p.s. I can barely type this post for the laughter that ensues every time I re-read the title. Such different voices represented here, but the messages have a common heartbeat of grace. “Get small and love your people well.”
I have a thing for Tuesdays. If I had to marry a day of the week, that would totally be the one. In its unobtrusive spirit, it invites me to breathe again and relish the normal of an ordinary day. Sunday is Sabbath, and I love it dearly. But then Monday comes and takes our breath away with all of its to-do lists and planning and well, all the things. Wednesday is that uncomfortable middle when we’re wishing the rest of the days would just hurry up for the weekend’s arrival.
Tuesday is grace. It is a fresh look at normal life after Monday has rushed as all around. Tuesday is when I begin to breathe again.
My sweet friend Emily loves Tuesday, too, and she has essentially started a movement of #SimplyTuesday moments where we stop, pause, and look for the beauty of the ordinary. Because “what gives moments meaning is not the moments themselves but the presence of Christ with us in the midst of them.” And so we slow down. And we get small. And we make room for Christ to be so very big.
It seems opposite of our culture and this generation, really. It goes against the grain to sit for a bit in the quiet, to listen to our questions, to let love be the loudest message of our lives. But our souls weren’t made for platforms and our hands weren’t meant to build a stage – we’re called to build altars.
I’ve found that when I move my eyes from His Word to the paths others are walking, my feet – and my heart, and my thoughts, and my actions – tend to follow. I start watching another race and forget to run my own.
“The best way to sabotage my own success is to be obsessed with someone else’s. Instead, I want to focus on the benches in my own front yard, the ones I call home as well as the ones I’m being asked to build. They won’t look like the benches in someone else’s yard, and that’s precisely the point.” [Emily Freeman]
On a Sunday morning in Haiti I bent my head to the right and struggled to catch every third word translated into English. It was church and it was beautiful, even when I didn’t understand what was being said. There were a couple lines that I did get, though, and as I tapped them out into the notes section of my phone, I knew they were already leaving an imprint on my heart. How many times since that March morning have I read and re-read those few lines?
Stay in your lane. Watch and see God take care of everything. Love His things more than worldly things. Help others but to the glory of God. Choose Jesus over everything else. Lift Him higher, higher. Fix your eyes on Him. [Church notes. Boukeron, Haiti. 3/15/15.]
Fix your eyes. Sit on your own bench, build an altar instead of a platform, and run your race.
“Do your thing. Play your note. We are all watching and learning, moved. You are making the world kinder, more beautiful, wiser, funnier, richer, better. Run your race.” [Jen Hatmaker]
There’s a difference between playing small and getting small. One says your gifts are illegitimate and the other says the gifts you’ve been given are all from Him. We’ve got a message to share because we have simply got to be the generation that says every story matters. And so we must be most concerned with spreading the message of His truth and love. Grace has no discernment.
So we get small on the ordinary Tuesdays, but in that small-moment living we speak loudly the message of grace. The world will keep moving fast and faster and we’ll never truly be able to keep up.
We were never meant to.
Just run your race.
“Be kind. Be you. Love Jesus. That’s about it. Everything else will fall into place.” [Jen Hatmaker]
My soul has been waiting for this book. I know that sounds dramatic and actually pretty strange, but it’s the truth. Emily’s words are a grace-gift that invite you to slow, to savor, to count the little joys and remember what it’s like to breathe. They are an invitation to become small and to view Jesus as our best friend and constant companion.
In the ordinary of a regular day, Simply Tuesday points us in the direction of contentment, teaching us to live our small moments well. I am already re-reading this book — and for what it’s worth, it’s the first book I’ve received to review that I’ve ordered for myself – before even reaching chapter three.
If you’re looking for a book that will talk at you or bore you, put this one down. Go ahead and walk away. But if you enjoy the occasional use of ALL CAPS, writing that will make you cackle out loud, and a message that is both encouraging and challenging, then continue on, fellow reader. Jen has written pure gold in this book.
The above ^ is my endorsement for For the Love – and you bet your bottom dollar I smiled so big when I saw it written on Jen’s blog. Supporting this book has been such a fun ride and I truly believe it is a timely book for this generation.
Affiliate links have been used in this post. I received these books in exchange for my honest review.