Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On feeling small, ...

... wanting to be heard and known and the green-eyed monster.

How's that for a title? I had to divide it up to even make it fit right! And, here comes the part where I just admit that these are things that have been on my heart lately. Truthfully, it is not all pretty - but I'm ready to admit and learn from it and move forward and I'm sort of betting that I'm not the only one who has felt some of these things - so here goes ...

Confession: sometimes I look at other bloggers who are making a BIG impact or who have a BIG influence and I feel very small. Sometimes I feel left out. I look at the ways God is using them and wish it were me. And, I look at them gathering {with a little jealousy} and wish I was missed.

I told you this wasn't pretty and I'm sad that these thoughts have even crossed my mind - but if I'm honest - they have.

I sit at lunch with my littles and wish I could tell someone that Samuel is having an MRI tomorrow {more on this tomorrow} and I'm nervous about it. And, I realize that I am just like a little child who says the same thing over and over until they know they are heard. Although, sometimes I'm just saying it over and over to myself in my head.

A friend who always looks so pretty has me longing to be prettier or more fashionable.

And, then on a day when I least expect it - God reminds me that I made a mom smile today and asked a few others how they were and listened. And, I was reminded of this. He reminds me that there aren't big and small in His employ - just faithful and unfaithful. He reminds me that I have spent time snuggling and reading stories and fulfilling little childish requests just to serve my children.

Oh, how I want to be among the faithful! Faithful in whatever He has provided me to do whether it be big or small. And, by the way - how am I measuring big or small - in man's economy or in God's? Ahem.

I am reminded of a time when I was working at Glen Eyrie - I was the Guest Services Manager - a job I had not asked for or sought. And, honestly - a job I wasn't enjoying all that much. I loved parts of it - but felt like I was putting out fires all the time. So, I was open and talked with my supervisors about how I was struggling. {Note: this is a benefit of the relationships I had and of the fact that this was a Christian organization!}

My supervisors came back with three or four options of other things that they thought might be a good fit still at Glen Eyrie. And, I remember driving over to Garden of the Gods one day and just really seeking the Lord about what He wanted me to do whether there or somewhere else. And, I will never forget the answer - as I processed all the things I enjoyed, felt good at, giftings, etc... I sensed so clearly that God had wired me to make others lives easier.

I remember telling this to my boss' wife much later - about how God showed me that making his life easier was what He had for me in that time. Doing what I was asked to do without complaint as much as possible, looking for ways of easing without always having to be told, organizing and being diligent and just being faithful in the work provided.

And, you know - I think it is still true today. I serve my husband and family to make their lives happier and easier {more peaceful} - but this does not mean that I am not teaching my children to work! It means that I do not set them up for failure but try to think through what would set them up for success.

Is Emily capable of the chore I'm going to ask her to do? Are my expectations realistic?

For others too - I love to catch little ideas in what others say of ways to bless or encourage them and then do it! Someone mentions a really busy day - can I bring dinner? And all of a sudden, when He reminds me of these things - I consider it an honor to serve Him in this way! Supporting, encouraging, serving, loving.

Here is the bottom line: I must be myself. My mom has always been SO good at reminding me to be true to myself, and be who God made me to be.

Let that sink in: God made me to be each of the things I am. And, if I'm so busy comparing or wishing for something other than who I am - I will miss out on so much. I will really miss the calling and opportunities that God has for me.

I'll close with this Scripture and please be reminded that I am processing and speaking to myself here most of all. I am not in any way pointing a finger at anyone else. If anything, I am preaching to my own heart and mind to hear the truths of these words.

Be encouraged. Be faithful in His calling to you. No matter how small - it is not lost in God's eyes.

Colossians 3:23-24,
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

40 comments:

Lisa said...

Monica, this spoke right to my heart!!! Thank you so much for your transperancy. This was an incredible encouragement! I just really can't even tell you how much! I will pray for your little guy and you as you're preparing for his MRI. God bless you~

bretswife1 said...

Your posts are always a blessing to me and so many others. I often have the green eyed monster when I see the beauty you create in your home with your crafts and special times with your children. You are a dear lady in Christ who is a wonderful example to many of us. Praying for little man during the MRI.I so wish we lived closer because I would often visit you!

becka said...

I will be praying for Samuel as he has his MRI--perhaps he will think of it as an adventure!
Keeping a home running smoothly and meeting the needs of a young family is a very important job. This frees your husband to do his best at his job knowing that things are well at home. (Proverbs 31:11) It's easy to get discouraged by the never-ending chores associated with home-making, but your work is vital and things do get easier as your children mature and can do more for themselves.

flyonthewall said...

Monica, thank you for this reminder - it is so very important for each of us. I would also like to note that your blog is the only one that I try to read daily. It is actually the only blog I follow. I have seen "the others" with their very popular followings and the many, many, many.... things they seem to accomplish. And I am sure they are an incredible blessing to so many people. However, your blog, your family, the life you lead, the goals you desire, your walk with the Lord - they all seem so much more real to me - let's say the "simple" life that I can also enjoy in my little corner of the world. Please don't take that as condescending ("simple" life); I just mean that it reminds me of the very real ways that I can impact those around me for the Lord, that I do not have to impact the masses. That I simply must be faithful where I am. Period. He will bring the increase and the blessings. God bless you, Monica, as you seek to serve Him and be faithful where you are! YOU are an encouragement to so many!

alex lynn-smith said...

Hi-was just dropping by to check out your blog (which I think is lovely) and had to comment tho' I haven't done so before.
Its so easy to feel like you're not doing well when you look at what others are doing! we are ALL prey to that feeling, even in the realm of service to God. But, it certainly seems to me that you have a lucid, perceptive, original take on being a Mom, finding Beauty in little things etc and making life imaginative for your family. These rare qualities are ones others may lack. You are doing a fine job and don't doubt it for a moment!! Also, I am sure the Lord knows and notices those times when we have to swallow hard, and keep backstage.
All the best, and especially to your little boy when he has his scan. Tell us how it went!(BTW, I have found it useful when having an MRI because of migraines, to keep eyes shut **throughout***the process and imagine a tempting scene, vividly. Its less claustrophobic! you can help by talking your son through it) xx

Lisa N said...

Monica,
You are such a special person and your posts hit home all to often for me. Thank you for your thoughts and words of wisdom.
I will be keeping Samuel and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
Blessings,
Lisa

Anonymous said...

Monica, I'm an older lady with three children that are grown with their own households now, and it truly does my heart and soul good to see young people seeking the Lord in all that they do. The time spent at home with your children is a upward call--enjoy it while you can--all too soon those little ones will have families of their own. Your desire to have a smooth running household, a haven for your husband and children is truly commendable in today's hectic lifestyle. I've only been reading your blog a few weeks, but it is truly an inspiration to me.

Lauren(in Savannah) said...

Monica,

I think all of us feel like you mentioned at times. I for one LOVE your blog and always feel refreshed when I read it. God made you just the way you are and it would be an awful boring world if we all were the same. Praying for your little boy today......

Agnes said...

Oh Monica, I am one of those mom you make smile when I read your blog. You are such a role model. Thank you so much for sharing.
I'll pray for the MRI tomorrow. Take care and take care of your lovely family.
Love

Wendi said...

I believe we all feel this way from time to time. You have more of an impact then you know. You don't have to be part of a big conference or going on grand mission trips to make an impact. Your little spot on the web has encouraged me in ways you will never know.

As I read this post I keep thinking of Jer 29:11. Maybe the plan the Lord has for you is to love Him deeply, raise godly children, care for your husband, be a great friend and encourage those you may never meet to do the same.

Praying that everything is fine with Samuel!

JennyLynn said...

you brought to mind of a time when I felt the same way about blogging. I had been blogging friends with a now famous blogger at one time. We would leave comments on each others blogs from time to time. When she switched from blogger to a (.) com, that is when the comments ended. There are so many people following her, that she has no time to visit all of them. God reminded me of my purpose. So, now I read others blogs and enjoy their goodness. I don't worry about the comments or who is following anymore. I blog for me. It is a record of my journey with my family. It is also a way for my extended family who live all over the world to keep in touch.

Sorry this is so long, you stuck a cord in my heart this morning.

You always inspire me! I will keep Samuel in my prayers today and you as well. May you be comforted as well.

Mary Ann said...

You are a blessing to so many of us, Monica! But what you spoke of is most likely true of most of us. I know I have those feelings from time to time. I don't like it but it is true! Praying for your precious Samuel and you for his MRI.

South Girl in the West said...

You make a difference in my life! Each day i read and ponder on your thoughts, they are touching and you ARE an instrument in Christs hands for me! I also feel small in my calling as a wife and mother somedays, but what a blessing it is to be reminded of how God would have it no other way for me (or you) at this time in our lives! Your impact is NOT small, you touch countless lives everyday!

Mom said...

Dearest Monica,

"I ask Thee for the daily strength, to none that ask denied, a mind to blend with outward life, while keeping at Thy side, content to fill a little space, if Thou be glorified."

This is the third verse of the hymn "Father, I Know That All My Life" found in the Trinity Hymnal. That last phrase is especially pertinent for your blog post today. There is no question that you glorify Him with your blog (as well as other areas of your life). You may never know how far-reaching your blog is or will be. (Remember the times you've been visiting here or elsewhere and people have recognized you from your blog photo -- or comments from readers who admit they don't usually comment but love your blog??)

Thank you for remembering that I have encouraged to be true to yourself -- the person God made you to be. And in the words of Mr. Rogers (paraphrased!) -- I love you just the way you are!! :)

Love you lots, Mom

PS: We're praying for all of you as you go for Samuel's MRI tomorrow.

Jennifer said...

The comparison game is so dangerous, I think we all fall prey to it, I know I do on a regular basis.

Everything you do is so beautiful and lovely. To hear that you feel inadequate sometimes is encouraging to me because sometimes I think I am the only one who ever feels that way.

I am praying for Samuel, and for you that you will blessed, strengthened, encouraged, and refreshed. Thank you for the encouragement and beauty you bring to my life through your blog!

Katie said...

Hebrews 6:10
1 Corinthians 15:58
Both of those verses came to mind as I read your post.♥

I will be praying for sweet Samuel (and you) tomorrow!

I have two encouragements on this topic that I have heard preached from the pulpit ~ one just last night in fact, and one awhile ago.

Last night, the evangelist preached on Hebrews 11. He worked through several of the stories of faith of the notable Bible names, and then he highlighted the folks at the end of the chapter, verses 36-39. These folks were steadfast in their faithfulness to our Lord and endured great persecution, yet they remained unnamed, their names not even recorded in Scripture, yet they were true to their God. This challenged my heart!!

Lastly, our pastor much earlier this year preached on "Hur" in the Bible. He was not one of the "great heroes" of the Bible, meaning not noted but just this once, yet he played a very significant role (Exodus 17:12) in helping physically support and stay up Moses hands to hold up the rod until the job was finished that the Lord commanded. This fellow servant helped to perform a task for the Lord quietly and faithfully. Our pastor highlighted all the folks, even in our church, that do the behind-the-scenes work that no one else but the Lord may see, just like you suggested. I've determined since that sermon I want to be not only a "her" but a "Hur" for the Lord!

I can tell you that I know the Lord is using you through this blog ~ evidenced in my own walk with Him!

Sweet blessings to you as you serve our wonderful Lord with all the creative talents he's blessed you with dear friend,
Katie

2 Corinthians 4:7 :)

Nancy said...

Oh Monica, I completely feel as you. I'm going to confess how I wish I was as good a writer and photographer as YOU! There is so much I see in you I admire and you are an inspiration to me. I wish my blog was more like yours. One of the things I think is such a treasure is that you have made your blog the most beautiful scrapbook for your children. So I try not to envy, but I do admire you and I get more out of your blog than the "big" blogs that are out there and I'm always happy to see when you have written a new post.
One of the things I have always secretly desired is to be famous/looked up to in some way. I try to place it in God's hands, my wish, and accept where He has me at this moment in time and I know He is using me in a special way just as He is using you to His glory. Anyway, I completely understand your feelings. What you write I take to heart and through your sharing, it helps me be a better person.
We will pray for your little Samuel.
Blessings...

Anonymous said...

You are beautiful inside and out!! Thank you for encouraging us! With love in Christ.

Anonymous said...

What is so refreshing about you and your blog is how honest you are, how humble you are, and how "real" you are.
Yes, there are blogs that have huge followings, but what I have noticed about most of them is the theme is decorating. Some talk about "simple living" but their lives seem to be complex and they are overwhelmed by things. Some are very talented when it comes to creating cute vignettes, but
they seem to have a need for more and more "stuff". Some talk about how they are struggling financially, and then show the latest purchases.
You are a very talented woman. You are pretty and it isn't makeup that creates your attractiveness. You are doing what you were meant to do. Don't question your worth.
nancyr

2plustwinsmom said...

Monica, Thank you for this post. It really spoke to me to remember that we should do all for Him and nothing else!

I think this is one of the very few comments I've made because normally I'm a lurker! However, just know I love your blog! You encourage me so much!

So, thanks. Your ministry here is a blessing to me! I'll be praying for your little guy and his MIRI tomorrow! *hugs*

stephanie @ Simple Things said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. Comparisons and jealousy are things I struggle with as well and it robs me of the beauty : ) there is in daily being with my family and taking care of their needs.

Melissa said...

Monica,
Thank you so much for posting this today! I am struggling with similar things and have been praying for answers. I am just trying to remember that God's ways are not mine. He knows that my heart aches each day and will supply the answers in His time.

Blessings to you and prayers for the MRI tomorrow,
Melissa

Abbi said...

Thank you for your words. I can relate with your struggles as I have had some them as well. Thanks for sharing! May we all strive to grow more togeher.

angie said...

The title of your blog contains the word "heart", because that is where you write from.
Your sphere of influence is "as far as the east is from the west" because you allow God to direct your steps.
We should feel small, but never insignificant, in His presence.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is always the one I save for last each day. It conveys true honest feelings. There is not a holier than thou attitude. I would rather read your "small" blog than any of the flashier ones any day. Thank you for your honesty. Your daily thoughts spread much joy!

I hope the MRI gives the results you are hoping to hear.

Blessings,
Lisa

Elise said...

I know it is so easy to give into this sort of attitude. I am pretty certain that to others, *that* blog is your's, the one that is so inspiring, getting things made that are so cute, etc. I know I've felt that way. I read on a quote on a blog once, "Comparison is a thief of joy."
Praying for Samuel...
Elise

Kathy said...

Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I have some of the same struggles, so it helps to know I am not alone.

I have to remind myself that comparison is the thief of joy.

oh and you helped me decide to sponsor a compassion child, so you will never know all the lives that you have touched.

Praying for little Samuel!

barbara said...

Monica, God knows that I needed to hear this today. Just yesterday I was whining about how much I do for someone and I never get recognition for it; how my house is never clean anymore, but my best friend's house is always clean; how I always wear clothing from the thrift store so that I can be frugal, but I just feel frumpy, and ladies around me are decked out; how I can never get enough homeschooling accomplished in a day; etc., etc., etc. THANK YOU for reminding me that God created me uniquely and to glorify HIM!

Lee said...

Monica,
I want to bless you. Your blog ministers to my heart every day for at least three years now. When I know you are going to Colorado, I think about you when you are there. (partly because I'm from the Springs) and partly because God brings your ministry to me to mind. You make an impact. You impact my ministry. And God is using you.

Prayers for precious Samuel. My Gabi has had a few MRI's....I am praying.
Thanks and Love from a friend who you'll probably never meet till heaven.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Monica,
Oh Honey, you are much too hard on yourself. God is using you in so many different ways. You are SO special to Him and to all of us.
You are an encouragement to many including me, in my old age! You
have a far-reaching ministry both in your home, community and in the blog world, as well. You are PRECIOUS in His sight. We do love you just as you are.
I have been praying for you and Samuel re: the MRI tomorrow and will continue to do so. I pray that God will grant you His peace as you make your way to Savannah ...and that He will give the doctors & nurses wisdom and patience to know exactly what to do to calm little Samuel's and your hearts and minds.

I love you dearly, Grandma

Anonymous said...

Monica, you and your words are a blessing to me. Be encouraged; you are making a difference and encouraging others! Today as I delivered a mini bundt cake to our library lady at story time I thought of you -- in the recesses of my mind I thought "hmmm, I'm making the world more like Mitford, kind of like when Monica delivered mini loaf cakes to her neighborhood years ago!" I understand about blog envy and feeling small, and of course we need to deal with envy and ask for God's help with that when it is an issue. However, your blog seems so lovely and full of treasure to me -- I don't think you need to legitimately feel small.
Anyway, I'm a regular reader of yours, I just rarely comment b/c of all the chores and countless to-do lists of my homemaking life here...and there's a baby waking from her nap, I must go.
Thanks for blogging, I appreciate it.

Joy @gracefullmama said...

Sweetie. You are not small and you do not go unnoticed. You have impacted my life in HUGE ways and I love you so much! Thanks for your thoughtful and encouraging words today.
My next and final post in the Sisterhood series (next week) is for you....and me, because we all feel this way sometimes.
Love you sister.

Ginger said...

Monica, you are a beautiful person on the inside and out. I count it an honor to know you. I read your blog everyday. Although our lives are polar opposites, I am encouraged by you each day. I am praying for Samuel. Maybe he can see it as an adventure so he won't be scared.r

Trace said...

Like flyonthewall, your blog is one of the only ones that I follow daily. Your blog to me embodies the scripture 1 Thess 4:11: "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life."
In your quiet, small ways you are inspiring others.... creating ripples in the name of Christ... and make no doubt about it, these ripples are far reaching.
You have certainly inspired me in so many ways over the past couple of years.

Blessings to you Monica,
Trace

Susan said...

Dear Monica,

I just want you to know that of all the blogs that I read, yours is my absolute favorite. I do not know you, but I think you are the kind of person that I would want as one of my closest friends. Thank you for sharing who you are with all of us.

Susan

Senkyoushi said...

Thanks for your honesty. I've been feeling that way myself. This was an encouragement. I'm in an older season of life that you are, but I am always blessed when I visit your blog.

I started a "Pinterest things I have tried" board and was surprised at the things I have tried. Now I don't feel like I a wasting my time! =)

Leanne said...

wow! that post so spoke to ME!I struggle comparing my life to a friend of mine...her house is bigger, she wants to (and is) adopting all these little girls, she homeschools...she still breastfeeds her toddler, she always seems to "feel" God's presence...
I get trapped comparing my life to hers and wanting to measure up...I have boys. I don't think we are having any more children, I never breastfed, I send my kids to school, and lately, I have been dealing with the fires in my own home so much ,that I can't always "feel" the presence of God...yet, I KNOW HE IS HERE! I think this was the perfect post to remind me to be thankful for my own 4 walls, my boys, my life...even with its trials.
We have a BIG doctor's appointment today, too...so I will pray for Samuel as we sit and wait for our appt!
Loved your post, Monica!
Blessins to you!

Crystal said...

What a wonderful post. I only know you through your blog but you are such a blessing to me. After my devotions every morning the first thing I do is check to see if you have posted your blog. You are so encouraging and I can't wait to read what words God has given you today to teach me a little something. Thanks for all you do.

Anonymous said...

Monica, I agree with all these comments. Your post is always the one I look for every day to encourage me. I love your insights and the charm of your home as you share your life with us. I love that you are transparent in ways that you can be to encourage others and show how God is working in you and through you. I don't think it is about how many, many people you reach. Remember God knows what He needs you to do. Let it be in His loving hands and do not fret. I pray that all goes well with the MRI and that God will reveal any issues that need to be resolved with Samuel's eyes.

Please be encouraged by the followers you have that take the love you share and let it light their lives. Thank you for all you do.

Many blessings,
Terri S
Madison WI

joysmallpack said...

Your words... "I love to catch little ideas in what others say of ways to bless or encourage them and then do it! Someone mentions a really busy day - can I bring dinner? And all of a sudden, when He reminds me of these things - I consider it an honor to serve Him in this way! Supporting, encouraging, serving, loving." I love and thrive on this too. I always identify with you when you say, "I know the Lord gave me such and such idea..." I try, too, to be faithful when God pops those ideas into my head of how to serve someone else. And I LOVE doing that and the feeling of being on board with what God is doing that He is inviting me to be a part of. I have always identified with so much of what you share, with your personality. The beginning of this post I totally identified with too- esp. how I long to be HEARD. It is nice to be reminded I'm not alone in little internal struggles such as these... Thank you for sharing your heart, for loving Jesus wholeheartedly so that you have encouragement and warmth to share with others. Thanks be to God for His tenderness to us!!