Better what you can

September 4, 2010 | My Jottings

Not long ago an encouraging reader named Shelley told me about an online site called The Rabbit Room. I have enjoyed visiting there but there’s so much to read and several contributors, and I haven’t plumbed the site yet. Two things I learned about at The Rabbit Room that I’ve absolutely loved — The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin, Jr., and the music of Andrew Peterson.

I have a few CDs by Andrew now and am slowly listening to them and getting to know the music, none of which has disappointed me. He’s the one who does the amazing song I put on my blog recently — if you missed it click here. I get teary when I see the couples dancing and smiling at each other with the deep knowing that only long-marrieds seem to have.

Anyway, I read something that Andrew wrote and thought it was quite inspiring, so I’m going to quote it here so you can read it too:

“I know full well there’s sex-trafficking, slave trade, genocide, war, and starvation all over this broken, beautiful planet.  The Kingdom, God’s will done on earth, stabs into the wide blackness like a bright sword in the hands of missionaries, doctors, pastors, and Christians who die for love every day.

Michael Card told me there’s more persecution in the church now than ever before.  There are brothers and sisters in dank prisons right now.  I don’t know why the Lord tarries.  But until he comes, it is my job, in the words of George MacDonald, “to better what I can.”

Look around you.  See the sorrow and weariness in the world, in your own community and church, under your own roof – in your own heart, for Heaven’s sake – and better what you can.  Let Christ lead you; he’ll show you how.

If you’re wealthy, keep your job and fling the money at those who are bringing water to the thirsty.  If you’re not wealthy, better what you can.  Work your field.  Tend your family like a garden. Write a song about your story. Write a story. Better yet, live a story. Make something beautiful, and make something beautiful of your life.

There’s so much in the world that’s falling apart, so put something together.  Find a way.”

Andrew Peterson

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Sometimes life seems so overwhelming, and I get bogged down with the helpless feeling that all the piddly little things I’m doing really make no difference at all.

Then I read what Andrew Peterson said and decided that for today I’m not going to think like that. It may not be much, but I’m going to better what I can. And if I mess up today, maybe with God’s help, tomorrow I will better what I can.

Hoping someone is with me on this,


  1. Dorothy Sooter says:

    Happy Birthday Julie. What a wonderful idea you presented.
    I will definitely ‘take the challenge’. God Bless.

  2. Ember says:

    “Better what you can”. I love it. Amen. What an encouragement! Thank you. x

  3. Shelley says:

    Dear Julie,

    I’m so glad you have been blessed by those fellow brothers and sisters at The Rabbit Room who strive to be salt for the earth. I am definately with you in trying to carry the mantle of “bettering what I can.” Recently, that’s been accepting the commitment of mothering young childern with joy. Tending the family garden and becoming a better gardener of hope, curiosity, and tenderness. For in order for weeds to not grow in their minds and hearts, I must be present and active in their lives and give them my best attention.

    Side note: I hope your birthday was joy-filled!

    oh, and a quirky PS: If all believers are the salt of the earth for Jesus, then what are the writers, the artists amidst that group? Paprika? Iron? Vitamin D?

  4. Just Julie says:

    Good question, Shelley! Could they be the rosemary of the earth? I love rosemary.

  5. Tauni says:

    Thank you for sharing Julie! I agree that it is a struggle to avoid getting caught up in the overwhelmingly negative and sad situations in our world these days. I wonder as well if anything I do makes a difference. Often at those times God causes thoughts of the brief moments I have had with many individuals in my life and the impact their presence has had, if even for a fleeting moment, whether negative or positive. I then realize that I too impact the lives of those around me, even contact for the briefest moment. I then become very mindful that I want it to be positive and not negative.

    P. S. I believe the writers and artists are Vitamin D ~ a little “sonshine” for the soul . . .

  6. Just Julie says:

    Wonderful comment, Taun. LY.

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