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Saturday, January 26, 2013

fishbowl findings 1.

the name fishbowl findings 1. is for this purpose:

when you are working in the ministry (full time, or even many times just part time or even volunteer time!) you may as well be living in a fishbowl.
add putting that fishbowl in the middle of a room - aka living at the parsonage-
and you are just totally out there. people see every little dusty corner of your life (and house! ha!) and many times feel that it is then their job to correct, judge, or criticize the dust bunnies.

i received such a positive response by many people on the post called the view from the eyes of a pastor's kid that i realized how many people are in the same position, and just need a little boost...a little bit of encouragement from someone else who is feeling the same way!

so i put 1. to encourage myself to make this the first of many posts that can hopefully bring encouragement to other wives, or daughters who are smack dab in the middle of a fishbowl.

i was talking to a close friend of mine, who is also in ministry, and we were discussing the discouragement that can come when you put hour after hour into people, only to see them eventually turn their backs on you, and many times turn their backs on God!

i believe the question came up - is this really worth it?

i am 100% sure we are not the only people who have ever felt this way.
i can't even count the amount of times that i have opened up a little bit to someone, only to have that person use what i opened up about, against me!
there have also been many times where i have put hours of time into mentoring people only to watch them ignore my advice and then turn away.

so i'm sure you have been there too!

i wanted to come up with something that would help us to STAY STRONG!

get a load of this quote by a.w. tozer:

the visible is an enemy of the invisible.

no. seriously, read it again.

i wrote it down in my journal because i really wanted to contemplate it.
what is the invisible?
my relationship with God. HE is invisible. however, HE wants me to spend time with him.

what is the visible?
my computer.
my smart phone.
my housework.
my husband.
my kids.
my ministry.

do you get the point?!?! clearly i am not saying that any of the things i just listed are bad!
what i am saying is that when i am putting all of those visible-right-in-front-of-my-face things first?
it means i am putting my time with God in the wrong place.
i should be more serious about maintaining, evaluating, focusing on a deep, growing relationship with God than i even am with my husband!
of course, when i have this in the right order, things with my husband will be amazing as well!

that was the first encouragement i needed.

so number 1. 
Keep my time with God a priority over every other thing that is right in front of my face.

my second thought was...
how did Jesus do this?
i mean for real? he was here. on earth.
in front of people all the time.
people who mostly wanted to use Him for His healing power, 
i mean come on. let's face it!
so many people wanted to get healed and that's it! they didn't care about HIM!
how many times does that happen today?
promises made...GOD - if you heal me, i will start going to church!
if you give me this one financial need i will start serving you!
if i say this prayer, i get a ticket to heaven and can now live however i want!

this is what Jesus was facing daily.
and do you know what he did?
he kept His relationship with God a priority over every other thing.
and  he dealt with people...one. person. at. a. time.

this blew my mind when i started thinking about it the other day!
have you ever read about all of Jesus' healings?
clearly, he had the power to just go into a city and proclaim - you are all healed!
but he didn't.
he dealt with each person individually.
think of the woman who touched his robe.
think of the blind man, the lame man, the demon possessed man, the dead girl.
he stopped and just showed love and compassion to individual people. one at a time.
He realized that ultimately, GOD was the one in control.

and that was what i needed.
so my number 2.
take people one at a time.
seems simple, right?

but we know...there are usually dozens of needy people texting, calling, dropping in, NEEDING us on any given day, am i right?

so what do we do?
we make sure that we are focusing on our relationship with God in the morning. first thing.
decide and just DO IT.
then. we deal with each. individual person that comes our way at a time.
not thinking of the last friend that hurt us. not thinking of the last person that didn't take your advice. not thinking of the last person that turned away.

because ultimately? we do not have any answers for them. 
Jesus is the only answer.
Jesus is the only one who can totally heal and transform lives.
so instead of thinking about how WE can fix and help and change?
just remember that it's not our job.
our only job is to bring them to a Savior who can. and who will. 
the final outcome is up to him.
and i'm pretty sure HE can handle it.

stay strong

As always, please feel free to email me any time for prayer or advice. (ajnrileysmommy@ hotmail.com )
i will assist in any way i can...one person at a time, of course ;) 

1 comment:

  1. Love this! I feel like that's the comment I leave in all your posts. But it's so true!! And I loved that quote you shared. So convicting and true!! xoxo


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