As usual, this is not the post I was about to sit down and write. Nope.
There is no preparation for this post. Just a heart being bent a different way by the Holy Spirit as I write.
I was talking to a friend yesterday about motherhood. How hard it can be at times. How hidden it can feel at times. Meaning, so often, what we do is not seen. And, may never be seen.
But, God sees it.
However, sometimes we want others to notice. To applaud us. To recognize the sweat on our brows and the exhaustion in our bones.
Often, it just seems like what we are doing as mothers will never inch us closer to the world's version of success. Or successful motherhood anyway.
I used to scroll Instagram seeing mothers which multiple children. Some even adopted or fostered With multiple playrooms. With multiple everything that I did not have. Mothers looking fabulous and of course always witty and enchanting.
It seemed so.....perfect. I would look up from my phone and see my smaller house and two kids, and feel so......average.
I would look in the mirror and see the lines on my face and the aging in my eyes and think....wow. I really don't look successful. Or even average. I look....rough.
Do you ever feel like this?
Do you ever feel that if you don't post a picture or a status update of your motherhood in motion and in action, that maybe, you don't really exist?
Gosh, I sure have felt this way.
It has seemed that if no one sees what happens here, it doesn't really count. If no one applauds me or nods their head in agreement to the thousands of words I let fall out of my mouth each day, some good and some not so good, then it must not really matter.
Through social media our lives have become open books. Open to the whole wide world to see, to interpret, to look into.
This has to affect how we live. How we mother. How we think.
Nothing is discreet or hidden these days. Everything is laid out for the whole watching world to see.
Hence, our children feel the pressure. To measure up. To look a certain way. To purchase filters for their pictures to enhance and edit their precious bodies. Because....
The world watches.
And what about the mothers?
We have felt it too.
We follow mothers that we do not even know, quoting what they quote, buying what they buy, cooking what they cook, dressing how they dress....
At some point, we have to ask ourselves, what is reality?
Is there even such thing anymore?
The hidden life. The treasures found in a serving life. Away from the limelight. Away from the glare of the camera lens. Away from the approval and likes of others....
This is what I so desperately crave.
Like the woman with the alabaster jar of perfume.
Giving all she had...not thinking twice....and pouring it out on the Lord's feet. Washing his feet with her hair.
No accolades, in fact insults from the men around Jesus. "Why do you do this? You could have made money off of this to give to the poor..."
Jesus replied, "The poor you will always have, but you will not always have Me."
I am paraphrasing here. Look up the complete passage here in Matthew 26.
I want to be like this woman.
Wanting nothing on earth but Jesus.
Wanting only His approval and His eyes.
But, why is it so hard?
I think of John's piercing words here...
"He must become greater, I must become less." John 3:30
How do we become less in a world that shouts that we need to be greater?
Could it be that the greatest treasures are hidden. Away from the world's peering eyes. Away from the amount of social media friends, likes, and comments we have.
Could it be that the greatest treasure is actually found far away from all of it.
In the quiet of your bedroom. In the clink of pans in your kitchen as you prepare your one millionth dinner for the week. In the whisper of your child's breath saying her prayers each night. In the closeness of your spouse as you sit on the couch together watching the news. In the hello of your elderly neighbor as he sits on his porch watching the birds sing and dance around him.
The simple ordinary average life. Just may be the greatest treasure we will ever unearth.
Maybe our lights shine even brighter when He lights them and we don't. Perhaps we don't even see the light, but others will and they do.
We can still be a city shining on a hill...
Like a lighthouse. It glows. It beckons. It shines.
And brings others ashore.
Without saying a word.
You matter, and He sees.
Embracing the hidden,
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