A “Going Small” Day
Yesterday was a “going small” day. It was one of those days wherein I found myself on edge, constantly snapping at my various family members for the slightest offenses.
Around midday, when I realized what I was doing, I recalled Isaiah 30:21 and decided to take it to heart and literally take my day step by step: “Lord, what should I do now?” I constantly found myself asking. I needed His guidance throughout the minutiae of my day in order to not continue my cycle of unkindness with my family.
This is kind of “a thing” God and I need to do on a regular basis. We “go small” and just take life one step at a time. It helps me not to feel so overwhelmed by everything on my plate. And it helps me receive not only His guidance, but also His grace and forgiveness along the way.
You see, it is Spring Break and my family and I have spent the week up at a friend’s cabin in the California Sierra Mountains. Thanks to a storm that just hit, there is a couple feet of fresh powder on top of the already deep snow that was here when we arrived. It is absolutely stunning.
We have built a snow-slide out back and, yesterday, we were taking turns going down it on saucers. Which is supposed to be fun— except it wasn’t because I was acting like a royal “B” to everyone.
And so, once I came to my senses and admitted to myself that I was the one making this miserable for everyone, this is what I did: I got down on my knees at the top of the snow-slide while everyone else was building a snow fort at the bottom, and I asked God to help me “Isaiah 30:21 style.”
And on a beautiful snow-covered vacation day I did my best to follow His lead.
And here are the types of things He told me:
- He told me to go down the slide and look for ways to make it better— He knew that task would give me the sense of solitude and purpose I would need to help me get over my hump of self-centeredness.
- He urged me to listen to my son’s raspy little voice— He knew its sweet gruffness would drive me to gratitude and bring me joy.
- He nudged me to apologize to my daughter for being so short with her. And He told me to talk with my husband and acknowledge the fact that “I’ve got some issues today.” In both cases, the humility of confession (and their eager forgiveness) helped me feel just a little bit lighter.
- He even had me go down the slide a few more times— just for the fun of it.
And, after each little act of obedience, a bit more peace and buoyancy was born inside myself.
I was even kinder and more fun for awhile.
But as the day marched on, I found myself at my limit again. I was acting like an impatient, unkind fool once again.
I found myself needing to tune in for short-term Isaiah 30:21 marching orders again. “Lord, what now? Which way, Father?” I asked every minute or two.
And He led me to this: I apologized some more, I took a shower, I fed the dog, and I got to work on a puzzle that reminded me of last summer’s splendid family vacation. These simple, small acts, initiated by God, brought wholeness and healing to my soul. (And finding a few moments of quiet and solitude was absolute medicine for my introverted, stillness-starved self.)
And then the climax of it all came: God reminded me that I had been wanting to listen to worship music all week and hadn’t yet done it. So I clicked on the Lauren Daigle Pandora station while I put my puzzle together and let the music minister to me.
After a few songs, this came on:
Lord, I come, I confess / Bowing here I find my rest / Without You I fall apart / You’re the One that guides my heart / Lord, I need You, oh, I need You / Every hour I need You / My one defense, my righteousness / Oh God, how I need You / Where sin runs deep Your grace is more / Where grace is found is where You are / And where You are, Lord, I am free / Holiness is Christ in me / So teach my song to rise to You / When temptation comes my way / When I cannot stand I’ll fall on You / Jesus, You’re my hope and stay
I was embarrassed to sing aloud, but I couldn’t help myself. This song is my reality. The lyrics are my heart’s cry. Yesterday and every day.
I sung loud and let my family hear me crying out to God for help at the kitchen table.
After I finished the puzzle, I strapped on my snowboots and headed out the door for a walk. The silent snow everywhere – untouched and clean – and the fresh air in my lungs soothed me.
I was alone. And quiet. And not screwing up for the moment. Ahhhh…
I breathed deep and let God tend to me. I let Him speak truth to me and wash me clean and scrub my soul so that it came to look like the beautiful white snow that surrounded me.
And all I could say in response to it all was this:
Lord, I need You. Oh, how I need You.
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What about you?
How do you personally connect with God in the midst of your everyday failings? Can you share about a time or season you felt either particularly loved or particularly led by God?
Please share your journey in the comment section below.