I often get asked how do you do it? I guess people are referring to me being a wife, a mother of six children, (two of whom we currently homeschool), a grandparent, and senior minister. It sounds a lot when you look at my life at first. I’m no superwoman, although my kids are often asked if I am – I’m just me! But I didn’t start out being and doing all the things I do; my life and my capacity to live it increased little by little.
Capacity is the power of containing or holding something; and an increase in our capacity does not happen overnight but gradually as we make certain decisions, or are choose to step into opportunities and overcome challenges.
When we had a first child Anna we were young youth leaders in our Church. We made the decision to keep leading the youth even when we had a baby and as a result our capacity had to increase. We had to increase our ability to do without sleep, to be more organised, to work as a team with others and to not “sweat the small stuff”. As I like to say, “we got bigger on the inside”. Three years later our second daughter Shara arrived. Once again we chose to keep ministering, except now we added moving cities so that my husband Philip could further his studies. We had to increase our capacity once again in our finances, our faith, our capacity to change and our trust in God to provide and continue to lead us.
Sometimes we can be afraid of taking any extra “weight” or pressure in life. It can seem too overwhelming. But not all weight is bad; for us to increase in strength and capacity we do have to undertake an increase, even if only incrementally in what we can hold and carry. The key is to seek God for His wisdom to know what He is calling each one of us to increase and develop in and what is simply a burden which needs to be lifted off. (James 1:5)
Every season, every new addition to the family, every transition to something new, every step of faith and sometimes just absolute trust that God had our lives in His hands has meant we have had to make the consistent decision to keep increasing in our capacity. Has that always been easy? Definitely not. There have been times when we have stumbled, made mistakes and had to take a step back and reconsider. Times where adjustments have had to be made, where we have had to let go of things and pick up others. But I can say that with each lesson, season, blessing and change I’ve without a doubt got ”bigger on the inside”.
I am not a very big person on the outside, but my desire is to keep increasing my capacity so I am always getting bigger on the inside.
Some of the areas I have discovered we can make a personal decision to increase our capacity in are:
1.Faith capacity – Faith is trusting God; it is the substance of vision, dreams and the future. We need increasing faith to be able to believe and see what God sees and be positioned for whatever He brings our way.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” (Hebrews 11:1-3)
2.People capacity – Life is all about relationships and about caring, loving, honoring and serving people. The more people in our life, the bigger our capacity needs to be.
3.Change capacity -To be honest I am not a great lover of change. However I have discovered we can’t grow and increase without it. We all have to learn how to adjust and be flexible to some degree. Change is not our enemy as long as its productive change. It is one of the greatest agents of our gaining momentum and moving forward.
4.Hearts capacity – Our heart and spirit are like a container that is designed to hold love, grace and compassion. We can “hold” people, cities, nations and the world in our hearts. But we have to grow in our capacity to do that. Our attitudes, mindsets, beliefs and values will be challenged and stretched. It can be very confronting to realise how “small minded” or indifferent we can be. However God is so gracious and promises He has and will continually shed abroad His love in hearts if we ask. The more open we are to His love, the greater our hearts capacity to hold it will be.
“And hope does not make us ashamed, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, the One having been given to us.” (Romans 5:4)
The world needs big people! People who are able to hold the world and its inhabitants in their hearts, who desire to increase from faith to faith and who aren’t afraid of change.
We have a limitless capacity in God. We are often far more capable than we give ourselves credit for. What looks impossible alone, is possible with God. (Matt 19:26)
Ask yourself, “are there areas in my life I need to reconsider and adjust so that I can increase in other areas? Am I doing the things I am passionate about, or just feeling pressured because there are things I am involved with and carry that are simply burdens and not growth areas?”
Today consider where in your life does God want to make you “bigger on the inside” and what steps can you take with Him to increase your capacity today?
Prayer: Lord thank you that you constantly enable me to change and grow. Please help me to increase in my faith, relationships and love so that I just keep on getting “bigger on the inside”. In Jesus name Amen.