My Tent is Expanding

my tent is expanding holly wagner

In two weeks time I will be attending my 4th Colour Conference. It’s always an exciting time of year as the conference looms. But the weeks before can be hectic in making sure my writing deadlines are complete.

I’m definitely one of those girls that likes to have her ducks all in a row before going away.

But lately life has been a little hectic. My ducks have been squabbling. I’ve said yes to more things this year and they are going to stretch me mentally, physically and spiritually.

While I’m not a person that says yes to every opportunity or obligation that comes my way, I’ve felt that saying yes has been the best choice out of the available options. And I’ve literally told myself ‘I’ll think about the consequences of this later’.

This year is already shaping to be quite full. Despite the full swing of the year, I still can’t quite find my rhythm. If you think, by looking at my Instagram photos, that I look like I’ve got it together, I can assure you that I don’t.

Here is what I’ve been struggling with this year:

I still haven’t mastered two drop-offs and we’re well and truly in the middle of term 1. You’d think I would have gotten in a routine with this. But not yet. Thank goodness for school mum friends who are a text message away to help.

Despite Tuesdays being my only child free day, those 5 hours available between drop-off and pick up are busy. I make the most of that kid free time by getting as much work done as possible. My fingers throb from all the typing.

There are P & C meetings at school and committee meetings for Kindy (I’m doing the WH&S) and both require a night out each month.

Jacob and I decided to host a connect group at our home to connect with other families at our church. We also look after the family zone for one of our church services – where we look out for new families that have attended church, and make them feel welcome and connected. This means each Sunday morning we are up at 5am to get 3 kids to church by 7amish for a meeting and ensuring the zone is set up.

Add in three kids, freelance work, household duties and making sure there’s some quality time with my husband and God, I have started to feel a little overwhelmed with how much is stacked on my plate.

And yet, I’m sure it’s no different to a lot of parents out there who volunteer their time to help with kids sport, school tuckshop or even church. Many manage businesses or full-time work as well.

My tent is expanding

Right now my tent is expanding. The cords are taut. In fact they’re stretching and I’m feeling at capacity with all the things I need to do.

That uncomfortable feeling of being overwhelmed and wondering how I will do all that I need to do, reminded me of a message that was taught at Colour last year.

The message was taught by Holly Wagner and she explained the only way our lives can get bigger is if we expand our tents. And expansion is never easy to live through. It’s quite painful, but it’s a necessary process to move up to the next ‘bigger’ tent so we can grow our capacity again.

God calls us to expand our tents. It’s essential for growing as a person and experiencing all that God has in store for us.

Are you stretching into what God is trusting you with?

Do you have faith in yourself, that you can manage what God has given you to grow?

In Isaiah 54:2, The Message Bible states, ‘Make your tents large. Spread Out! Think Big! Use plenty of rope and drive the tent pegs deep. You’re going to need lots of elbow room for your family.’

Those who follow God, don’t have lives that get smaller. Their lives get bigger.

I take encouragement from these verses, because building something big and good takes a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of faith too.

Nothing in life is an overnight success. And the only way to expand into new seasons of fruitfulness, is by pushing through the uncomfortable and often wearying stages of growth.

In order to grow our tents we need courage, and this is done by taking a step out of our comfort zone.

We also need strength – physically, spiritually and mentally.

We can’t be led by our emotions. We need to make wise decisions by getting knowledgeable and skilled so we can cope better with our expanding tent.

And finally, the expansion of our tent is not about us. It’s about others. A tent can’t grow without people in it.

Community is important. Is what you’re doing helping others and is it true to the calling God has on your life? Our calling is not about making ourselves bigger and better, but it’s about helping others.

Your purpose will always be greater than your position.

Despite feeling out of my comfort zone in some areas of my life, I’m also excited to see myself grow and expand into the next tent God has for me.

Are you feeling at capacity with all that you have to do this year? Is your tent expanding too? Do you ever get excited about what you’re growing into?