Friday, June 1, 2012

Little by Little

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Matthew 6:25-34
[ Do Not Worry ] “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ? 

When I started this blog I was happy to have a few friends who were reading on a regular basis. I had no idea what God might do but felt that He was calling me to write and post. The idea of posting daily Monday - Friday was at that time a big stretching step of faith. I tend to be kind of scattered in my approach to life and for me to do something every day would require God's help. Now 10 months later writing daily is no big deal. I hear some of you snickering ... writing daily with out typos, punctuation and grammer slip ups would be an absolute miracle. I know the grammar police are out there writing me tickets with their red pens. 

I could let perfection in these posts stand between me and posting the message that God has put on my heart to share. I also think I would prefer to allow people to see my flaws and failures because it is easy to think that one must have their act together to bother trying to do anything for the kingdom. So much of what we see is the "Big Show" and I am more interested in gritty, honest and real.   Even in the songs I post some of the time, are pretty much about the same level of perfection that you would get if you were sitting with me in my living room worshiping God. At first the thought of sharing them in their rough state seemed terrible and embarrassing to me, but I really felt that God wanted me to get them out there so that people would find them and God would be able to use those songs to speak to hearts. Who knows when I will ever get around to doing a real recording project again in my life. I am thankful for the ones I did get to do.

Anyway I wanted to share with you a bit of exciting news. I have been asked to be part of Healing Stream Media Networks Team Blog. I was asked if I would take one day a week and write for their audience that frequents their on line radio stations. So I have chosen to post on Fridays and have posted my very first post at that site. Here's the link http://hsmteamblog.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/time-to-graduate-from-baby-food/  If you have been following this blog for any length of time you will recognize it as one that I previously posted here but a bit more edited. I will just take it week by week - I may do some new posts but there as well but there is a lot here that has only been read by a small number of people so I will probably use some of that again.

The other bit of cool news was I was asked to submit an article for a worship leaders blog and my article will post in August. That one I will actually get paid for my article. I will be able to say at that point that I am officially a paid writer. I really don't know what God will do with this and have pretty much just left the out come of my writing efforts in His hands. I am excited that this devotional is growing in the numbers of people who are regularly reading.  I even have a few of you who are posting comments. I really appreciate you taking the time to drop me notes about how various posts touch your heart and what you are challenged to do as a result of them. You bless me - thank you.

I talked to someone today who was in town visiting family from Arizona. She shared how she loves reading my posts and learns something every day. Even my pastor had already read my post about moving that I wrote yesterday and was already reaching out to some of his contacts with rental properties. Friends stop me all the time and make a point to tell me they are enjoying this blog. Honestly I am always wonderfully surprised by the positive feed back that I get from people who are reading. Even my dad commented recently that my writing was getting better.

I easily spend 1 - 2 hours writing each day generally early in the morning but sometimes late at night.  I found this quote in the article that I posted for Healing Stream blog. “Earl Nightingale once said, “If you will spend an extra hour each day of study in your chosen field, you will be a national expert in that field in five years or less.” Writing is something I really love doing, I'm not sure about national expert but I should certainly continue to improve and become more and more skilled with practice and use. Anyway I appreciate your patience as I grow and develop as a writer.

So with my post today I want to encourage you to take that step of faith to do that thing that God has put on your heart to do. I think God is more interested in faith and obedience than he is in perfection.
It is much easier to steer something that is moving than it is to move something that is sitting still. I know that as I continue to take steps of faith and am obedient to do the things he calls me to do that he will steer and direct me along the way. Don't wait till someday to do the things you love.

There are some things that I only do a little bit on each day but even that little bit adds up over time. When I first started doing mosaics I would visit the sites of other artists and it seemed like they had so much work to show and I felt I had so little. I started posting my work in various places. Little by little I posted 300 cards featuring my mosaics at Greeting Card Universe. Little by little I have added about 200 items to my artfire online shop. There are tabs at the top of this site page that will get you to those places if you are interested. Little by little I have posted 265 posts here at a Devotional Mosaic and I have 95 posts now featuring my art projects that I am working on at my Bits and Pieces Blog. Little by little the Lord is helping me deal with the layers of old baggage and little by little I am becoming more and more free in Him.

You don't have to eat the whole elephant in one sitting. Just get started and do a little bit every day or regularly and you will be surprised how fast it all adds up. I know that sometimes the big picture is too much and it is easy to get stuck like that deer in the headlights.

On the painting that I am currently working on at first the idea of painting again after so many years was exciting, frightening and overwhelming. So I did the things I knew I could do to get started. I could get the supplies. I could prepare my canvas. I could lightly put the basic shapes into their respective places. Then I decided to do the part that seemed to me to be the most difficult - the sun face - I knew if I could accomplish that part that I would be able to do the rest. I am now very nearly done with that project. Little by little, part by part the Lord has lead me from here to there. I have found that in much the same way as He leads me through the creative process He helps me work through my life issues in much the same way. A little here and a little there. I don't spend time worrying about the things I can't yet figure out or the things I don't yet have what I need to accomplish. I work on what I can do today and trust that when I get to the next step I will have what I need for it when the time comes. As a result I have more time to do things because my life and energy is not consumed by worry.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, Help us take that next step of faith into the unknown. We don't know how the journey will end and where we might stop and visit along the way. You see the big picture even when we don't have a clue. Lead us and guilde us today. Help us to take our thoughts captive and to not spend our time worrying but to make the choice to trust you and to work on what we can today.

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