Saturday, April 23, 2011

Less is More

Over a year ago, I was totally spent. I was messy from potty training my toddler; nauseous from being pregnant with my daughter; sweaty from living on a remote island of Indonesia; and exhausted from loving my neighbors, caring for my family, and serving God. As I cleaned after a son who would never remember my act of love, this symbol became a costly way of life—giving everything with no recognition.

Oswald Chambers’ question from My Utmost for His Highest convicted me:
“Are you ready to be not so much as a drop in a bucket, to be so hopelessly insignificant that you are never thought of again in connection with the life you served? Are you willing to spend and be spent; not seeking to be ministered unto, but to minister? Some saints cannot do menial work and remain saints because it is beneath their dignity.”

I yearned for less—not the popular term “simplify” that just wouldn’t work in my lifestyle. How do you simplify as your family grows? How do you simplify when leaks in ceilings and sinks multiply? How do you simplify as your eyes open wider to poverty’s never-ending needs? No, simply “simplifying” just wouldn’t do.

So, I determined to spend the year “becoming less” with the purpose of Christ becoming more. I would purposely rejoice when I felt used by others, tired from giving, misunderstood by friends, unnoticed by people, insulted by the world. I made it my chance to thank God that I could become less, become humble, giving all glory to God and God alone. I hoped people wouldn’t notice me so that I could glorify God from humility’s kneel. My load felt lighter, too, as I shed the pride of needing to be appreciated.

Now I’m ready for more. For the past few weeks, I’ve felt restless to see more of God’s heart. In the becoming less, I’ve yearned for more of God.

Lately, I’ve been dealing with a specific fear to a specific opportunity to the point of being paralyzed in indecision. I feared that if I chose something particularly big for my life, I’d be risking everything. I feared the worst, not trusting God, not willing to fully spend myself. I wanted to hoard the blessings God has lavished on me.

As my wise husband reminded me that God is in the business of turning the bad into beauty, and as Brad urged me to exchange this unholy fear for a God-trust, I find myself ready and excited to begin a life of risking more than I’ve ever risked so that I can directly see more of God. I want to become less so that God can become so much more in my life.

I’m not ready yet to talk specifics. But I hope to share more with you about this new adventure of following God to more than just the ends of the earth, but to the end of myself. I don’t know yet the details of what will happen. But I can trust that in giving everything away, I will gain even more.

More to come soon…


  1. I really enjoyed this post, Rebecca. It is something I can relate to and I needed to be reminded of it! Thank you!

  2. This adventure of spending yourself till there is less of you is so huge--the fear factor is real--but the exchange is also so worthy of the cost. I'm so glad you are going for it dear Rebecca! I can't wait to hear more of this adventure.

  3. HI Rebecca,

    I am Sarah D's cousin, and just saw and read your post. I also was struck by O. Chambers words as I read that same quote a few days ago.
    I am encouraged and challenged by your reflections and surrender to Christ. The poor will inherit the earth.
    Happy Resurrection Day!
    Lisa Neuenschwander

  4. Thanks so much for your kind comments! May we all live bravely as we serve God this week!


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