Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Break the Tape: What Matters Most Is...

Welcome, friends, for today's edition of Break the Tape.  Essentially, our goal is to identify the lies that repeat themselves over and over again in our minds, break the tape that automatically begins plays when ever we feel we've fallen short, and learn a new song to sing in its place.  
Meet Laura.  She's photographer, nature-walker, and High Calling content editor extraordinaire.  She's an author and a psychologist and a mama to two boys.  And she loves Jesus.  Desperately.  He is in her words, holds her words, and breathes her words into the hearts of many.
photo source
They do not even wait until I leave anymore. As soon as I reach the feeder with my old rusty coffee can, they come--perch in tree and bush, hover above my head--and wait. They watch as I fill the transparent tubes, scatter seed on ground for the thrush and occasional rabbit.

Sometimes they sing.

This morning, as I kneel over the can of seed, a song sparrow lights on the leggy forsythia bush. It is raining but I don’t care as I stop what I am doing and gaze up at his prehistoric form. He cocks his head to one side, as if to say, “On with it, lady!”

I smile and finish the task at hand, barely stepping away before he flits down onto the fragile sill of the seed trough.

I study him, fast at work, and remember my morning reading.

“Are you waiting for me to be revealed?” I muse. A strange, tingly feeling possesses me and it is my turn to wait.

When will this glory come? Mr. Sparrow is oblivious to my plight and if there is some secret knowledge in his heart of when the sons of God will be liberated from their state of decay, he isn’t sharing.

He is too busy being cute.

Turning away, I savor the simple joy in my heart.

Back inside, I sit at the kitchen table and watch the others come, joining my lone sparrow for feasting. And I ponder the Words.

Sitting there, with rain softly pattering against window and birdsong lifting me, I realize there is nothing I want more. To be shed of burdensome desires, to carry only luminosity…to see with the eye of eternity…

Surly this is glorious.

Suddenly, it occurs to me that I would be so much happier if I did not have this dream in my heart. Suddenly, it feels very easy to let go.

The weight that lifts is tremendous and I wonder why God puts these dreams in our hearts, anyway. I know it is a foolish thing to ponder. I know the answer. Well, part of it anyway.

The dreams themselves are beautiful. They give me yearning, longing, desire to seek. A metaphor for the Bigger Dream. But when I lose sight of this, when I hold the smaller dream in tightly clutched fists…this is when the yearning turns to sorrow.

Separating the two--sorting and sifting--this is the real work.

Why is it so easy to get lost? I ask it with an earnest heart. It is not my desire to put anything before Him.

And He reminds me of the birds. How they wait for me to fill the feeder. Trusting in my hand.

He is asking me to trust Him.

Do I dare? I have before, with mixed results. Is my faith so fragile as to crumble with the smaller dream? Do I not still have the Bigger?

Does any of this matter anyway?

I know it does, and yet it doesn’t. Immediately before the verses I have been pondering, Paul says, I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

It does, and yet it doesn’t. These heartbreaks, these daily hassles…they matter. But they don’t matter the most.

So I am sifting. To keep my thoughts focused on the higher things...This is the way to break the tape—the one that says I’m not enough. The one that says I do not matter unless the dream is realized.

I know what I wait for. It doesn’t mean these other things do not matter. They just need not matter as much.

The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage of decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. (Rom. 8:19-21)

Hungry for more of Laura's writing?  You can find her here at The Wellspring.


  1. Oh isn’t it a fine line...resting and abiding in the the what is...while we long for the greater...and yes as you watch the sparrow with tenderness...He sees us...His eye is on the sparrow...blessings as we wait with eager expectations for greater things:)

  2. Yes-this. His eye is on the sparrow. Such comfort in knowing there is nothing so small that he doesn't care.

  3. They matter, but they don't matter the most. That's the tension I keep feeling. The things that hurt and grieve and stand in the way really do matter, and it's foolish to pretend they don't. Yet the thing that matters most is God's promise to be faithful.

    So good to hear Laura's lovely voice over here, Jen.

    1. Isn't this the truth, Nancy? Finding the place where I am ok with dreaming because I know God dreams for me? This has been such a process. Love seeing one of my favorite dreamers here.

  4. It is so very easy to get lost, isn't it Laura? Oh my goodness. And then I read about your time with your birds and their trust and I see how it all stiches together. . the trust and the willingness to surrender to that which is bigger and is really just Everything. Beautiful words here. You always inspire me. You really do.
    And I love the ending. That these "things" may always matter, we are, after all, human. But they need not matter as much.

    1. So many times, for me, it is in those little things that He teaches me the big lessons, but first I must listen. I'm not always good at that :)but watching the birds always causes me to slow and be tendered for a word. He uses it all ...

  5. I love Romans 8, and I loved this glimpse into Laura's dear heart and morning. Thanks and blessings to you both.

    1. Romans 8 is one of those goosebump passages for me. Don't you just love God's Word? There is freedom in there. And blessings to you, C!

  6. Wow, this speaks to many issues. And it's just what I need today, miss Laura.

    the glory that is yet to come...


  7. I'm glad Paul acknowledged our "present sufferings" but He also pointed, like you, to the Bigger Reality, our final glory...yes, there is that tension between the dreams He gives us, and our releasing of them back to Him..I'm learning it is all about relationship with Him in the midst of it all...Love how you see Him, and seek Him...thank you, Laura :)

  8. Laura, this line, "It does, and yet it doesn’t. These heartbreaks, these daily hassles…they matter. But they don’t matter the most." such an awesome reminder. beautiful, as always.

  9. It does. Somedays it does seems so much easier to let the dream go. But then to remember that it's all part of the bigger dream. That we can hold it and release it and trust that He will do more with it that we can imagine. To know that we're enough because He is more than enough.

    Maybe we should spend more time just being cute. ;)

    Love you, friend.

  10. If we hold too tightly to something, we can make it an idol. Beautiful post again.

  11. I like this so very much. It reminds me of something I recently wrote, "Let the Wind Blow Free." Below is an excerpt.

    Dream big!
    Never give up.
    Keep on keeping on.
    Dare I argue the pursuit of dreams?
    I am hesitant.
    Unless the pursuance of dreams is not that for which we were made.
    With my hands full of hoped for’s, I find my reach for the holy is impaired.


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