When you’re stuck between living big and living small.

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So our feeds are firing a mile a minute with all this talk about dreaming big and reaching for the stars. And every now and then, my stomach flutters a bit with the idea that I could do something really grand and important, something that impacts the world and the Kingdom. I imagine seeing my books in Barnes & Noble, being interviewed, speaking in front of churches, going viral. And I have to admit, it sounds delicious and enticing.

I hear just as much from the opposite end of the spectrum: people who claim they just want to stay under the radar, who feel great about doing the small things, who never want to leave home, and say that anonymity helps them sleep better at night. Strange as it may be, this option sounds every bit as attractive to me as the idea of seeing my name in lights.

Most days I feel quite torn between being a candle and being a firework.

There’s a phrase I hear over and over when I tell strangers what I do for a living, a phrase I wish for the love I could just wipe right off the face of the earth. 

It takes a special person, they say. It makes me shudder to even type.

As if my work is somehow inherently better than anyone else’s.

What I don’t tell them is that I come home exhausted and shaky more nights than not, and there are weeks that make me want to walk out the door and never look back, except for the fact that it has been ingrained in me that if I can’t hack it at this job, I am not a special person.

Yeah, the struggle is real.

But there are words that I come back to — words that speak life to me and lighten the burden that so often buries me.

Live the truest thing you know. 

It came from a Hemingway quote that I found when I was facing a bit of writer’s block and (obviously) avoiding sitting down to push through it. And the truth is, I was also facing life block — I would take a step, make a move, only to find myself wishing some cosmic backspace key would come swiftly to the rescue when I realized it was all just an epic farce.

When you don’t know what to write, just write the truest thing you know.

My breath caught in my chest. Could it really be that simple?

Maybe we’re asking the wrong question when we ponder living big or small. Maybe there’s an entirely different third door that stands open and inviting. 

A third door that whispers come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden. 

A door where size doesn’t matter because nothing is ever wasted, and authenticity counts for more than efficiency.

Because at the end of the day, the candle and the firework serve the same purpose: to give light.

When you’re living the truest thing, you’re living God’s grace. The God who delights in multiplying the seemingly mundane and small, the God whose joy it is to accomplish the immeasurable.

When you’re living the truest thing, you’re living out a willingness to trust that God really is who he says he is, living in a constant posture of worship.

This, this, is how I want to make a life.

  • Tracy

    Refreshing ! Real ! Erin , you are so right ! He wants us willing just willing everyday for the rest our life here on this earth. You have such a great powerful.way of writing your word to speak truth ! Posture of worship !!!!

  • Tara Ulrich

    Erin great post!! So excited for the next round of #fmfpartysnailmail.