My first born is away at camp this week.  She went to this camp last year; her first time away from home for a whole week.  Because she was away for the first time last year, I started a tradition of writing her a note for each day she was gone with strict instructions NOT to open them all at once.  She LOVED it, so I did it again this year.  Because the week is meant to be all about her getting closer to God, I include different scripture verses in each note.  Her roommates from last year were amazed that one day, the scripture that I referenced was the same scripture that their speaker had mentioned.  Glory!  I love it when God shows off in tiny ways that are just for you!

Anyway, Sunday evening I had the pleasure of sitting, with my bible on my lap, searching for words to share with my precious one while she was away.  My words of love and encouragement and, more importantly, God’s Words of love and encouragement.  As I flipped through the pages of my bible, I smiled at the many verses that I had underlined and the notes that I had written in the margins.  Yes, I do write in my bible…it is a history of my Father and I’s journey together.  I picked several verses to share with my baby girl that I thought might bless her….sometimes I just went with the one that jumped out at me as I browsed.

For some reason, I had trouble falling asleep later that night.  As I lay awake, I thought about my experience earlier that evening and expressed my gratitude to God for His Word found within the pages of that book.  I thought about how I am changed when I spend time in God’s Word and I thought about the different reasons that I don’t spend that time as often as I should.  How can I describe the way that I am different after time spent reading God’s Word?  I guess the best word I can find is that I am more tender.  My heart…my spirit…is more tender, more porous, more open.  I am softer in spirit….less brittle.  More flexible, pliable, moldable.  Ready to notice God at work, ready to see His glory.  Open to His leading, quiet enough to hear His voice.

I don’t really understand how it works that way and I know there are some days that I read the bible and it doesn’t connect.  Some days, it just seems like an ancient history book.  But other times, I find God there in those pages and I am changed in subtle ways that I can only see looking backwards at my journey.  I guess my point is that I am learning that just showing up and opening this Book matters…even if I don’t experience a “burning bush” moment everytime.  Some times a word or verse does jump out at me and I know God means it just for me.  Other times however, it is not the words themselves that tenderize my heart.  It is more a deep sense of realization…a KNOWING….that this same God, the God speaking to Abraham, Jacob, David and Peter, is with little me in the quiet of a sleepless night and is with my firstborn in the mountains of North Carolina.

I was listening, as I often do, to Nichole Nordeman while I was exercising today.  This song makes me cry everytime I hear it and I think speaks to both the bigness AND the smallness of my God.  The God that never changes, but continues to change me.

Small Enough

oh, great god, be small enough to hear me now
there were times when i was crying
from the dark of daniel’s den
and i have asked you once or twice
if you would part the sea again
but tonight i do not need a fiery pillar in the sky
just wanna know you’re gonna hold me if i start to cry
oh, great god, be small enough to hear me now

oh, great god, be close enough to feel you now
there have been moments when i could not
face goliath on my own
and how could i forget we’ve marched around
our share of jerichos
but i will not be setting out a fleece for you tonight
just wanna know that everything will be alright
oh great god, be close enough to feel you now

all praise and all honor be
to the god of ancient mysteries
whose every sign and wonder turn the pages of our history
but tonight my heart is heavy
and i cannot keep from whispering this prayer
“are you there?”

and i know you could leave writing on the wall
thats just for me
or send wisdom while i’m sleeping,
like in soloman’s sweet dreams
but i don’t need the strength of samson
or a chariot in the end
just want to know that you still know how many hairs
are on my head
oh great god, be small enough to hear me now