When I am meeting with friends and chatting about God on a regular basis, my writing life is exponentially better. The ideas flow readily. However, what I am hoping to prevent in this post is not to mesh all the ideas into one. That would be a very bad idea. 🙂 Shout out to Stacy for this one. I have some more to share about the soul, but this post will be a stand-alone post, and then in December, I may share some Advent devotionals, depending on time. Today, I want to talk about sweet Jesus and small living.
There is a desire within most men to accomplish and become famous in one way or another. I am a competitive person, and I also like to do my best. As a girl, this equated to the best grades, the desire to get the first chair in band, placing in academic tournaments. Stretching into womanhood, this equated to doing my very best work, exceeding work expectations, and getting married and having children. At the time, I didn’t know that marriage and children were achievements on a ladder. However, looking back, seeing my heart, I think they were.
I am not a goal-oriented person. I hoped to get married and have kids, and that’s where all my planning ended. When I worked as an engineer, you had to take certain paths to continue to advance. I was set to be something other than an engineer, so I did not care about climbing a ladder. Nor did I try to marry someone who did. Other than some financial strain on occasion, this has been the best thing for me to watch my husband’s ease at being, simply being content in staying small. I am not like that. I always want more. There is a disconnect between my desire to be more and my lack of planning or goal setting.
pertaining to writing
Spiritually, this equated to my desire to be a missionary and my discontent to simply be a wife and mother in Birmingham, AL. In my writing life, this equated to wanting more numbers and readers. As a brand spanking new blogger in 2008, I came to the table simply to write. Writing became necessarily, healing, and I didn’t even get into it because I read blogs or knew what they were. When I dug into the blogging world, I wanted to compete again, because Jamie likes to be the best. Jamie is a small behind the scenes person who likes to be recognized. When bloggers began writing books, I wanted to write one too. I wanted to be somebody like all the other somebodies.
But I got into the blogging scene slightly behind all the ones who’ve made a career of it now. I couldn’t write well to save my soul, so I was learning a new skill. I’ve never had a big group of people following me. But I listened to all the advice givers and teachers. I moved from brownpaperandstrings to jamiesampieriharper. Then, I peaked in 2014 or 2015, and I have been on a steady decline since. I no longer write to become something, though I wanted to make a small amount of money to help my family. Realizing money-making and blogging is for me a pipe dream, I write because it is now in my blood. I must write the things God is teaching me.
Joining my story with yours
What does all of this have to do with sweet Jesus? Right? I said I was going to write about Jesus. Don’t worry, He is the reason for this post. But first, I think that I am not alone in my desire to become big. I think that people respect people who are big. As humans, we don’t widely acknowledge the small person.
Take Bible study for example. Bloggers, bible study teachers, pastors are all trying to build a bigger platform. Even I see people, small people, praying for God to give them a platform to be able to take the gospel to more and more places. When one of them gets cancer, they suddenly have the platform, and we praise them for showing us the kingdom of God. We are still a people looking for signs and miracles. We want extraordinary, so we follow brand name people like Jen Hatmaker, Beth Moore, Lysa TerKeurst. Because they have books to sell, we think they have important things to say. Then, we forget they are people too. I love them too, especially Mama Beth (Moore) and Ann Voskamp. Some of those brand name people take on more and more to give the people what they want.
There is a wide range of webinars and seminars and courses to teach people how to grow their platforms. As a writer, much of the courses I’ve physically attended have been more about platform building than the writing craft. They teach us the Bible verse about small beginnings, but the end goal is always to grow bigger, not to stay small. They feed on my natural desire to compete, be the best, and to become SOMEONE important and big. But they don’t tell the whole truth about being small. About how even your very small life is extraordinary and if you grow no more, you are still enough.