The Beauty of Smallness

I'm writing this blog one-handed as my baby sleeps in my other arm. I could probably lay him in his crib, but I know he won't always be this small, so today, I'm going to hold him.

This afternoon, I've been thinking about the beauty of smallness.

Our society often values grand gestures. The expensive car, the huge house, even those of grand physical stature-- the athletes, for instance, and the cover models. But I can't help but think of tiny, scrawny little David going up against Goliath, and I'm reminded that God values the small, whether we value it or not.

When I first found out I was pregnant almost a year ago, I didn't feel like I'd expected. I didn't instantly feel like there was a tiny human growing inside me. I couldn't see a bump until well into my second trimester. I didn't feel hiccups or kicks until then either. The little person on the ultrasound looked more like a coffee bean than my son. I thought the reality of his life would hit me in one fell swoop the minute the test showed two lines. But that didn't really happen until I met him. Instead, I felt surprisingly.... normal. Happy, yes, Thankful, yes. But normal.

The thing is, God invests the grandest purpose into the smallest life and allows it to unfold. To grow. He could have devised a system wherein we were born at our peak physical strength and grew weaker from then on, but He didn't. He created a birth plan--the ultimate birth plan-- where little things grow.

I believe that even the smallest life carries within it value and purpose from the moment of conception. That, in the words of Dr, Suess, "A person's a person, no matter how small."

And I believe the beauty of smallness really goes beyond babies and children and extends into every area of our lives. Zechariah 4:10 tells us not to despise the day of small beginnings.

If the most beautiful thing we partake in-- new life-- starts out so small, what sort of template does that provide for other aspects of our lives? For our careers, our hopes, and our dreams?

Are we throwing away the seeds of our gardens and wondering why we don't see any butterflies?

However small and insignificant your dream and efforts may seem today, do not despise the day of small beginnings. You may feel perfectly normal. You may not see any progress from the outside. Today may mark just another ordinary day of editing your not-yet-sold story, of reading to your children, of investing yourself in your day job. Today may seem so very insignificant that it does not seem to matter at all. But life is growing, and it's beautiful.

Beautifully small.


We're Almost There

Does God ever speak to you when you're least expecting it?

Tonight, my husband and I were driving home from dinner with friends when our new baby got hungry. We weren't in the best part of town where we could pull over to feed him, so we decided to hurry on home. Well, in the meantime, Nate got really upset. I generally feed him pretty immediately when he cries, so I'm not used to being in a situation where I have to listen to him cry when I know what he needs. It was awful. All I could do was hold his little hands and try to comfort him, hoping to make him feel better.

"I understand," I found myself saying. "I know you're hungry. But we're almost there. I know you can't understand that, because you don't know what my words mean yet. But we're almost home."

And then it hit me.

That is exactly what God says to me and you.

For me, this especially applies to writing. Maybe you're in the same boat. It can be hard to keep faith in your goals some days, when it feels like nothing is changing.

Some days, I find myself in the car, so to speak, and crying, "God, don't you understand? Why aren't you doing something? Can't you hear me?"

Meanwhile, we're already in the car, on our way. And God is holding my fragile hands, and He's saying, "I do understand. But we're almost there. I know you can't understand that, because you don't know what my words mean yet. But we're almost home."