Summertime Slowing to Live Small

Summer 2016 has definitely been a sweet slow-down for my soul. An extension of my retreat so-to-speak that began when 2015 disappeared from the calendar.

What does it mean to slow our souls?

For me, it means:
  • soaking up a little more sunshine
  • getting lost in the adventure of a good book
  • catching up with friends I haven't seen in a while
  • lingering a little longer in God's Word (with a cup of coffee, of course)
  • enjoying the summer breeze
  • playing games
  • savoring the flavor of a SC grown tomato sandwich
And oh, so much more!

Last evening in my home, girlfriends gathered, leaning in to laugh and relax while enjoying some great food, and the discussion of a really good book.

Simply Tuesday, by Emily P. Freeman is our Summer 2016 Book Club choice. As we go through the book, I'll be blogging about how she challenges us to slow, rest, and soak in the small of living.

Small is always considered extraordinary in Scripture, so why wouldn't we embrace the small in our lives and look for the Kingdom of God there. Emily points out the obvious that the Kingdom of God we are challenged to "seek first" in Matthew 6:33 is right here. Right now. Right where we are.

The author gracefully shows the value in bench dwelling. Through the gifting of a bench in her cul-de-sac, the neighbors begin to slow, sitting for long spells to engage in real conversations. Just like our grandmamas and grandaddies used to do on their front porches, swings and in lawn chairs around the back yard enjoying slow-churned, homemade ice cream.

Forgetting the hustle and bustle we're all addicted to and just embracing the glory of God in the small moments of living brings back into focus what is truly important - people.

Jesus became small to live among us. 
And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger (Luke 2:7 NKJV). Jesus made Himself a small seed, conceived in the small womb of a young virgin by the Holy Spirit, all because God so loved people and would redeem them through Christ.

Jesus became small to bring significance to the insignificant. 
Then He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." Then He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace" (Luke 8:48, 50 NKJV). Jesus acknowledged the incredible faith of an insignificant sinful woman as she anointed her new-found Savior with her tears and very expensive oil in front of the religious zealots. What a tender moment.

Jesus chose the small to reveal the greatness of the Father.  
And they [the disciples] said to Him, "We have here only five loaves and two fish." And He [Jesus] said, "Bring them here to Me." (Matthew 14:17-18) Jesus blessed that small, insignificant offering and provided more than enough for the multitudes to be fed.

Time after time, Jesus acknowledges the small because He knows the great potential the small contains. 

The same is true with us today. We are small, but within us dwells greatness - God's glory, Jesus Christ. 

The insignificant becomes significant when we release our smallness to the Father, through faith in the Son.

Jesus is here, now. He dwells in the souls of His people, now. He lives within us, about us, all around us, now. We can easily miss the small in our striving to have it all. The "all" is not about us doing more to be enough or get enough. None of these will ever be enough.

Only in Christ can our deepest wants or desires be satisfied.

But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33 NKJV).

How about you? Are you tired of always striving for significance? Are you hurrying through life thinking you'll arrive if you can just get to the next bigger and better thing? Spoiler Alert: You'll never get there. Slow down. Even if you don't have your summers off like we did when we were kids, you can still sit a spell on the neighborhood bench, linger awhile, leaning in to the King and His Kingdom, right now, right where you are. He is enough.

My Pleasure,