For When You're Feeling Small {An Abstraction on Yield for Concrete Words}

I don't count myself very big. I'm all of 5'3, slender hands and small, narrow feet that shoes flop all over the place on unless I get just the right, snug fit. I've lost more weight, making my frame smaller, and my clothes a little loose, and I like the feeling, sort of how it feels to be lost in the back of a crowd, where no one can see. 

I know I should eat, but it's hard. A lot of things that are good for me are very hard. They require yielding and effort on my part. 

On a beautiful, cold and crisp October morning, hundreds of women were driving and flying and carpooling to South Carolina from all over two countries to the Allume writer's conference and me? I had to stay at home. Again. 

The ache of being left behind can feel very lonely. I was so looking forward to the glory of God there, the meat I would be fed with, the renewal I would receive, the direction I needed to push my weary bones on ahead, an animal's ears perked up and ready for action by call of the Farmer's familiar, gravelly voice. 

But my children were sick, and there was a different call from the one I was expecting. Perhaps I had not allowed myself to hear the familiar voice in a while, and forgot the sound. I'm an animal out of practice in wearing a harness, bit and reigns. My back has been bare and I have loved the feeling of roaming wild, hair whipping, lashing me in the face. He lets me feel the sting of my carelessness. 

And I could just almost hear the faint sound... God speaking to me in a different way, because who can deny what's so obviously staring them down? He had placed them right in front of me. 

The children. The pine floors needing washing. Laundry needing to be folded, dirty dishes, and oatmeal cookie ingredients sitting in the cabinet to nurture a child's belly and heart. 

Home. He had placed home right in front of me. 

It sounds cliche, but my small life is what I need, it's what He's given, and why run after things that seem greater? Why try to be a superstar? 

Oh, believe me, I don't write to be known.... it never was about that. And honestly, most days, I want to closed down the blog, hide away and not be known at all. Because I am small and I know it. It would be easier to disappear than to keep offering up these meager, stray crumbs. 

No, I write because I can't help myself. But a book? Being an author? Yeah, that'd be nice... and don't we all have dreams and aspirations, and when I see others doing great and mighty works for God, I admit, I lose my wits for a moment and wonder how I could pursue that better, how I could get a book, or go on a missions trip. I've wanted to for years, before I started writing, and yet even though that desire is God-given, maybe it's not the time. It seems God would have me stay. 

Why is staying so hard? 

Why is feeling small so heartbreaking? 

Why do I have this split personality that doesn't want to be seen, but wants someone to approve, to see me and say who I am and what I bring to the table is good? 

This is a human condition and none of us can escape it. Needing and striving for approval here on this earth becomes sin in us because it consumes, and we forget to even look up and recognize the Father's voice, to ask Him what He thinks. 

The beauty of sacrifice can be a beautiful thing when we yield. My yielding has come slowly and painfully. I can be a bulldog when I dig in hard and am determined to get something done. I show teeth when someone tells me I'm trying too hard, that it's not working and I should just quit. It just makes me tighten my grip.

This comes from a hard grit I have deep inside that gets me through the hard times and the things I think I can't do. But  God knows just how to pull the things from my heart that He needs to get from me. The tender things, the ripened fruit in due season. He is the Great Tiller I believe. 

He watches over the soil of my heart, like only a Good Farmer can. And like the Gentle Father He is, He patiently waits til I'm ready, tends me, constantly sees after me, and when I have fruit to give, be it ever so small and pitiful, he looks on it lovingly because what I can't see is that in His eyes it is great and beautiful and powerful. 

And then in the way only His miraculous hands can, He touches it and it multiplies, producing the most bountiful gorgeous sweet goodness one hundred times over. I'm so blessed to call Him Father, so blessed to be staying home with my sweet, sick children who need me, though my first inclination is to run far away and take a vacation. I'm trusting He knows what I really need beyond what I can see. I'm holding his hand, trusting and taking every little gift that comes disguised, wrapped up looking like heartache, failure or disappointment, and receiving it as blessing from His hand, one thousand and more overflowing. Ten thousand blessings besides.

I trust Him, the Great Farmer of my heart, and I tilt my head slightly, ear listening for that familiar sound. 

I think the Whisper is saying to do the really hard things. I eat. I go to the grocery store. I cook nutritious meals. I check homework, scrub kitchen counters, bathe little ones, fold clothes, hold my tongue when I'm angry, love them when they drive me crazy. I talk to my children about house rules. I put my foot firmly down on the pine floors and take ground back when they run over me. 

And with my foot firmly in place, it feels like home. We are grounded.

We are cupped. And whole, and feel a little closer to heaven. It's completely enough. 

What this link-up is about: We "write out spirit" by practicing writing about the invisible using concrete words. In case you are going "what in the world is a concrete word?!"--this just means (using the prompt to inspire) write out what's around us--concrete words make the senses come alive, gives place. In every story, there is always an above and beneath, a beside, something tucked away, aromas in the air, something calling in the trees or from the street, notes in our pocket, rocks in our shoes, sand between our toes. Go here to see Amber's take on this. It was very helpful to me--I think it will be beneficial for you, too.

A few simple guidelines:       1. Be sure you link up the URL to your Concrete Words
                                             post and not just your blog home page URL.
                                         2. Put a link to this post on your blog so that others
                                             can find their way back here.
                                         3. Try to visit one or two others and encourage their efforts
                                         4. Please write along with us, using concrete words--
                                             and the prompt--Please no entries with how-to's, advertising,
                                             or sponsored posts
                                         5. We connect on twitter with the hashtag #concretewords--
                                               please share so others can join!

Today's prompt is Yield

{I will highlight a beautiful post from this link-up on Friday (and announce it on social media), so visit back here to see whose post is highlighted and encourage them!}


  1. oh, I know this dual pull as well. one where your heart seems to be split into two, one side always breaking to let the other side breath and expand. it's hard to explain this to those who don't experience it too. I want you to know that I've felt it, and I see you here. worthy and full of wonderment. our dreams and our days are both inspired and both are needed. keep trusting and listening.

  2. Ashley Tolins LarkinNovember 11, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Dear Nacole, so happy to see you here. And I understand this push and pull. The wanting to be tucked away and wanting to be seen and affirmed. The good of being small, the times that I hunger in my own flesh to be big. The comparisons, the hurts of it all. Like Tara, I see beauty in your wonderment, your showing up because you have something to say. I am praying for you. Peace and joy and love -- the kind you give to your children -- for you, too. Much love, dear. (And I will reply to your FB message very soon.) xoxo

  3. The first thing that came to my mind, Nacole, as I read this today, is --- Who shall be first in the kingdom??? And is it not the smallest who shall be great? Here I am, getting old very quickly and wise very slowly, but I must tell you, all through my life it has been the "small people" who have influenced me most. It's been the little handwritten notes that have changed my life, not the best sellers with pretty jackets and well known endorsements. It's been the faithful little people with broken and faithful hearts that have made a difference --- people like YOU! Keep on writing, girl!

  4. Nacole, I've just discovered your blog through the lovely Michelle DeRusha, who has been a blogging buddy of mine for a good little while now. I'm delighted to have found you. And what do you know? I attended Junior High School in Meridian, Mississippi, back before you were born. I was actually a classmate of Sela Ward.

    But back to you. Your words today have filled me up and blessed me to my toes. They reminded me of the busy years, when I was raising my daughter and attempting to be both good mother and good wife, while having the nerve to dream of being a writer--and getting paid to write. I never wanted to be famous, though, which is a good thing, as I'm so not.

    In time, not only did the Lord give me the desires of my heart, He showed me that my first mission field is my home, and that if I get it wrong there, what else matters? And it was during the busy years that I began scribbling things down on napkins and scraps of paper, and typing late into the night, mostly things that my little daughter taught me. These words would be the inspiration that resulted in my first book being published. Had I neglected my little mission field, or considered it unimportant, I would have missed the still small voice of the Lord.

    I love how you characterized God as the Great Farmer of your heart, the tiller of your soul. How beautiful to yield yourself into His capable hands, knowing that, in time, there will be a harvest.

    Thanks for opening your heart and sharing. It blessed me.

  5. P.S. I love the "yield" theme. If inspiration strikes, I may be back to link up.

  6. Oh, Nacole, in the baring of your sweet soul so much spoke to my heart. But this rang loud and clear, "I'm holding His hand, trusting and taking every little gift that comes disguised, wrapped up looking like heartache, failure or disappointment, and receiving it as blessing from His hand, one thousand and more overflowing" ~ and hit home hard.
    This is what I try and need to do too. And your/mine seemingly meagre crumbs? Why, they become fruit, offering, manna and manifold blessings at His hands. That is the wonder of grace as we yield to God's touch upon our lives.
    Another beautiful write, my friend. Another glimpse into the Farmer's tilling of your dear receptive heart...and it's looking good! Thank you :) xx
    PS:I meant to leave a comment a week ago but couldn't see where :( So glad I came back to re-read and share here.



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