Loving Big When Your World is Little(s)

So this Internet chick I found over the summer? She talks about living small and loving big. She starts saying things like love well where you are. She admits that she has no idea where she is or what she’s really doing except loving her neighbors, the people God placed in her life, well. Well. Not a little bit. Not in passing. But well.

My spirit stirs as I hear her say these things. So many of them are echoes of my heart. Sometimes they’re the answers that my heart wishes that it knew.

This is what my heart does know, though. I need hospitality.

As a mom of 3 girls under 4 years, I need to welcome people into my life and my home without the fear of judgement or alienation. I need for older women and younger to show me that it’s okay to be myself. To be comfortable in my own skin.

Look, the ugly, messy truth is that I can mess up dishes and clean floors and let my littles do the same. I can zone out, take mental vacations, and forget to interfere when things get thrown around and disheveled. I can also spend hours cleaning just to have it undone in 10 minutes.

I choose my battles.

And I feel awful for not choosing the household chores because ohmyword who will do the dishes if I don’t?! {No dishwasher here, folks, unless you mean the one named Jeniffer.}

So last week, amid the craziness of getting ready for our first ENcore night, a once-a-month gathering of students in a coffee house atmosphere with lots of pastries, my third-trimester-pregnant friend came over and talked a lot of grace into my soul. And then she insisted that I get ready while she got my girls ready, gave them pizza, and cleaned my floor off.

God smacked me pretty hard with that one, not gonna lie. Without her, I would not have been ready to go on time. I wouldn’t have been there for Drew as he prepared. Things would not have ended well. At all.

Then Sunday, a dear girl whom we’ve known since she was in 6th grade came over with her fiancé. We opened our home, and she washed my mountain of dishes for me.

Again, I felt that smack from God.

I put so much pressure on myself to do ALL THE THINGS. I berate and belittle myself for not being good enough. For not doing “what I’m supposed to do,” whatever that even means.

But the truth? I have friends who actually love doing these things that I  hate. They don’t do them because they feel bad for me or because they think I can’t handle my load. No, they want to help me because they love me. They enjoy doing something that I hate.

You know what? I enjoy doing things that they hate, too. And one day, I’ll be able to share their loads.

It’s taken me a while, but I think I’m finally understanding what community really is. How it can really look when we stop acting like we have all things put together perfectly.

It looks pretty good, to be honest.

Sometimes hospitality is reaching out and loving others. And sometimes it’s opening your home, disheveled and messed up as it is, and just remembering that you are not alone.

Linking up with Lori Harris today and her first ever Live Small, Love Big linky! <–Click here to read more and join up!


11 thoughts on “Loving Big When Your World is Little(s)

  1. Adriane Dimmitt says:

    Thanks for sharing about what God is teaching you about community! I love hearing your thoughts, and the way that He is prompting you to allow others into your home to do life with you. I have found that sometimes the greatest relationships are formed not just when we help others, but rather when we allow them to help us too!

    -Adriane from brightestdaysblog.blogspot.com

    • jenifferssmith says:

      Adriane, yes!! I’d prefer to do for others, and it’s so humbling to realize that {sometimes} they need to do for me too.

  2. Leah Adams (@PointMinistries) says:

    Jenifer, stopping by from Lori’s linkup. This post is such a beautiful description of community. I, too, have a hard time allowing others to do for me. I’m slowly learning that when I don’t let them do what God has asked them to do, I cheat them of their blessing. It’s a tough lesson for me, but one I am slowly learning. Like you, there are places I can give back and bless them. Nice to meet you!

    • jenifferssmith says:

      Thank you for stopping by, Leah! Yes, I don’t like to think that I’m cheating others out of a blessing. We ARE called to “Outdo one another in love,” though. I can always get them back. 😉

  3. Andrea says:

    There is something beautiful about letting others love on you and help you with your mess. I think God designed it that way. Thanks for sharing your story. (popped over from the link-up, happy to find another writer with a sink full of dishes)

    • jenifferssmith says:

      Lori, yes indeed a gift! I’d prefer to hide all of my dirty laundry and then some, but He is slowly drawing me out of my shell and into His paths. Thank you for encouraging this young mama. ❤

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