Fire Building for Moms (An Analogy for the New Year)

By January 9, 2013 General 23 Comments

In Texas, it’s rare that we can use the fireplace without needing to turn the air conditioning down. Way down.

But i’m happy to report that we have had several cozy fires this winter. A couple days ago, the power even went out. We were like the Ingalls family keeping the fire going just to keep the bone chilling 60 degree Texas weather at bay.

It was touch and go for awhile.

If you know much about fire building, it’s a testy process. You can’t just drop the big logs in, throw a match at them, grab a blankie, a good book and enjoy a roaring fire.


You actually have to w-o-r-k.

Start with itty bitty little good for nothing leaves, and then put on some pokey, messy twigs. Next you add bigger branches, and FINALLY you can add the big logs – once the fire is good and strong.

Seems silly to me…that we need leaves and twigs when their life span is .02 miliseconds and they don’t give off enough heat to warm a hamster. Seems like it would be simpler to grab a big old honkin’ log, throw it in and hold the lighter to it until it catches on fire.

But that’s not how it works. Part of the bark might catch fire, but the heat wouldn’t be strong enough to set the whole log aflame. And every false start would be discouraging. We’d likely give up all together.

There is something abut starting small. Something about watching the leaves immediately catch fire. Then the twigs, the branches and ever so slowly and steadily watching the fire burn warm and strong.

Friends, building our lives is no different than building a fire. I know that every New Year we set massive resolutions and want to throw matches at them and watch them burn, but it just doesn’t work like that. Waking up an hour early to study Leviticus, run 3 miles and plan our day to the minute might last for a moment, but it’s not the way to build a fire.

The Power Isn’t In The Action, It’s In The Commitment

It seems silly to start small, but while the action is small, the commitment isn’t. Action is exciting, but commitment is the thing that makes everything great. A committed marriage is beautiful. A committed athlete is inspiring. A committed mother soothes the barren and weary soul. A committed teacher transforms the lives of children.

Commitment is the Rosa Parks of our personal revolution.

MLK’s passion may have led the Civil Rights movement, but it was Rosa Parks’ small, fleeting action that set it on fire.

So, I dare you to sit in that seat. Come what may. Do whatever it takes to light the flame, however small an action, and keep building. Don’t give up.

  • 5 minutes of Bible study a day
  • 5 squats when you wake up each day
  • Pick just 5 tasks to do each day
  • Write 10 sentences a day

A river cuts through rock, not because of it’s power, but because of it’s persistence. – Jim Watkins

Pick something small, but commit to it every single day. Every single day. And when you miss a day. Commit to starting again. And again. And again.

Do this, and you’ll see something amazing happen. The fire finds it’s own fuel.

Those 5 minutes of Bible Study will grow into a few more minutes of prayer simply because you want to talk to God about what it all means. Those 5 squats will inspire you to think about your heath. You’ll skip that donut for breakfast and choose and omelette instead. Doing those 5 tasks will motivate you to tackle bigger projects.

If your future self is enemy #1, then overwhelming goals are enemy #2.

If you’re serious about igniting your personal revolution this year…dream big, start small and keep building.

Pick something. Start today. Are your New Year’s Resolutions too big, or just right? Do you need some smaller, simpler goals to set things on fire? Click here to comment.

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