We all have struggles. Obviously. But I want to share one of my biggest struggles with you, because I am sure there are other people who struggle with the same thing.
One of my biggest struggles is being affected by the responses of people around me.
I started blogging about 10 years ago. The intent was to keep my family up to date with pictures of the boys and an online journal of sorts, keeping track of events in my life.
As time went on, I started using it as a way to encourage other people who were trying to parent intentionally, trying to serve God and just trying to keep their head above the water sometimes!
I wanted to keep it open, very straight forward, and extremely real.
I write how I talk, and I don’t beat around the bush.
As I see what is going on in the world around me, I have come to realize that voices of TRUTH are very hard to come by, and I want to be one of those few voices of truth.
Along with choosing to be open, straight forward and real comes the obvious vulnerability.
I share my views and not everyone is going to agree with what I say.
I share my views out of my love for God and my love for people.
I love and I love hard.
Being with people is one of my favorite things to do, and if you are reading this and live locally, we have probably had coffee together at one time or another.
All of that being said. I have found myself struggling when people do hurtful things. Words affect me greatly.
And I have found that I am becoming more concerned about what people think of my words than what Jesus thinks of my words. That has got to stop.
I started thinking about what I want my life to represent, and that is when everything changed for me.
I came across the story in Matthew 26 that talks about Mary of Bethany coming in to see Jesus with an alabaster box filled with precious ointment. She walked in, and went past the people watching and started pouring this ointment on Jesus.
It was an act of love.
It was an act of worship.
It was an act of adoration.
Do you know how the FOLLOWERS OF JESUS who were watching reacted?
With indignation. Indignation! They were watching a woman worship, adore and love on Jesus, and they were very much displeased.
What a waste, they said.
Why would she do that, they asked.
What was her motive, they wondered.
These were not men who hated Jesus. These were His followers.
And yet they were looking at someone else’s form of adoration towards Jesus and they were being critical.
Critical of her actions, critical of how much money she wasted, critical of why she was doing it.
And Mary? What was Mary doing? How was Mary reacting?
Well, it doesn’t say that she said anything.
Maybe she did and it’s just not recorded.
Or maybe she was so focused on the acceptance she had from Jesus that she didn’t care about the lack of acceptance from His followers.
I have poured over these verses because I have so much to learn.
There are people in my life who are Jesus’ followers and have criticized me.
Judged my motives.
Questioned what I do.
And I am so tempted to look at those faces. To look at the people who are filled with indignation and start changing what I do, instead of looking at His face.
That has got to stop.
Mary was pouring ointment on Jesus. For Jesus. Not for his followers.
Sure, His followers can be affected by it, but ultimately, her act was for Jesus alone.
My words. My actions. My life…it needs to be for Jesus.
All for Jesus. Not for his followers.
Sure. His followers can be affected by it…good or bad. But ultimately, my act is for Jesus alone.
So everything has changed for me, and I want my life to show that.
I have changed my focus. I have started working with a close friend on ways to be accountable to make sure that my focus is where it’s supposed to be.
I have rearranged the look of my blog, not just because I think it’s time for a change. But I want it to represent what I am doing, and remind me of why I am doing it.
I need to be a voice of truth in a dark, already noisy world.
I had my very talented and godly mom paint for me, and draw an alabaster bottle.
The bottle represents me. What I am striving to do: Take whatever I have and just pour it out for Jesus.
The paint represents the spilling out that the ointment will be doing. It may run over into your life as a mom and encourage you to not give up. It may run over into another life as a believer and strengthen their faith and remind them that they’re not alone.
It may run over into the life of a non-believer who decides to follow Jesus once and for all.
But whatever it does, and whatever you think about it is not my business.
It’s not for you.
It’s for Jesus.
And when He tells me to write about something? I’m going to write about it and not worry that someone is going to criticize me for it.
I’m just a servant for Jesus. Literally. That’s all I am. I am nothing without Him. And I have decided once and for all…
I will live my life looking at His face, not the faces of people who might be displeased with what I am doing.
These are my struggles. And this is how everything is changing.
More of Him. Less of me. Always.
So what about you? Whose face are you looking at?