Monday, July 9, 2012

Pebbles in her Pocket and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

It's time to pull up your chair.  Do you know you have one here in this space we call Soli Deo Gloria?  You do.  It's reserved every week only for you.  This place would be different if you weren't here and we miss you when you are gone.  This is a place filled with women who seek to honor your words, you heart, your tears, and your laughter.  Scooch in close.  You won't want to miss a word.
To read more about the Soli Deo Gloria community, please click here.

Also, SDG retreat registration is live!!  There are only 50 spots total, so please, get your registration in early so you don't miss out.
Pinterest
Last week's post seemed to strike a chord with many people.  Through all the comments and encouragement, it became very clear to me that I am not alone on this journey of surrender, or more specifically, this journey of surrendering small.

I pause as I write this, imagining what surrendering small looks like to God.  I picture a little girl approaching Jesus, pebbles in her hands, offering them up, and then laying them down at His feet.  On either side of Jesus are larger rocks, even a few boulders, things that this little girl has already offered up.  One rock says "house."  This little girl already knows that if God were to say "move," well, as sad as it would be, she'd pack the boxes, sell the house, and go wherever it is that God says to go.  Another rock says "jobs," and while the little girl has been obedient, giving up several jobs in order to move more fully onto the path that God has for her, she still has a pebble in her hand that says "monetary savings" to which she clings.

It occurs to me in this vision, that there are pebbles everywhere.  Those that are in her hand, she is close to spreading at the feet of Jesus.  But she still has stockpiles of pebbles in her apron, in her pockets, and scattered around the trail on which she walks.  There will always be pebbles to surrender, some old, some new, some she had already given away once or twice or even twenty times.
via Pinterest

What makes it so hard to lay the little things at His feet?  What is the hardest thing for me to give up right now and why do I not want to lay the pebble down?

What about you?  Is there a pebble you try to hide?  Maybe you stuff it in your apron?  Maybe you think you can hold onto it because you think you have surrendered enough big things that the little ones make nary a difference?

I can rationalize away most anything.  If God says something like, "Please don't spend so much time linking to other blogs just to get comments," I say something in return like, "But they are my guest posts and I want my guest posters to be known and heard and loved.  I'm just doing it for them.  Plus, it doesn't really take that much time, you know."

But if I stop my blabbering for a few minutes, if I stay really still and listen, I hear this:

Jen, do you think I need you in order for your guest posters to be known and heard and loved?  Do you not think that I can prompt my people to come visit them in your space?  Do you not think that I can whisper to them, lead them, show them?  And what about that other motivation you have?  Do you fear that if this guest poster (or perhaps even yourself when you link your posts) doesn't receive comments, perhaps you will think that you will be poorly reflected?  Perhaps you will feel judged or unloved or unknown?


Perhaps, yes.

This little rock, the small pebble labelled "blog link-ups" is in my hand and must be laid down in love at the foot of Jesus.  I know that there will be a time again when I can link my posts, but first, God has to refine this avenue of getting out my words.  He has to put in through the strainer and catch all the ties to pride.

This may not be your pebble, but I'm sure you have them -- other pebbles with other names.  They may seem so small, so insignificant, and yet, He wants them still.  Sometimes we may not understand why we must let them go, but all the same, we must lay them down in love, in honor of our God, who wants only the best for us.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.  And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.       1 John 2: 15-17
Sweet friends, this does not mean that Soli Deo Gloria will stop.  Soli Deo Gloria will continue to be a space for YOU to come link up and share your heart.  All this means is that I am not going to link my posts with other link-up parties for the time being until God teaches me what He wants me to learn through this act of surrender.

SDG Community Builder:  1)  Here at SDG we have small groups!  If you would like more info about this, please click here.  If you would like to join a small group, please leave me a note in the comments or email me at jenfergie2000@me.com.  2) If you are new, please write "I'm New!" as your caption so we may come and give you a bit of extra linky love and extend a warm SDG welcome.  3)  Register.  For the incredibly awesome retreat that we are planning for October.   

28 comments :

  1. Surrendering the small things--you've captured the struggle well with this illustration.

    So good to be back. Looking forward to catching up with the sisterhood here. And, you're so right--God doesn't NEED any of us. May He give each of us wisdom to know how and where to serve (and when to rest). Hugs.

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  2. Jen...I love your heart...surrendering the small things...if we are faithful with little...we will be faithful with much...He has had me in this “school “ for a while...small moments...small decisions...slowly building muscles...muscle that will hold us when we need to surrender the big...hard things...we will not collaspe ...but we will be strong in the Lord. May you know how and when to open you hands and heart to all He is asking...blessings and thank you so much for living honest here.

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  3. Oh, Jen, I feel like God's been echoing that conversation in my ear. Blogging can be a simmering pot for hidden pride or an empty page upon which the Lord can write. Somedays I'm just a pot; other days, by His grace, an empty page. I applaud your faithful walk. As my husband has said to me for years, "Jesus is your platform, honey.... not blog numbers!" Love your heart and your grace. Blessings to you, dear friend.

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  4. Jenn thank you so much for this honest post on surrender. This ministered to me and made me convicted also. I love reading even more after having met you and experienced your beautiful spirit in person. Praying for you
    Jenn Hand

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  5. Being faithful, being steadfast...in all that God calls us to be and do takes me to my knees tonight, dear Jen. This was hard for me to read as I felt God tugging at me to take many pebbles out of pockets and socks and bags and give them to Him. In thinking about what they ALL are, my human mind has gone blank. I don't want to know, do I? I don't know how to face God with things I don't even understand. So, I am called to sit still, in silence, with the God of All. He will draw me close and will make these pebbles clear to me. Thank you for your wisdom and honesty, for your open heart. I am thankful I came tonight.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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  6. What a beautiful heart Jen!! Thanks for giving us a glimpse. :)

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  7. Jen, I understand holding on to things. Right now I am holding on to hurt caused by someone I loved so much. I cannot seem to let it go and it is eating me away. It, like your pebble, is something I need to lay daily at God's feet until I no longer pick it up again.

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  8. Ah, take a really deep breath - and let go of all those shoulds and oughts and performance demands. You just need to be obedient to what God calls you to, to what God offers you. You are so caring, Jen, and that is a lovely thing. But some of that caring has to be directed toward you. Protect your quiet space, your downtime. I'm preaching to myself here, too - it's hard for us driven women to let down, to stop the inner simmer. Just.Breathe.

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  9. Oh, Jen. Why do we find it so hard to just rest in Him and trust Him with the outcome? I am almost done with a great book called Love Does by Bob Goff. Last night I read a very convicting section about not having to try so hard to put yourself out there. God sees the heart and the behind the scenes. Even if we are doing it for good intentions, there comes a time when we simply have to let go and trust. Great thoughts.

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  10. Oh, my. I am the little girl who gives away different things many times over. Listening for guidance in this new world of work-writing, blogging-is perhaps one of the most difficult. Where does following His lead end and too much self-promotion for the wrong reasons begin?

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  11. i have to admit that sometimes i don't lay my pebbles down b/c i LIKE having them in my grasp. empty hands and pockets are scary for me....

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  12. Jen, you get straight to my heart in the most amazing way. Blogging is riddled with "pebbles" - where does sincerity end and self-promotion begin? How do we keep check on our motives and stay true to what God would have us do? Those are questions for all of life, actually - blogging, job relationships, raising children, marriage, etc. I think I'm about to discover more pebbles :) Thanks for giving me something to think about to today.

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  13. Here, I am, with pebbles in my hands. Trying to lay down the one that says, "Should" and only carry away the one marked "For Him."

    So thought-provoking, Jen. Thank you.

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  14. We don't surrender because we have pockets, and mine are deep.

    I get not linking-up everywhere. I made that decision awhile back. Sure, there are plenty of people I love who host link-ups and at times, I will still participate, but if I participate, I want to be invested, and if I'm invested it means I'm dedicating more time to blogging...it's hard.

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  15. Oh my, what convicting words you have offered us today. I think that's one of the beauties of blogging. God speaks through our writing and He's certainly spoken to me today. Funny how He can take a post sharing your pebble and point to another and totally different pebble in my own clutched hand.

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  16. Oh my, I can relate to this. Especially since I've been trying to start a new linkup community that hasn't taken off at all. I know that part of it is because I need to change my linky tool, but it still feels like a high school popularity contest in which I am awkwardly standing alone...Isn't that silly? The pebbles of linkups and blogging are leaving a mark on the palm of my hand, for I have held them so tightly.

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  17. What a beautiful analogy you gave with the pebbles, inspired by God I think. We all have them, its being alert to what they are exactly. I pray often that I won't be blind sided by mine. I link up where I feel a sense of community and relationship. If it doesn't feel that way over time, I move on. I engage with different people on different days and look foward to each link-up because its like have a dinner party with a different crowd every day. Thanks for hosting this one. I like the food here.

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  18. I love this post, Jen. It speaks volume to my heart. I look forward to linking up because it renews my soul. And I have taken a break because I am knee deep in writing my books. So glad I took time to stop by...

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  19. Wow. I think I'm holding the same pebble. I spend a LOT of time commenting on posts because of the link-ups I join. I enjoy doing it, but it takes so much time away from other things. It may be time for me to pray more about what God would have me do here.

    Thanks,
    Mary Beth

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  20. Oh, Jen, I get this. God has taught me A LOT since I started blogging. I didn't realize how much I compared myself to others, how desperately I wanted to be heard. I've had to step back. I don't feel like God made a hard and fast rule that I couldn't link anywhere, but I do it when I honestly have a blog I want to share--not forcing myself to write so that I can link up so that I can gain new followers...blah blah blah. Even Twitter--I tweeted to get followers for my blog. It didn't even feel natural, and it got very distracting.

    Thanks for sharing your journey. You're not alone!

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  21. Always refining, always refining, like focusing the lens on a camera to see The One Thing.....you spoke what I'm thinking, too, Jen. Obedience ALWAYS leads to joy.

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  22. Nodding silent. Hearing your heart. Listening for His. As Jody says, refining, always refining. Love to you.

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  23. Oh, for the courage and strength to lift up my hands and open them with joy! Thanks for this post.

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  24. Convicting post, Jen! I run around in my own flesh trying to accomplish things due to my own lack of faith, when surely His arm is not too short. May we be fully surrendered to His perfect will.
    God bless,
    Laurie

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  25. Oh, my friend. I hear God telling you to be gentle with yourself. We will love you, no matter. Hugs, dear one.

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  26. I echo Laura - God is wanting you to go easy on yourself, and be at peace.

    And good for you, too, for listening (I know you are not visiting blogs as much, but to make you feel better, just know that I wrote about a pebble today - er, giant boulder -- that I am surrendering. So you've got company in this, girl).

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  27. Dear Jen,

    I appreciate how you are listening for His voice and following Him...it all begins with being faithful in the little...for me, it has been about recognizing those little negative thoughts that pop up, then quickly giving them to Him, and not letting them have a party...blessings, brave one :)

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  28. Jen,
    Both last week's and this week's SDG posts have me thinking. Yesterday I surrendered a bit of "time" - a pebble's worth of time. And I'm so glad I did.

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Don't go yet! Leave me a note with your thoughts.