It wasn't like I couldn't put a finger on what was bothering me. The problem was, there were too many things, and I had run out of fingers. So I started writing them down.
I filled 17 pages of my journal with everything I could think of in my life that was bothering me. Everything I was sad about, everything that embarrassed me, everything I needed to confess to the Lord. I laid it all out before Him---frustrations and heartaches, but also goals and dreams for the future.
I finally realized why I was in such turmoil. I had read books and blogs about people who were doing huge things for the kingdom of God. They were traveling huge distances, changing lives, saving children, risking their own safety. They were on the front lines of spiritual battles, and I wanted to be there too.
But here I was, caught in the never-ending cycle of dishes and laundry, struggling to manage simple tasks like putting dinner on the table every day and organizing dresser drawers. And for a moment, I threw up my hands to the Lord, and asked, "Why did you put me here? I have no talent for this stuff. I can do a host of other things you've made me good at, but here I am drowning in this mess, feeling buried by the everyday. Why did you put me here? I am inadequate."
Now, dear reader. I don't want you to think that I was packing the car planning to run away or anything. I love my life, I love my children, and I adore my husband. I had just felt such a stirring in my soul to do something more. I felt God calling me to do more. And at the same time, I felt like my hands were tied by the life He'd already asked me to lead.
"Lord, I want to travel the world, be on the front lines of spiritual warfare, risk my life for Jesus, feed the hungry, save the orphans, house the homeless! I want to do huge things for you, if you will just let me. I want to do huge things for you!"
And I heard the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit speaking into my heart. "I know you want to do huge things for me. I know you want to save the world. But I don't need you to do that. I will save them. But do you love me enough to do something small for me? Something tiny? Something that maybe no one else will ever see or know about? Do you love me enough to do something small?"
The idea of this cut into me painfully as I realized I did not.
Here I was, begging the Lord to let me do for Him, anything Lord, I would die for you Lord! But the dishes were piled up, the children were a mess, and I had no idea what would be on the table for dinner. Do I love You enough to wash the dishes? The practical answer, as seen in my actions, was "no". So many of the small things He'd asked me to do were right there, undone.
God doesn't need me to save the world. He is going to do that. God doesn't need me to die for Him. He died for me. I am not the Savior. Jesus is.
Let me tell you, the idea of "do something small" is not in my nature. This is a long road ahead. But I trust Him. When King David asked to build the Lord a magnificent temple, God said no. Even though David's idea was a great one! The Lord said, "I will build you a house." God had something even better in mind than anything David could dream up. I trust that the same is true here.
Over the last several months, God has been teaching me to love him enough to do something small. Every time I have an idea, He asks me to go smaller.
I want to turn around my town! No, think smaller. My neighborhood? Smaller. Show kindness to just the people on my street? Yes.
I want to go to Haiti and take pictures of all the orphans and rally all the rich Christian Americans to adopt them! No, smaller Go to Haiti and take pictures? Smaller. Stay home with my children and send some baby dolls to them? Yes.
I want to make friends with all the moms at my kids' school and get them to join Moms in Touch, and cover our school in prayer every week. No, smaller. Gather all the moms on my street? Not small enough. Pray with one mom? Yes.
I'm going to pour myself into my role as a housewife and start a blog called "The Domestication of Anna" and renovate my whole house, and learn to cook, and start a cooking club with my friends, and inspire hundreds of women to do the same. (These are all real examples. I told you small doesn't come naturally!) But God said smaller. Renovate my whole house and learn to cook? Smaller. Clean up and put food on the table? Yes
I ask Him, how is this good? How is this better? How is less more? He doesn't answer me. And I realize, there is a lot of me in those big things. There is a lot of me in the use of my natural talents, even if I give God the glory. And I realize, there is a lot more Him in those little things. If I choose to commit my life to something that does not come naturally to me, because He asked me to, and I succeed--that is only Jesus.
Through this, God is showing me how to worship. I don't know where this is going, but I will keep you in the loop, at least with some of it. I have some big ideas for next year, but already I hear His voice saying, "Smaller." So I guess we'll just have to wait and see how it turns out.
Is there something small He wants from you? Do something small.