Wednesday, July 30, 2014

small steps

I recently finished a book that has stayed with me.  Has that ever happened to you? I can count on my two hands the combined total of talks and books that have so deeply stayed with me and in quiet moments of my day (the rare occasion of those begs for my brain to start running wild! Oh my! It's my turn to listen to my thoughts... how exciting!) I find myself thinking on the talks I heard and books I've read.  There aren't many that come to mind during those quiet moments (when I've locked myself in the bathroom).

The book (to get back to point) is called Restless.  It's a book about finding purpose and significance right where you are in life.  It. Is. Fantastic.  I'll admit, when I saw the book and had it in my hands I was a little skeptical.  Sorry Jennie Allen but it's true.  I wondered if she would give me the five steps to finding purpose or seven habits significant people have.  Worse, I was worried that I would feel my heart stirred by this book but be super overwhelmed with life.  I wondered if this was a terrible time to start reading a book about finding your purpose when I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with two wild and crazy toddlers running around the house with chocolate on their hands and underwear on their heads (it's happened. They call themselves "superman"... I have nooooo idea).

But I started it, took my time with my bestie Kelli and finished it post-Love Bug's arrival.

And. It. Was. Life. Changing.

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing different about my life... I still have said crazy toddlers that usually do have something sticky and staining on their hands while having underwear/t-shirts/pants/socks/whateverelsetheycanfind on their bodies where "normal" people don't usually place them.  I am knee high in toys as I write this (didn't we just clean this room?) and I smell a little bit like old milk and dirty diapers (I swear I've showered).  So nothing on the outside of my life, the life you can see when you look at me, has changed.

But inside my heart, something has awoken and been stirred.  A small kindled flame perhaps but it's there.

As a dreamer I am ready to pounce on whatever God wants me to do. I am ready to board a plane, serve in a village where I am fed bugs and learn from people whose lives are so completely opposite of mine. I am ready to get my hands in dirty.

But God has been good to show me that there may come a time for that.  But for today I must be faithful in what I've been given while still keeping my head up and eyes open for opportunities around me.

Small steps. Not giant leaps but small, minuscule even, steps towards the Greater and the Bigger in life.  You don't have to cross an ocean to see there are needs around you.  I forget that sometimes.

My small steps have included researching new ways to get involved with the world from my home.  Learning about Noonday Collection a company that uses fashion and design to create economic opportunity for the vulnerable.  Imagine making purchases you already make and knowing you're making a difference.

Small steps that led me to International Justice Mission where I can learn more about the world's condition and how to pray and get involved from my chair where I nurse my sweet baby.  It's crazy exciting to think small steps can lead my heart around my community, around my state, around my nation and even the world where I can make a difference.

Small steps that have encouraged me to read more books about real people living in real situations that are different and scarier than my situation.  Yes, I know I am proving my naivety but pray for me. I am learning.

Small steps that have led me to a new study on Justice by She Reads Truth.  Today's reading by IJM founder and president Gary A. Haugen said, "And even when the darkness seems pitch black, there are ways that the smallest light can begin to change everything."

I wanna be that small light. Even the smallest light can still shine into darkness...

And I am reminded that small steps are better than no steps.  Small steps may be slow and invisible to those around me but to me and to those in my "every day" the small steps are everything.

I'm curious... have you read any books that have stayed with you? Or made any small steps recently? 

Whatever steps you are making, know that being faithful to those small steps could change the world someday!

**My humble descriptions of the books, study and organizations above are in no way a complete portrayal of any of them.  I included links and can provide as much information on any of them if you're curious.  I encourage you to explore deeper into any and all of the described above.**

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