Lose a Drop, Gain an Ocean

Lose a Drop, Gain an Ocean

I’ve loved Elisabeth Elliot since high school. I haven’t read all of her books, but I’ve read several over the years, and they always put much needed fat on skinny bones. Right now I’m in the middle of The Path of Loneliness: Finding Your Way through the Wilderness to God.

Here is the full quote from the picture above (which is a good one to pin, btw):

With what misgivings we turn over our lives to God, imagining somehow that we are about to lose everything that matters. Our hesitancy is like that of a tiny shell on the seashore, afraid to give up the teaspoonful of water it holds lest there not be enough ocean to fill it again. Lose your life, said Jesus, and you will find it. Give up, and I will give you all. Can the shell imagine the depth and plenitude of the ocean? Can you and I fathom the riches, the fullness, of God’s love?

I’m glad to say goodbye to 2013. It was filled with ripping pain. I’ve never been so frightened or empty or lonely in all my life. I wondered sometimes how I would ever find my way to the other side.

I’m still walking.

We may be earnestly desiring to be obedient and holy. But we may be missing the fact that it is here, where we happen to be at this moment and not in another place or another time, that we may learn to love Him—here where it seems He is not at work, where His will seems obscure or frightening, where He is not doing what we expected Him to do, where He is most absent. Here and nowhere else is the appointed place. If faith does not go to work here, it will not go to work at all.

I hope that meets some of you right where you are today. I’m always so amazed at how God has just the right message for us at just the right time. He loves us dearly. (Don’t ask me why – I’m just glad He does.)

You know – when we get hurt, we either fight or we run and hide. I’ve done a lot of both in my life. Do you ever find a great hole in the ground where you finally feel safe – and then when you DO venture to stick your neck out the hole to see if the sun might be shining – you get swung at? Back down the hole you go. Not doing THAT again. I’m no dummy.

Someone told me about Brene Brown this past week. She’s done extensive research on vulnerability for many years. I’m going to embed her video on vulnerability here (if you are reading this in an email, you may need to click over to the blog to watch – or go on YouTube. It is SO worth it.)

It’s only about 20 minutes long – but it’s fabulous. Every single one of you will be able to relate. She’s funny (humor helps) – and she’s got some great insights into this topic which we Christians would translate “humility.” I plan to watch it with my husband and older kids and have a good discussion afterward.

Before I embed this video, let me say thank you to those of you who filled out the reader survey I sent out privately yesterday. I plan to talk more about that next week – but I wanted to tell you now that I have been blown away by the encouraging responses. I don’t see you – and most of the time I wonder if you are a figment of my imagination – so to have this kind of personal contact has meant the world to me.

I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did:

Natalie Klejwa is a Wemmick, loved by the Woodcarver, wife of 22 years to Joe, and mother to 9 Wemmicks ages 2-20. She is a business owner (Apple Valley Natural Soap), founder and administrator of the Visionary Womanhood blog, publisher and contributing author of Three Decades of Fertility, You Can Do it Too! 25 Families Share Their Stories, and The Heart of Simplicity: Foundations for Christian Homemaking.

You can hear her being interviewed on Kevin Swanson's Generations with Vision radio program.

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4 thoughts on “Lose a Drop, Gain an Ocean

  1. Thank you so much for posting this video. I cried and laughed at the same time. It came at a time when I am struggling watching my daughter struggle with her loss when her boyfriend who just bolted from their relationship because he has committment issues which we learned after and I don’t know how to help her or him. He denies he has a problem and he refused to talk to her about it and dismisses the idea that their large circle of friends know he has a problem. We’re afraid he will do it again because he has done this before. Watching the video helped to understand.

  2. I love the quotes from Elizabeth Elliot. It is so true that we often do not see God’s grace as sufficient for the very circumstance that we find ourselves in. We think that God should be writing our story differently. Yet, I was just reading the life of Alexander Mackay who went to bring the gospel to Uganda and his life was, humanly speaking, impossibly difficult and complicated. Yet he says “But I shall look for the ultimate success of our Mission whatever becomes of men, for the cause is not ours but of God.”

  3. Interesting :) I would love to engage Brene in a conversation about being vulnerable with the *right* people. I am a conservative Christian living ” against the grid” so to speak, and I don’t think it is always wise to be completely vulnerable with everyone I know… I think we have to know *who* we can share with, *who* we can open up to…

    Anyone have thoughts on this?

    • She actually talks about the importance of that in another video – I didn’t listen to it, but I noticed the topic. I think we’d have to listen to more of her talks to get the full scope of what she has learned in her research. This was just a little sound bite.