has placed me right now. My sphere of influence consists of my husband, my children, my extended family, and the people I come in contact with everyday – the grocery store clerk, the single mom living next door, the Starbucks lady (okay, so I wish I could see her everyday, but I’m trying with all my might to reduce my drive-thru brews.) By the way, is it fairly obvious that I think about coffee all day long? It’s got me reeled in, I tell you!

Anyway, God has asked me to be faithful in the here and now. I need to love my Jesus and my sphere of influence with everything that is in me. I can’t judge how effective my life is from my vantage point. My eyes are so not observant, my vision so small. I just have to trust that God is building something in these days that will be beautiful in the long term – that all of these seemingly meaningless tasks -the burnt oatmeal, the vacuuming, the scrubbing- and all of these days sitting on the floor and playing with baby dolls – are maybe not so little after all. When I live in God, for God, and because of God – than no thing in life lacks purpose, meaning, or substance. Somehow, God will love people to Himself and He will change the world, even with what I deem as a small life. And it would be really cool to see Him use Elmo, dry chicken, and potty training stories in the process.


Abby said...

Oh Kristin.....as I swim in papers to grade, difficult and crucial comments to write for the report cards, and the horrible fact that I haven't had a working car for the 1 1/2 weeks, I cherish your words. I feel like I mess up everyday in something. Yet, I just love these kids. I actually missed them when I came in today and I was glad that they were all here. I was excited to have them back.
I want to travel the world, I want to be in a foreign country, living in a hut teaching about Jesus. Yet, I'm here. I'm waiting patiently for Him to say, "Yes, now is your time." You are building a relationship with your children that will last for a lifetime. You are changing the world. You are giving Selah and Adden the love they need and showing them the desire to love Jesus, even at 2 1/2. They will remember the love you have given them and give it to others. You, my friend, are changing the world, one diaper at a time. :-)

Ashley said...

I know this was a while ago...but I keep finding myself thinking about what you wrote. And I keep coming back to this thought: There is no greater difference you can make in your children's lives or in the world than to teach them how to love and to love God especially. And not only your own children, but the kids in the youth group. They are the ones who are going to touch tomorrow, the ones who will make a difference in the future. It's amazing to know that though we feel insignificant...that this is where we are meant to be at this particular moment...that we are being put to greater use than we could have ever dreamed. That overwhelms me. I can't really top what Abby already commented, but I just thought I'd put my two cents in.


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