The Glory of Simple

“Do few things, but do them well. Simple joys are Holy.”
-St Francis of Assisi

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I’m beginning to see the glory of simple. The beauty of small gestures and whispered encouragement. The behind-the-scenes instead of center stage. To love without a microphone, to love without recognition. To do the simple acts of each season without looking to the next.

I become too emerged in the spotlight. I look over to see if I am being noticed, if I can become seen. I glance across to the girl who has an adoring audience and I become angry and jealous. I want applause and compliments, and published works. I want more than I have, more than I am called to right now.

Do trees or vines or plants produce fruit every season? No. There is a time for production, a time for harvest, and a time for rest. I will not always be producing the amount of fruit I believe I need to be.

What will happen if I begin to listen to the Lord and say,
“What you have given is enough?” What If I can believe in daily bread instead of planning to stock my food pantry for month?

This season I am in is about being faithful in the simple things he is asking of me right now. He is asking me to write what I see and am inspired by and not worry about who will or will not read it. He is asking me to continue showing hospitality to anyone who enters my home and to love my husband. Nothing more, nothing less. However, my over achieving tendencies continue to burst into overdrive.
“God, I can do more. I can always do more! See me?”

I need to learn how to rest in simple acts of holiness, embrace the season of behind-the-scenes love, obey what I have been given, and love God through these things instead of striving to achieve recognition.

I continue to feel the Lord say, “Look at me. Just at me. Don’t look anywhere else.” This is what I imagine Jesus saying to Peter as he began to walk on water in Matthew. He begins by looking only at Jesus, but as soon as he looks away he falls. Every time I look away from Jesus, I start to see the people around me and compare what they are doing to what I am doing. That is when I fall. Although I fall, He always picks me up.
“Oh you of little faith! Don’t you trust the love I have for you?”

When I look away I feel the overwhelming tidal wave of earning, striving and making my own way, but when I look at him, oh when I look at him, I remember. I remember who He is. I remember his voice, the way he takes care of me, and the way he calls me worthy, important, enough.

Simple joys are holy. I want to embrace the simple and embrace the holy. To do only what he is asking of me right now in this season, and not worry about what’s coming or what was. I want to find joy in the life of daily bread desiring to be full on this day alone.

No more striving, comparing or coveting someone else’s season. This season is mine, I am His and nothing can replace the things he is giving me right now.

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Just be better.

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I have been in this mindset lately of “doing better”.  My heart has been restless because if I could just be better, do better than I could have peace.  I have been scratching desperate prayers into my journal so that God will change me.  If I just learn to control my emotions I could be perfect.  If I can stop eating sugar I could be perfect. If I could stop hurting my husband by my constant selfishness I could be perfect, and then I will finally be a woman who has it all together.  I will have it all together and I will be worthy of love, I won’t have to keep saying sorry; I won’t have to keep asking for forgiveness.

My sweet Savior listens to my desperate prayers and directs me to words he spoke to the same striving disciples almost 2,000 years ago. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. His gentle voice beckons my weary soul; come, my beloved, you are striving for love you already have.  You are striving for perfection that only I can claim.

My own brokenness laid out, my need to control left at the feet of the one who pulls me close and tells me who I am.  No matter how hard I strive to have it all together, I will not get there.  I am not meant to be there. I am meant to lean in to the whisper.

“I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away.” Shuana Niequist

Jesus didn’t come for me to be perfect; he didn’t come so that I would strive to be perfect.  He came so I could see that I wasn’t perfect and that I desperately needed him to save me.  He waits and listens to my prayers and my mixed up heart and still loves me.  He is perfect, he has the control and he knows my name.  That is all I need, to know he hears and he knows.