THE LITTLE THINGS

If I’m learning anything about “adulting”, it’s that life isn’t so much about the quantity of our achievements but the quality of them. I’ve experienced what might look like “having it all” – from having a very high salary at the age of 19 and having zero debt, to taking big trips every year, to eventually owning a home at 23 years old, to having a big wedding at 24. I like to believe that what got me there was consistency in being “faithful in the little things” and sort of “moving up” from there, but I’m realizing that “having it all” isn’t measured by material things in God’s eyes. God certainly wants us to have it all – He wants to be our all and more. He’s after our heart – having our whole heart – and He wants us to be after His, wholeheartedly, too. 

I know this because from age 26-27 life took a huge turn and I found myself needing Jesus more than ever. At age 28 now, I’m making a lot less salary, I’m no longer a homeowner, I’m recovering from deep debt, and I haven’t stepped foot out of North America in a few years, yet God is still after the one thing he’s been after my whole life – my heart. At the end of the day, He cares much more about how well I’m stewarding my responsibilities than how much I’m stewarding. 

Luke 16:10 says, “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities.” And Matthew 25:23 says, “His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.”

I think somewhere along the way I stopped being faithful in the little things, like praying, seeking God’s wisdom, and tithing. That’s when life got really crazy. Many of my decisions weren’t the best ones, so it’s not hard to see why things crumbled. But I feel like God found it necessary to remove some things from my life so that He could re-position me to His heart. He couldn’t put me in charge of anything more when I was struggling to be in charge of the small, and boy did I start to learn real humility!

Now, when I look at my life it’s tempting to think I don’t have as much as I did before, but I actually have MUCH more. I look at my amazing husband, my charismatic daughter, my growing baby bump, and I wonder how having a family is a “little” thing, ha! Deep down I’m dreaming of much, but I know in this season God’s asking me to be a good steward of what matters most – my character, marriage, my little people, and my sphere of influence. So until God says I’m ready for more (whatever that looks like), I’ll be responsible with what I’ve been entrusted with, and continue to seek His heart in the meantime.

MARIEL HONG

MARIEL HONG

 

Qualified

I was broken but I am not broke. 

I am stronger then I have ever been before.  

One of the biggest lessons I have learnt the last several years is although my life and spirit were once broken, that does not and never did disqualify me.  

I felt that my failures had disqualified me from having a voice or opinion that was to be valued and respected.  I have had many people look up to me for leadership and on how to live a strong, God centred life. To be a wife that was to be honoured and revered, a mother who raised perfect, God fearing children. I stood on stages as an example but what example was I when my 'perfect' life was crumbling beneath me. 

I had taken myself out of the running because I didn’t think I had a voice. I believed I couldn't speak wisdom because I had failed.  I didn’t think my opinion was wanted or valued because look where it had brought me so far… to brokenness. So, I conceded my run, and I chose to be happy being the diminished person I believed I was. I was determined to put my strength and effort into becoming whole again – mind, body and spirit, and to being a consistent and loving mom.  I figured there were others around me who were far more qualified to be heard, and their wisdom and track records were superior to my own.

I’m not really sure what moment I noticed I actually might have something of value to add to the conversation.  It might have been when someone unknowingly made a blanket statement about marriage and I thought, wait, that’s not everyone’s story.  It could have been when people were talking about a family unit as a whole and the thought, again, that’s not my story. It could have been when a newly single mom, whose world had just come crashing down came to me crying, broken and not sure what to do. I could offer wisdom and insight into her situation because I was just a few steps ahead of where she was right then.

I have value.  I have wisdom.  More wisdom, in fact, then I had before. I understood the story from a different perspective. A perspective that is only earned after you’ve personally walked down that road.  I understood that no story or life is perfect.  We all walk our own roads and have our own challenges, and we can’t judge another’s decisions because we simply really don’t know their circumstance.

I very recently met a new friend who told me about a Japanese art called Kintsukuroi. This is where they repair and mend broken pottery by filling in the cracks with gold or silver.  They do this with the understanding that the piece, having suffered damage, now had a history that made it more beautiful and valuable. (See picture below)
 



What a brilliant picture this is.  Our brokenness doesn’t decrease our value.  Once fixed and mended, with hard work and diligence it becomes stronger and more valuable then before. 

It has been hard work to refuse to shrink back and hide my past and my struggles. I will wear my past brokenness proudly, and use the experience to help serve a hurting and dying world, desperate for wisdom on how to navigate what we label as failures, and who want to know there is hope. They need to hear from someone who knows where they are on the journey and can testify that life will be ok, that they will be ok, that they will be better then ok.  

The future looks bright!

ASHLEY MOHR Creative Pastor

ASHLEY MOHR

Creative Pastor