Posted by Brenda VanWinkle

The Little Things of The Kingdom


Have you made it big, yet? Had a big idea? The bigger the better, so they say. BIG seems to be the ideal, the goal, the sign of success. And yet very many little things have filled my life these first months of 2017. Keeping track of little things requires a lot of work, close attention and improved organization. In fact, so much of my energy and emotional space is invested in the little details I find it challenging to find time for much else. Have I watched the latest hit show? Probably not. What do I think of the new fashions? Didn’t know there were any. How about those Pens?! You mean it’s still hockey season? Oh dear. Little things are taking too much time, methinks.

Upon my first look out in awhile (I’ve been looking up a lot), I realize how far behind I am. How out of sync with the world around me. It’s easy to feel like I don’t belong anywhere when it appears everyone else is doing sometime bigger, more important than the little things I spend my days on, even though they are the little things to which I am called.

This blog was born out of numerous conversations with people I love, so I know feeling caught in the insignificant is not a rare malady at this time. How in the world do I Love Myself To Life in this season? Is it even possible?

Yes, yes it is! If this season of tending to many little things resounds in your heart at all, I invite you to come with me to tend mustard. Oh, no, I’m not actually growing mustard plants nor have I begun a mustard factory in my basement, though I suppose it’s a thought. In fact, better than you helping me tend mine, what if we were to help one another? Because whether you realize it or not, you, too, are tending mustard each day.

Jesus tells us in Luke 13:18-19 that the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds. Yet this little seed grows to become a large plant in which birds can build nests. What a lovely thought this is: the little things that make up our every day have the potential to host new life and the miracle of family and new beginnings. He also says (Matthew 17:20) that with faith the size of a humble mustard seed we can do the impossible. Our faith can seem so small and on some days, those days when everything seems a bit futile and insignificant in light of what our friends are posting about their day on Facebook, we wonder if all the little things we pray for, wait for, hope for and invest our time in have any lasting value whatsoever. Do the little things we do matter? And if they don’t matter, then do we?

Dear Reader, be encouraged! Look up in faith and not out in comparison! Today, this moment and for all the little moments coming your way, remember and believe both who and Whose you are. Stop a moment to consider why you do all the little things you do. Which ones bring life and are important to your heart? Which ones may need to just be let go or delegated to another? Take stock of the little things, the mustard seeds, if you will, that you tend and to which you give your time and energy.

This past week a friend shared a quote that I love, by Shane Claiborne: “Get ready, God is preparing you for something really small!” How many of us are waiting for the Big Thing that will define our lives and change the world, when all along God is waiting for us to tend our mustard seeds. To speak the one word that brings hope. To give the one hug that comforts. To buy the one gift, send the one card, offer the benefit of the doubt, pray the one prayer. To believe and keep believing what He has said despite what our eyes see. It is not always or only the major players and actions that make a difference in this beautiful, weary world. It’s the little things that count. Even though all those little things we do with loving intention add up to so much, sometimes it hard to remember that the Lord is able to grow a tree out of a little seed of faith. Loving Yourself to Life is a little thing with big consequences. May you walk in the reality of its embrace in the tending you do everyday, remembering to first tenderly and gracefully tend to you.


4 Responses to Tending Mustard

  1. Beth Mills says:

    Thank you, Brenda, for such a timely and gentle word of Truth! My soul needed this today.

  2. Sharon says:

    Just LOVE this! Thank you!!!

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