Life in Small Spaces

Renee Ann Smith —  October 12, 2015 — 20 Comments

The school where I teach is a pretty small place.

My students experience the benefits of being a tight-knit family. They have people who love them, help them, hurt when they’re hurting.

They never walk through their days without others by their side—even when they’d rather be alone.

By second period, they’ve passed each other in the hallway, bumped elbows at the bathroom mirror, heard the whispered gossip at their lockers . . .

And they know, just as we all can see their trendy outfits and hairdos, we can often see the things they’d rather hide.

It can be hot under that spotlight when people know so much about you—especially on the days when you feel you barely know yourself.

Just like in a family, sometimes that very closeness that’s meant to be a comfort is what makes us guard ourselves all the more,

lest the ugly inner stuff—the anger, pettiness, jealousy, insecurity, fear—

spill out all over for everyone to see.

When the ugliness spills, it smudges our friendships and our reputations,

and the judgment that’s sure to follow breaks our hearts. 

We wonder if the folks who know us best ever will ever let us forget who we’ve become in their eyes.

At those moments, it takes a stout heart to believe God loves us in spite of our inner mess.

That He sees deep inside us and yet never feels the need to lift Himself up by exposing us to others.

That He desires only that we see it—clearly and without excuse—for ourselves so that we might accept His provision.

Then God invites us to hold out our arms and let Him clothe us with Christ’s righteousness . . . 

a one-size-fits-all covering that becomes a Veil of Grace.

And the magic is that if we view others through Christ’s Veil of Grace—

even when their pettiness, weakness, and failings are on display—

His breathtaking image, His lovely righteousness, overshadows anything else

and makes them beautiful in our sight.

Here’s the verse I’m claiming this week for life in small spaces. May God bless as I share it with my students as well.

“I delight greatly in the Lord. My soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
& arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest &
as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
Isaiah 61:10

clothed in righteousness

And a bonus quote for when you need a fresh start . . .

Second chances George Elliot

Let’s look for glimpses of His glory today. Blessings, friends!

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This week I might be linking up with  Motivation Monday, Reflect, Small Wonder Link-Up, Playdates with God, Book Musing Monday, The Art of Homemaking Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Sharing His Beauty, Mommmy Monday Blog Hop,Monday Musings,Modest Mondays,  Make Your Home Sing Monday, Busy Monday, Good Morning Monday, Ra Ra Link-Up, Soul Survival, Turn It Up Tuesday,Titus 2 Tuesdays, Testimony Tuesday, Intentional Tuesday, Enchanting Rose, Raising Homemakers, Woman to Woman, Hope In Every Season, A Little R&R, Wake Up Wednesday, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays,Wise Woman Wednesday, Words with Winter, Three Word Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, World-filled Wednesday, Pin Worthy Wednesday, Coffee for Your Heart, Mom’s Morning Coffee,Thursday Favorite Things, Thriving Thursday Booknificent Thursday, Tell His Story, Live Free Thursday, Thought Provoking Thursday, From House to Home Link Party,Grace at Home, Christian Fellowship Friday, Faith-filled Friday Faith & Fellowship Friday,Friendship Friday, Equipping Godly Women, Freedom Friday Friday Features Link PartyEveryday Jesus, Grace and Truth, Dance with Jesus, Coffee Date (end of month), Paula’s No Rules Weekend Hop, Saturday Sharefest, Saturday Situation, Still SaturdayFresh-brewed Sundays, What I Learned This Monthand The Sunday Community.

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

20 responses to Life in Small Spaces

  1. Love this! We have all lived it, haven’t we? Thank God for his grace! Visiting from A Field of Flowers!

  2. Beautiful pictures and quotes! #sharingHisbeauty

  3. Letting God’s Word clothe me is the only way to protect my heart from that ugliness. Thanks for sharing at #TestimonyTuesday!

  4. Just lovely, Renee! Thank you for these beautiful words and the verse to cling to! Blessings! #IntentionallyPursuing

  5. Rrenee Ann, I’m your neighbor this morning at Cornerstone Confessions. Love that verse-as a bride adorns herself with jewels, God adorns us with salvation and righteousness. Lovely. And thanks for sharing where you grab your photos! Hugs, Susan

  6. “A veil of grace.” I love that. This is beautiful, Renee Ann. Thank you for sharing. ((blessings))

  7. Thanks for sharing this! Found you on the Titus 2 Tuesday link up.

  8. I’m afraid of small spaces. MRI’s, crawl spaces, narrow staircases, attic hatches are not for me. And I’ve been in some pretty scary small places in my emotional/spiritual life too. But God has a way of leading us into wide and spacious pastures if we follow His lead. Thanks for sharing your heart. Blessings.

  9. Thanks for the thoughts and awesome graphics. Hugs~

  10. This is just beautiful! Thank you for sharing on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! 🙂

  11. Renee, Small places can feel cozy or crowded. I love cozy, I hate feeling hemmed in. I hadn’t thought about what it is like for those who work in such places every day. I can see how that would be a challenge. Thanks for sharing.

  12. This is what makes small spaces so important – spilling our mess is inevitable. Thanks for linking with #SmallWonder.

  13. Thank you for sharing those inspirational words and scripture.

  14. You had me from “At those moments, it takes a stout heart to believe God loves us in spite of our inner mess.” I loved the encouraging words.

  15. “His breathtaking image, His lovely righteousness, overshadows anything else and makes them beautiful in our sight” – learning to see people as God sees them – it changes everything, doesn’t it!

  16. So grateful for that veil of grace that manages to fit us all perfectly. Thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

  17. Renee, Thank you for writing such a thoughtful and encouraging post.

    I especially was struck by your statement “That He desires only that we see it—clearly and without excuse—for ourselves so that we might accept His provision.” Whenever I think about God’s provision, I think of it in more practical ways I guess you could say. But as I re-read your insight I realized that indeed, The Lord provides for us especially in our sin – He provides the way out.

    I have left your blog today feeling edified. 🙂

  18. Hi Renee!
    Visiting today from #Grace and Truth. Your students are surely blessed to have you in their lives. I enjoyed the post very much. It also took me back to when I was teaching in a junior high special education class in the 80’s. You describe well what happens in small spaces. They can occur other places as well…..even our churches, but the context you wrote about was spot on!

  19. Congrats Renee – you’re our Friend of the Week at this week’s Friendship Friday Party -196 at Create With Joy!

    Hope you have an amazing week and I enjoyed your post which brought back memories of my HS days as well! 🙂

  20. Thank you so much for sharing this! It’s truly amazing! I’m now following your blog via twitter, networked blogs, google + and Fb via Friendship friday blog hop! Please feel free to stop by mine if you get a chance! xoxo
    Simply mama of 2

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