What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

On Showing Off

If I were to give this year a word for a motto and my expectations for it a name, this years would be unquestionably and without hesitation....


I have been thinking a lot about stewardship these days, the good and the bad.

Perhaps it is because I look around at this new-to-us old, neglected fixer upper we just made our Home~ I see a barn littered with years of once-good-stuff turned into garbage-heaps that we are going to need to clean up; of wrinkled Encyclopedias, kitchen chairs, shoes, tools, egg cartons, lights. I see a barn that is in such disrepair I pray it doesn't fall down before we can safely pull it down. Much of this year is going to be cleaning up after another persons poor stewardship. It is easy for a soul to be pricked under these circumstances.

Maybe it is because I am flipping pages in catalogs and books and my mind as I plan, prepare and dream a new garden into reality and I think 'bigger! Bigger! BIGGER!' and then remember those summer squash I had to compost because they went bad before I could get to them~ the cucumbers that got "puky" or the pumpkins I MEANT to puree that ended up as chicken feed. It is shameful.

Whatever the reason, it just seems to be pressing on my heart. Really, stewardship is the kind of thing that you begin thinking about in droplet sized bits and then turn to find the whole bucket is full to the brim.

Stewardship is universal~ Good stewardship is required of each and every one of us, whether we are given little or much~ we are all called to it, without exception.

And it isn't just about money.

It IS about money. But is it also about time. It is also about that garden that needs weeding, the animals that need to be cared for, our widening bodies that need exercise, the fridge and pantry that need to well stocked, the dinner plates that need filled three times a day, the barn that needs painting, the rose bush that needs pruning, the children that need raising, the mind that needs sharpening, that living room that needs tidying, those dishes that need washing, the shelves that need dusting, the games that need playing, the yard that needs mowing...

Stewardship is about proclaiming Gods goodness by caring for His gifts.... and each of us, from the least to the greatest, are called to do it well.

If we don't do it well we are not only wasteful with His grace, but unthankful for those responsibilities and blessings that God has given us. Worse yet, we disgrace His name by smudging the character of God with our filth. After all, we are to reflect His attributes and I am pretty sure His attributes do not include crusty, dilapidated, filthy or uncared for.

Does a child with torn up clothes and a dirty face at the grocery store get your heart all a'flutter? Does garbage blowing across a yard make you long for a Home place? Does a stinky, nasty bathroom provide comfort?

A dirty, disgusting barn or a cluttered, messy home doesn't declare God's glory anymore than a dinner of SPAM and tatertots does.

He has made us~ His people, RICH (even us poor ones) and we ought to be showing people just how rich we are.

To show off?

To show off the ABUNDANCE of GOD.

In doing so, we are revealing Gods character to innocent passers-by.

But to do this properly, we must have something WORTHWHILE to show. It isn't some gnostic ideal that draws people to God. It isn't even some spiritual place that a person sees and wants for himself. Maybe it is at times, but sometimes it is even more simple than that.

Sometimes it is in those paint- flecked hands painting the window panes.
Sometimes it is in that row of lilies you planted along the lane.
Sometimes it is in the wearing the pretty dress instead of the fleece pullover and jeans.
Sometimes it is on the plate of delicious food with that pretty little garnish on the side.

Oftentimes it is the outworking of our fingertips that reveal Gods character to those who need to see.

Might my fingertips be plenty busy this coming year.


ulli said...

Beautiful statements from the heart, Rebecca.
Beautiful photos. You inspire.

Full of Grace said...

I don't think you will have much problem with that..You are always busy, and we enjoy seeing the effort of the fruits of your labor even those who live far away by the photos you post. Of all the people I know, you are the one who is seemingly most accomplished in your daily life. You make it look like a piece of cake ;)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the perfectly timed reminder! As always : ) and well said and well photographed!

Oh and i agree... of anyone YOU CAN!

Paula said...

I would like to thank you most sincerely for this post. You have manged to articulate precisely what I have been feeling about the year to come, my life and how I would like to live it.

"Stewardship is about proclaiming Gods goodness by caring for His gifts" - Stewardship...the word I have been looking for!

I'm not normally one to comment on such things (we British are known for our reserve after all!), but this post was so timely I couldn't let it go without saying a heartfelt 'thank you'.

With very best wishes,
Paula (UK)

Bonnie said...

Proof yet again that we share brain cells. We don't have the barn to clean up, but these have been my thoughts for several months now. And part of the reason I haven't been posting- I feel the need to articulate and share on this too, but I don't know where to begin, and get overwhelmed just thinking about it : \

Anyway, I'm sure I'll be re-reading this as I collect and gather my thoughts, excellent post Dearie!

MameyJane said...

Rebecca, thank you for this post! It was just on time for me! I posted it on my Facebook page and your message is spreading and getting a lot of feedback :). Posts like these are why you are my favorite blogger.

mamaof5cuties said...

Thank you Rebecca for this post :)


Father's Grace Ministries said...

Beautiful and convicting Rebecca. I put this one up on Facebook too :-)

b said...


thank you!

Anonymous said...

Ecclesiastes 3:1 ” To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.”

If I recall correctly you acquired this house from an aged family member, correct? I can feel a great deal of emotion in your writing - and frustration. Look at this home not for what it has failed to do, but for every new thing that is coming. Unfortunately, even the best of buildings with the best of care will age to a point of irreversible integrity. . Don't get a heavy heart for physical items that have succumbed to the changing seasons, sieze today as the turning of a new season other than the remains of what others failed to do. There was certainly a reason God gave you this opportunity, at this very moment, in this condition. ;)

Many Prayers,
Franny from Ireland - where no wooden structure escapes the toll of time! ;)

Mar said...

Beautifully said and perfectly timed for me as well...

Anonymous said...

This was so well put, both convicting and yet so encouraging. Thanks for the post--this has been so much on my mind lately and trying to determine where to start.

Blessings to you!

Mrs. Rebekah S.

Anonymous said...

Wow, beautiful words that inspired my heart. I love that perspective. Thank you.

...they call me mommy... said...

Thanks for sharing!!! I often struggle with a balance...I know that I am HERE, NOW on earth, but in reality this is NOT my home. I find it hard for myself sometimes to live each day purposefully doing what the Lord has for me HERE with my eyes on Him. It's like I can get bogged down with things that for me, I don't believe in the grand scheme of things are very important OR I can get so behind on things because I'm trying to focus on the Lord and do what He would have me to do, which is usually focusing on the people in my life. Know what I mean? I guess I just have a hard time balancing the spiritual with the physical demands in life. God is faithful though. He is sooo trustworthy and good. At least I can rely on Him!!! :)

...they call me mommy... said...

Btw, gorgeous photos!!

What is the model number/name? of your macro lens?