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little is much

"The natural resources that you enjoy -- time, money, intelligence and abilities, social status, political freedom -- all of these gifts have been given to you to "seed" the world with other healing plants. So instead of asking "Do I deserve this gift?" humility teaches us to ask, "What has God given and what responsibility do I have because of it?" And by doing so, humility changes the frame of reference entirely. Suddenly we are no longer at the center; God is. Suddenly our sense of entitlement or guilt no longer drives our choices. Suddenly everything is a gift and everything has purpose. (Humble Roots, pg. 152-153

Accusations and condemnation have been a regular part of my thought life for the past several years. Not primarily toward other people, although that has absolutely been part of it. But primarily, toward myself. Guilt-charged words and phrases and messages would assail me at any given time, especially in the 20 feet of my house between the kitchen and the laundry.

You only have four kids, and you have this huge house. Why can't you keep it clean? Especially since two of your kids are in school. There are people around you with twice as many kids and they are homeschooling them; clearly those people are way less selfish and much holier than you are. You don't value the same things as other Christians around you, so you clearly don't know what it looks like to follow Jesus. If something doesn't go quite right in your life, you have no right to ask for help or express a need because you aren't doing the right thing to begin with; if you were, you wouldn't have problems or needs.


Every task, big or small, cleaning bathrooms or matching socks, cooking supper or cleaning out the fridge - has felt mentally backbreaking. Unable to rest in who God has made me to be and what He has given me to work with, I have fought and struggled, wiggling every which way, trying to find the place where I could somehow feel worthy, justified, and in control again. I couldn't enjoy putting food on the table for my family, without feeling like it should be healthier, or different somehow. I couldn't enjoy folding laundry, without feeling like we should just have less clothes so it didn't consume so much of my time. I couldn't enjoy cleaning bathrooms, without thinking about how maybe we should have just bought a simpler and smaller and newer house that would be easier to keep clean. I couldn't enjoy any task, because Satan was attacking our lifestyle every single moment I turned around. And so I just turned in circles in my kitchen, dizzy.





Reading Humble Roots at the turn of the new year re-framed so many of those things for me, and the quote above in particular is one that I am tucking away in my heart and mind for the next 365 days, at least. Every single thing that I have been given by God, is of course something that Satan would love to hold against me, over my head, reminding me of how undeserving I am of that resource. A big house. Some free time while the big kids are in school, or while the little kids are napping. Clothes in our drawers. Ideas and skills for home remodels and other creative projects. Food to work with. Awareness of needs of people around us. Words to write and preach. All of these things are given by God, and all of these things are resources that Satan would love to see squandered. Wasted. Rendered useless because of my pride and guilt.


But humility teaches me to ask, "What has God given, and what is He asking me to do with it?" And then it becomes about Him, not me. These gifts are part of His story, not mine. The glory that comes from them is His, not mine. And the seeds we sow from a place of humility, are His to grow and increase.


In motherhood we have a particular opportunity to see this happen on a micro-level, every single day. Simple ingredients pulled from the pantry and refrigerator, made into something useful for feeding our bodies. Dirty laundry washed and made useful again, for clothing little bodies. Time investments in teaching skills and knowledge, multiplying into something far greater that God can then also use as seeds. It is truly a miracle how much can be done with so little. And yet the lie has been there from the beginning - you need something more. You need something different. You need something better. How God has made you and what God has given is not quite right.


In the end, it comes down to trust. Do I trust the Creator - what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will continue to do? Am I submitted to His plan, willing to be shaped, in love with Him?


What is the measure of a life well-lived

If all I can offer seems too small to give?

This is a song for the weaker, the poorer, and so-called failures


Little is much when God's in it

And no one can fathom the plans he holds

Little is much when God's in it

He changes the world with the seeds we sow

Little is much, little is much


Who feels tired and under-qualified?

Who feels deserted and hung-out to dry?

This is a song for the broken, the beat-up, and so-called losers


Little is much when God's in it

And no one can fathom the plans he holds

Little is much when God's in it

He changes the world with the seeds we sow

Little is much, little is much

Little is much, little is much


Consider a kingdom in the smallest scene

Consider that giants fall to stones and slings

Consider the child in a manger

Consider the story isn't over

What can be done with what you still have?


Little is much when God's in it

And no one can fathom the plans he holds

Little is much when God's in it

He changes the world with the seeds we sow

(Little is Much, by Downhere)


By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God... (I John 3:19)


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