Do you need to cast a small net?

February 27, 2016

Written By

Tabitha Dumas

In life, we often try a lot of things, hoping something sticks. A lot of us volunteer our hearts out and give to our families until we have nothing left. So the question is…

can you cast a small net?

Below is my original post from May, 2013. Afterward is the update.

This post first appeared on Splickety here.

John 21:6 “And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find [some].” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.”

There was a time almost exactly five years ago when I was so busy fishing my way and on my own terms that even if the Lord had said, “Cast over there,” I would have said, “Nah, I’ve got this.”

At the time, I was working so feverishly within our local church that I was experiencing anxiety on a daily basis. I was serving on half a dozen teams, teaching women’s Bible studies, serving in the nursery every Sunday, running the moms’ group and was starting to resent how overwhelmed and busy I was all the time.

The problem was that God had never told me to fish in all of those places. I was casting my net wide and hoping that in the fish I caught, a few would please God.

Following a miscarriage that really got my attention and reminded me of how fragile life is, I stepped down from almost every leadership position and we relocated into a rental home across town so we could regroup.

I knew it was time to let God tell me where to cast my net.

Since then, I have only served in very focused capacities and I am amazed at how effective I am when I only do the things God calls me to do. Trust God to tell you where to cast your net and I guarantee that you will be happy with your catch.

Are you casting a large net and hoping to catch SOMETHING good…or do you need to cast a small net?

What I said above was true: “The question became whether I trusted God enough 1. to tell me where to cast my net and 2. with the results of the catch, however relatively small.”

It’s hard to limit yourself without worrying about missing out.

It’s been almost three years since I wrote the above and I’ve been casting my net strategically ever since.

I’ve served on many teams and have volunteered for a plethora of projects and events, from being on the curriculum team for Marketplace Ministries to serving as the Assistant On-Site Event Manager for 1,000 guests at the Global Leadership Summit Gilbert, AZ location in 2015.

You can read my resume and check out all my projects by clicking here.

I’ve been out of my comfort zone so much that I forgot what it feels like to be IN my comfort zone.

And other than a few weeks here and there where deadlines and event dates overlapped, I’ve been relatively stress free, partly because I’ve been serving in my sweet spot.

[tweetthis]Serving and volunteering strategically is the key to casting a small net. @tabithadumas [/tweetthis]

I work hard at keeping my net small.

I’m focused on my family, my few close friends, my life group ladies, the folks at our church, the ministries my church offers, the Gilbert Historical Society, a local pregnancy center, a few artists and photographers, a handful of local small business owners and several larger, global ministries. That might sound like a lot but they’re all close to home (quite literally) and mostly interconnected.

I do miss out on a lot. I pass up on projects and opportunities, even ones I’ve waited years for. You can read more about that on my post about What No One Tells You About “You Can’t Do It All” by clicking here.

But what I pay attention to grows and I don’t want to give my attention to things that won’t live on after I’m gone.

You can live a big life and still be small. (Read about my Big, Simple Life here. It’s the topic of my upcoming book!)

To cast a small net, the key is being fully invested in a few areas and trusting God to expand those areas at the right time.

I may not be that “big” to anyone but where I do invest my time, I am appreciated and loved.

What about you? Can you cast a small net? What challenges do you face by trying to be small while living big? Comment or hop on over to the Facebook page.

If you need some strategies to cast YOUR net, let’s have a strategy tea! Work with me

Can you cast a small net- A great post about avoiding the trap of trying to a bunch of stuff to see what sticks. by


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