Monday, July 2, 2012

Surrender the Small and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

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via Pinterest
Last Wednesday night, I got out of bed and I laid on the floor.

I had watched The King's Speech with Craig earlier and towards the end of the movie, for whatever reason, I was struck by God's glory.  I cannot pinpoint anything from the movie that made me feel this way, but somehow, at the end, all I could sense was how majestic and amazing and powerful He is.

Later that night, after I had tucked myself into bed, I untucked myself and fell prostrate before Him.  In those moments, I could not fathom how I could have ever even attempted to take any of His glory for myself.  I confessed.  I surrendered.  I laid it all down and asked God to take everything I coveted, every dream I dreamt, every plan that I had laid.

I thought about how Jennie Allen went through a similar process, which she chronicles in her book Anything (for which I will do a formal review when I finish).  She talks about how each night, they offered something new to the Lord, starting with their house.  I laid there on the floor and offered up every big thing I could imagine.

But today, two days later, I realized that it is the small things, too, that must be laid down.  After a frustrating day in which I tried to study, write, and pray during the few hours my children were away from the house, I finally surrendered myself to the vacuum cleaner, and it was there in my bedroom that God spoke over the hum of the machine.

Back and forth, I vacuumed, and I hear:

What if I don't ask you to give up your blog, but your blogging schedule?

What if I don't ask you to give up writing your book, but to stop enforcing timelines upon your husband?

What if I don't ask you to give up running, but to give up racing?

What if I don't ask you to push through, but to rest when you are tired?

What if I don't ask you to halt relationships, but to give up email for a day?

These questions course through my brain.  I think about the efforts I go to so to save money at the grocery store.  What if God asks me to be frugal, but to stop spending time clipping coupons and budgeting to the last penny?  I think about the time I spend reading Christian books.  What if He asks me to just focus on the Bible?  I think about my desire for my house to be clean.  What if instead, He asks me to spend that time creating instead of mopping?  Purging instead of just rearranging?

I don't think He's asking me to do all things things right now.  But instead, I think He's asking me to consider offering up the small things that I have so readily built into my routine that I don't even think about them being something of great significance.  

Considering the small things and how perhaps they are doorways for pride...
Considering the mundane things and how quickly I can forgo being present in the moment...
Considering the routine things and how they can become heavy baggage without my noticing...

I want to be able to offer up these small things just as readily as the big things.  In someways, I think it might be harder -- I won't know until I really start the journey.  Would you want to come with me, perhaps?  Would you ask God what small thing He has been wanting you to surrender?  When He answers, would you share with us in the comments?

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  1. Oh, this hits hard! I've felt His promptings to let go and change little things that have become a barrier in my life of faith. This post is a big push for me. Thanks for writing this!

  2. I think the smaller things are the hardest to give up for me.

  3. Hi Jen

    I really loved your thought-provoking post! It takes a lot to listen for God's voice to hear how He wants things to look in our life and not mistake them for what we THINK He wants them to be.

    I would LOVE for you to share this post - as well as any other inspirational writings you deem fit - at my weekly inspirational party, Inspire Me Monday, at

    Create With Joy

  4. Love the way you share yourself so freely with this community Jen. And I had that same sort of reaction to that movie too. There is something about God taking our frailty and insecurity and making something beautiful out of it. My small thing? Giving up a regular blogging schedule this week, because I need to listen more than share words.

  5. Jen, thanks so much for hosting this each week. Even though I have not been posting (or really commenting) much recently I have been reading many posts each week and I think now I am going to be able to get back into blogging more regularly.

    Also if the small groups are still open I would love to be part of one.

  6. I love your much.

  7. I have some "small" things that are all consuming and cause me to be not present and I hate that. so I love this challenge to offer them up, needed to hear this. Thanks!

  8. I love how moved you were by God's glory. I feel for a while now I am just not tuned in to it and I miss that!

  9. Oh, Jen, this post made my stomach drop out from under me- I feel like God's been asking me the same questions you penned here. Is my clinging to the small things leaving me with merely a small love for Him? Sometimes I think that the reason I don't' want to make the small changes is because I know it's the first step to something BIG. Crazy, huh? Of what am I afraid?

  10. Jen, this is beautiful. As always, I am so grateful for your authenticity, for your sharing the raw places of your heart. I am with you here, friend, and will be asking the Father these questions. Thank you for the blessing of your space here.


  11. Jennifer--such a humble/humbling post. I will echo Shelly's thoughts (Redemptions Beauty)...less screen/talking time and more reading/listening time.
    Just close the laptop. That's a small/big thing, really.

    Ah--and The King's Speech--tremendous movie; I especially thought the scene with the teacher and the King in the cathedral was powerful--'who are you, really'? he asks the King. and he had to decide.

  12. Hard. Hard to think about this now. I am just finishing my lunch break and this needs some quiet time. The hard part about reading Christian blogs is you can't just read it and go off to the next one. Sometimes you have to read it again, sometimes you have to meditate, sometimes you are convicted. Not like with the art blogs I read. So much easier!!! Patsy from

  13. Such beautiful words that made me think and ponder what my souls desires are. For me I think God is asking me to give up the idea of having "the world's perfection" in my life, in exchange for the reality of His will for my life.


  14. This post really made me think. We are often looking for big things to offer to Him because that's part of our being human when the many small things around us would be enough.

  15. Beautiful words and thoughts. I find God has been speaking to me about these things too, Jen. Conviction is beautiful when it bears fruit. For me, I know that sometimes I have done the big sacrifice...and been humiliated, when I realized God was not really pointing to the bigger thing but the small thing I was cowering and clinging to in the corner, saying,"MINE!". He beckons I cling to Him...I am a slow learner...but grateful for His patience and grace. Thank you for your perfectly clear perspective- God reminded me while I was reading, that I am not alone...but I do need to walk circumspect-fully in the day...I think sometimes He speaks through His Holy Spirit to us {globally} and as we share we realize Hey, God has been trying to speak that to me...perhaps I need to listen! Blessings to you, In His Grace, Dawn

  16. God is up to something because I have had very similar revelation lately. May we be faithful to be obedient no matter what He calls us to. Gulp. Praying for you, friend!

  17. You know, I think this is spot on. I think Satan temps us to give up the great things God is doing by succumbing to our fears. We don't need to give the big things up. We just need to stop worshiping them. That might mean taking a break or it could mean making adjustments. Sure, there are some things that need to be cut off completely, like the idols in Israel. God will show us what those are. Bless you, friend!

  18. Jen, this really ministered to my heart because I often think I have to go big and give up the big things, but I also felt that tug in reading your post to look at the small things. Will pray more on this, but I think God's been whispering that I need to give up my agenda so I may be more open to His.

  19. Boy, I sure relate here, Jen. I've been dealing with these same kinds of issues the past two weeks as I feel that speed is killing me. I must slow down and wait more upon the Lord in stillness. I'm about to go out of the country but I feel the Lord asking me to give up more time to sit still before I go. Not sure how to accomplish that, but I want to be obedient.

  20. My husband and I lead a small group on Monday nights, and we talked about this very subject last night -- how we must yield it all, big and small. For me, I think God is calling me to give Him my calendar. Since coming home from the hospital, my life has been at a significantly slower pace, one where I have more time for personal reflection and Bible study. I think He wants more of my time.

  21. Awesome post, Jen! I find myself pondering many questions like these. Before He can give us His finest blessings, we must release the burdens and baggage we're clutching so tightly.
    God bless,

  22. Jen, This is really quite profound and shows a remarkable degree of self-awareness. Thank you for being vulnerable enough to put it out here for us to read and be encouraged by. And somehow, I am not surprised that that fine film caused you to experience something of the glory and surprising grace of our God. Thanks for your faithfulness in building and encouraging this community, Jen. You're doing such a great job.

  23. I understand that giving up to Him. He wants us to give up every small corner, every hidden crevice. He doesn't expect it yesterday. He does it in a shepherding way and when the giving up is particularly hard, He is right there holding me!

  24. Hi Jen - firstly, lovely picture, says so much and secondly, scary questions. ones I need to ask myself too. Great post friend
    God bless

  25. Look at all these comments, Jen. You really struck a nerve with us today. I like Ignatius' prayer: I want only wants draws me closer to You, Lord. yes hand over ANYTHING that blocks us from Him. mmm, I really need to ponder the little things that are obstacles too.

  26. Jen, this is a fine post and quite a challenge for me. Doing and having things that take us further and further away from our God yet not being able to see the forest through the trees. Thinking that God will ask the impossible of us when He really wants us, wants us near. We fear the worst when He wants the best. It is our task to surrender, as you say, any and everything that places bars between Him and us. Oh, LORD, may I see You in the Light You desire, that I can and will drop all that separates me from You. Amen.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

  27. Jen...This is so timely for me. I sense the same. And oddly, it's the small things that are sometimes the most difficult to lay down. Walking beside you on the road, friend...God has a plan.

  28. Jen, have spent an hour or so wandering through many of the blogs of these women joined for the glory of our God only...

    So very much blessing! Thank you again for this community.

  29. very insightful and thoughtful....thank you for sharing...touched my heart today


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