Sometimes I am surprised when God presents truth to me in ways I don’t expect. For example, last week at the beach my son drew a tennis court in the sand; I enjoyed watching him create his masterpiece but I didn’t expect it to be a carrier of truth. I just didn’t see it coming.

He loves tennis. I thought he was drawing a geometric pattern of some sort but my husband knew exactly what it was. The beach wasn’t busy which was good as the tennis court was large. He was so focused on his work and could not be distracted by the waves or by what his brother and sister were choosing to do. He drew the base and service lines. He drew a net and then started building it up a bit as well. As I watched him create I watched people walk around his court, taking a bit of a detour from the direction they were walking. No one was bothered that they had to walk a few steps out of their way as they saw a boy creating, working with his hands, his mind working and enjoying the beach and tennis at the same time. (He’s brilliant!) He was undeterred by the people walking by, he just kept doing what he was doing.

I took a few pictures of his sand court and as I did I heard, in my heart, “He’s not afraid to take up that big space. Why are you afraid to take up a big space?”

BAM. On the beach. Truth hitting so hard I about ate sand.

Bethany, why are you afraid to take up space? Why do you worry about what others will think about the stances you take? Why do you curb your creativity? Why do you try to live small so that things don’t get scary and big?

Bethany, why do you hesitate to fill in the frame God has given you?

I know why. Once I take my focus off of God, I start doubting. I start paying more attention to what people think, what if someone thinks I am in the way or saying more than I should? I start censoring – “That’s too strong” or “That’s being too much” and soon the excuses are piling up like the sand in the minivan. The truth is – living large isn’t about me, it is about fulfilling what God has purposed me to do. It is the living small that is all about me, safe, ruffling no feathers and comfy – and diametrically opposed to what God would want for me.

Where do I get permission to live large, unafraid of opinions or consequences? It’s me. I stand in my way. At the foundational level it is an issue of trust. Do I trust God enough to go ahead and be brave, make no apologies and live large? Do you?

Search for kindling: Is there an area of your life where you are making excuses so you can live small?