Monday, October 6, 2014

...and if being a wife and a mom doesn't really seem good enough for God- then what?

The bass vibrated from the stage and the music somehow pierced a hole in my heart when I sang these words:

"We love You. We'll never stop. All this is for You, Jesus."

All this is for You, Jesus. All this what is for Jesus?

My mind flooded with the vision of piles of laundry, bandaids applied to ant bites, my personal football practice shuttle service, a forgotten batch of cookies burnt in the oven, packed lunches that come home from school uneaten (they would have at least eaten the cookies if I hadn't burnt them), sweet goodnight prayers, and early mornings on the sofa reading Isaiah.

I also saw rejection letters from publishers, laughter that shakes the darkness of despair, celebratory dinners with beloved people, apologies for broken promises, money given in faith, endless Pinterest boards full of dreams and projects, and days that seem meaningless with their monotonous routines.

And I thought, "All THIS is for Jesus? Ugh. What a small offering I bring the the King of Kings."

I'm not alone, though. I know a few other lives of humble circumstances and perceived failures from the past that seem a bit unworthy of God's greatness:

The blind man whose suffering existed for the purpose displaying the power of God. (John 9)
The woman who couldn't stop the bleeding, and whose faith released the power that resided in Jesus. (Luke 8)
The mismanaged wedding feast where Jesus performed his first miracle. (John 2)
The expensive perfume a beloved (but perhaps somewhat unwise??) woman poured out at Jesus' feet, seemingly wasting it- but Jesus said she would be remembered for her act of beauty. (Matthew 26)
Pontius Pilate, who tried to release Jesus, but who sentenced Him to death instead because of a bunch of angry people. (Matthew 27)

Come to think of it, are there any lives here on earth that don't seem small when lined up beside the greatness of a God robed in resurrection power, and fueled by sacrificial love?

No. I don't think there are. Our greatness lies in the way our lives mirror the vastness of the God for whom we live, to whom we give ALL THIS.

What's your "ALL THIS"? What small offering have you brought to Him so that glory can burst forth into eternity from the tiny keyhole of your short life?

I don't really know why God stoops low to be with us in our smallness. I don't know what it is about us that delights Jesus so passionately when we decide that all this humble smallness is for Him.

But I do know that that truth makes all the obscure moments of motherhood, writing, housework, and ministry, all the monotonous effort of a lifetime suddenly seem very, very meaningful. What Jesus deems as valuable can never again be called anything less than precious.

So, yes. All this is for You, Jesus. All this is for You and You alone. Enjoy the small sacrifice of our lives, may our stories bring glory to Your name.

And, thank You for "all this"....


  1. Carrie, I just wanted to let you know that I've been reading your blog for over a year now, and every time I visit here, I leave inspired and encouraged. I feel like you've crawled in my skin and put voice to my life. I usually read every post while whispering "AMEN" to every line. You have a stunning gift for weaving words and pointing to Jesus. You have eyes that see beauty where others just see monotony and you have an extraordinary way of finding the glory in all the grit of the ordinary stuff of life. Thank you for using your gifts here week after week. Thanks for doing the "small things" for Jesus and for making a BIG DIFFERENCE for His kingdom. And tonight, I just wanted to let you know that no matter what those publisher's letters say, you ARE a WRITER. And a wonderful writer, in fact. And I look forward to the day when I will hold a book in my hand written by an amazing author named Carrie Stephens. Keep writing! Keep dreaming. Keep doing it all for Christ. Blessings-

    1. Alicia, Thank you for this. It meant so much to me. I have come back and read it several times. Really, just thank you.