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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Think Small

Photo Credit:  Jason Gillman from
My 6-year-old daughter wrote a journal entry for school the other day that I want to share.  The prompt was “When I Grow Up.”  She wrote, “I would have a job and I would go every day.  My job would be a singer in Nashville.  I would live in a small house and have a dog with me.  My dog would be a famous back-up dancer.  I would have a cat that plays the piano.”

She was so excited about her little write-up that day.  She giggled and giggled until she rolled out of her chair at the kitchen table.  Then, she drew a picture to illustrate her creative write-up.   Even more laughs…from her…and from me.

When I was small, I often wondered what it would be like to be an adult.  It was fun to think about the limitless possibilities.  Would I be a spelling teacher (yes, that’s what I wanted to be), astronaut, scientist, business woman, Wonder Woman (remember her?), detective, lawyer, movie star, or Nashville singer?  The sky was the limit in my mind.  I enjoyed thinking BIG and loved letting my imagination wildly flow.

I also wondered what it would be like to hear the words “I love you, Mommy” come out of my own child’s mouth if I ever had a child.  I remember seeing moms in church running their fingers through their child’s hair while listening to the pastor.  Even when I was small, I longed to do that one day with my own kids.  I even had a journal in which I wrote down all the cool names that I might choose for my children one day.  For some reason, I often thought about having twins or triplets and how awesome that might be to name them with rhyming names.  At that time, however, I didn’t think much about the raising-them-part…only the naming-them-part.  Ha!

Anyway, I like thinking big.  I really do.  After reading over my daughter’s note about her BIG dream of becoming a Nashville singer with a famous dog dancer and piano-playing-kitty; I did notice an interesting word mixed in there.  Small.  She wants a SMALL house.  What?!  Why small?  All those big dreams and she wants a small house.  Hmmm…I remember wanting a mansion as a kid.  Did anyone out there play “MASH” with their friends, where the M was mansion, A was apartment, S was shack, and H was house?  Anyway, I played it very often with my friends and I was always ultra-bummed when the M was marked out as an option for my future living arrangement.

Of course, now, a mansion just means a whole lot to clean.  But, at the time, I loved the grandiose idea.  I asked my daughter why she wanted a small house.  She said that she wanted to have a small house because she would need a bunch of land around her in order to build her stage area for her singing. She didn’t want the house to take up too much of the space.  She needed more room for the dream part...the goal…her place to shine.

Lent is on many minds as we are one week into it at this point.  Did those seven days linger for you or did they fly by?  How about those Lenten resolutions?  I thought this might be a good time to focus on the word…small.  Why?  Well, sometimes we need to take baby steps.  We need to think small for a moment.  Did we pile too many things onto our “Things I Want to Give Up or Do More Of During Lent” list?  If so, then we might be tempted to throw in the towel about now if we haven’t accomplished what we intended.

Maybe we need to re-visit our list or take a few moments to re-focus and re-commit?  Maybe God is wanting us to make ourselves smaller so that He can be bigger in our lives during Lent?  Maybe He just needs us to leave Him some room for a place to shine His light?

Is there something that’s weighing so heavy on our hearts that it’s crippling us?  Is the weight so big that it seems impossible to carry another step?  I say let’s hand the weight over and let the Lord help us carry it.  With His mighty strength, I’m sure our big weight will be small to Him.  We can hand the load over in small increments or all at once.  Either way…the Lord can handle it.  I’m certain of it.

Think small.  Small steps.  Small changes.  Big difference.

Technically, lots of small steps can add up to accomplishing a marathon.  Lots of small acts of kindness can add up to changing lives.  Lots of small prayers can add up to miracles.  Lots of small sacrifices can add up to powerful love.  Lots of small moments of thanking God can add up to a greater connectedness with Him.  Lots of small “whatever” can add up.  One “small” at a time.

I’ll leave you with these ten small words.  Small words with big meaning, that is.  I read this quote the other day and I love it.  “Don’t judge others just because they sin differently than you.”  It’s a wonderful reminder during this Lenten Season.

As far as my daughter’s dancing canine and her fancy feline that can tickle the ivories…I’ll keep you posted.  Surely you’ll want to visit her in her small house one day for an autograph of her famous furry friends!

Have a wonderful week, Sunshines!

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