From the Nest: Think Small

by | From the Nest

I know our culture tells us to think big, dream big, do amazing things, change the world.

And I’m not saying there isn’t merit to all of those things.  But over the past week, I’ve found myself retreating.  I want to be informed, I want to know how and what to pray specifically for.  I want to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

But, this week, as I tried to become informed, look for specific ways that I can pray, and think of what I can do…it was crushing.  I simply am not designed to be able to carry the weight of the world I don’t believe that I am meant to live a life of sadness and overwhelming despair, even though the world looks a lot like that right now. 


I don’t think you are either.


So where does that leave us? 

Overwhelmed, hurting, frustrated, even angry.  Discouraged and disheartened by the many, MANY things that are so far out of any control we could ever gather.  Distraught, scared, and anxious.  Heartbroken.

A quick Google search and the KJV search results posted by Edison Williams tell us this about what God says:

  • Fear not: Found 62 times
  • Fear ye not: Found 8 times
  • Be not afraid: Found 26 times
  • Not be afraid: Found 13 times
  • Nor be afraid: Found 2 times
  • Neither be afraid: Found 3 times
  • Dread not: Found 2 times
  • Neither fear: Found 2 times
  • Neither/nor/not be dismayed: Found 10 times
In the education world, we are reminded often to phrase things in the positive.  For example, instead of saying, “Please don’t run inside,” I could say, “Remember to walk inside and we can run when we go outside.”  (Please do not ask how many times I forget this in my classroom! Ha!)

I find that sometimes I need my reminders in the positive too.  Such as:

                 “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

                 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks.” I Thessalonians 5:16-17

And my personal favorite:

                       “The Lord your God is with you.  He is mighty to save.  He will rejoice over you with singing and quiet you with His love.” Zephaniah 3:17

And yet, has anyone else had a hard time feeling quieted this week?

And where does that leave my response?  What even is the right response, in light of the hundreds of ways God tells us to be anxious for nothing, to rejoice in all things, and to choose joy?

I am not a theologian.  I’m not a Bible study director.  I do not claim to have any knowledge or experience or expertise to pass along to you, much less any answers.

But if I may, I’d love to share the quiet response of my heart this week…or past 18 months.

Do the next thing for the immediate sphere of influence around me.


Can I control everything that happens, even within the walls of my home?  Absolutely not.  But I am convinced, even passionate, about this: I cannot change the world.  However, I have an eternal responsibility to lead those right around me in grace, hope, joy, and faith in an all-knowing, un-changing God.

In my limited knowledge and perspective, I can’t help but wonder if each of us did what we could for those right around us…in our homes, our place of work, the cashier at the grocery store, the bank teller…to spread goodness, kindness, and the love of Jesus…what would that world look like?
So, I actually cannot control what that world would look like.  I can be the gatekeeper of my own home.  To a large extent, I can shut the world out and make sure that our home is a peaceful haven.  In doing so, I believe I can lead my children in goodness.
Am I proposing a complete and total sheltering of children?  Absolutely not.  There is a time and place for age-appropriate conversation.  There is also a time to hang it all up outside the door and do our best to fill our home with love and joy.
If the weight of the world feels extra crushing this week, may I ask you to consider pausing?  Taking a step back?  Refocusing on YOUR mission?  Commit to spreading kindness and joy and love and grace to whomever you connect with this week?

Think small about the circle where you actually can make a difference.  The circle where you can have a great influence.  The circle where you are the gatekeeper.

Much love from our nest.













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