Blog | Lindsey Smallwood

Hanging in to the Finish

Lindsey SmallwoodComment

By the time this post gets published, I will have likely had a baby.

Oh God, please let that be true.

But today, as I sit at my computer with my feet up on the desk, I’m 8 months along and feeling huge and uncomfortable. I have to go to the bathroom all the live-long day. Everything makes me cry. Bending over requires a fully thought out getting-back-up strategy.

Don’t get me wrong. I wanted this pregnancy, celebrated at each happy milestone as the months have progressed, can’t wait to add another little life to our family.

But today? I’m done. D to the O to the N to the E. As in get this guy outta here already.

But no. He’s tucked in tight for a little while longer. And my job is to persevere until this season is finished.

Truth be told, most of life is like this. There are seasons and jobs and sometimes even people we’d like to be done with. But often, we have to wait until the time comes, hanging in there to the finish. The thing I’m trying to remember this week, swollen ankles and all, is how God offers joy and peace in the middle of it.

Continue reading at Middle Places by clicking here

Sometimes It's Good to be Wrong

Lindsey SmallwoodComment

I never wanted to live here.
Colorado? Yes.
Boulder? Absolutely!
In the family dorms on campus behind the football field? Definitely not the dream.

We had a deal. My husband received a sweet fellowship to follow his dream of working in Physics research. I was supposed to get a cute little house on a tree-lined street in the suburbs where I would stay home with my babies.

Except the boss moved the research lab to Michigan.
So the house fell through.
And suddenly we found ourselves thousands of miles from anything we knew with no place to call our own and an uncertain professional future.

Well, not no place. The university housing office offered us a spot, 840 square feet of linoleum floors and concrete walls with neighbors on every side. I knew I should be thankful. There was the nagging voice in my head, reminding me that our new home on campus was more than enough to meet our needs, more than many have the world over.

But I’d been telling myself a story. After living in dorms and apartments for nearly 15 years, I wanted a home. I wanted paint chips and flooring samples. I wanted space for a piano and room to entertain. I’d convinced myself I deserved those things.

It’s a spiritually dangerous place, living as though you’re owed something.

Continue reading at Jen Pollock Michel's blog by clicking here

Life: the Sublime & the Mundane

Lindsey SmallwoodComment

The day I got married was my all-time favorite day.

Sure, I went a little nuts with the hot glue gun in the weeks leading up to the big event, making over-the-top bird cage centerpieces. And yes, there were tears I vowed I'd never cry about things like booking the band and the catering menu. But by the time the actual day dawned everything was perfect.

I mean not perfect.

My dress got stuck on the back row pew and I almost got slingshotted backward walking down the aisle. And there were pictures we forgot to take and people I didn't get to talk to. But still, there was magic in the air, as everyone we loved gathered in one place to sing and dance and eat cake.

My heart has never been so full, before or since. Thinking about our final dance, spinning around and singing along to Journey's Don't Stop Believing never fails to bring a smile to my lips.

Compare that to yesterday. My husband is sick, which is not his specialty. He's grumpy and tired and struggling to get life done with a cough that won't quit. I'm in the final weeks of pregnancy and am having trouble sleeping, so the days are long and exhausting. My toddlers are feisty balls of energy that leave a mess in any space they've occupied for more than two minutes, so everything in my life is dirty or out of place.

By bedtime last night, not only did our tiny apartment look like a tornado had blown through, there'd been yelling and harsh words and even a slammed door.

Not exactly magical.

Continue reading at Middle Places by clicking here

Growing in Goodness

Lindsey SmallwoodComment

Over the summer, I taught a Bible study at our church on the fruit of Spirit. We did a little exercise in the beginning where we listed them out, these qualities that Paul defines in Galatians as evidence that we are living as people connected to Christ. I asked those who had come which ones they longed to grow in their own lives.

Not surprisingly, most people wanted more patience or recognized a need for deeper self-control. But when it came to “goodness,” only 2 lonely hands went up. Maybe it’s because everyone else is already exceeding in goodness, but I suspect it might be that while most of us have a handle on what it means to be loving and patient and kind, goodness is less obvious. It’s meaning is obscured to us because the word ‘good’ is used 100 times a day in our everyday lives and seems to be so subjective.

Still it’s an important idea, this notion that we need to be good, to practice goodness. Paul (and Moses, Solomon, David, Micah, Isaiah and Jesus before him) challenged us that our lives ought to be full of goodness.

As Christians, Christ followers, we believe we were created by God. We were made by Him to bear His image. The Imageo Dei, the image of God, is what makes us human in our essence. As His people, his representatives, his image bearers, there are certain things that we were created to do. One of those things is to be full of goodness. So what does it mean to be and to do good?

Continue reading at iBelieve by clicking here.