Monday, November 16, 2015

Offer: a look within

 Last week I shared a quick sentence or two and this picture, via Instagram, Facebook, and my blog.  
In true Sara fashion, I like things in a series or a theme, something to rally around.  But also in true Sara fashion, most blog series I've started in the past have fizzled after a week or so.  This time around, it simply isn't the case.  I know this because I already have more than a month's worth of photos and soul stirrings ready to offer.  Here's how the "Offerings" series will work.  Each day I'll post a photo with "Offer___________".  I'll write as many words about the offering for the day as the good Lord gives me, sharing practical tips, songs, and links to guide us as we spread kindness during this holiday season. 
And that is exactly where I want to start the series, offering you a look within.  I wish I could say I had the burning desire to do this series because it came to me on my knees during my quiet time.  However, that honestly isn't the case.  The idea to photograph offerings came to me well over a year ago and then the idea sat, dusty and jumbled with all the other ideas in my mind.  You may remember I pile ideas like a bad episode of Hoarders.  The ideas are everywhere, spilling this way and that.  But this little one snuck up on me, on a random day last week.  I was having one of "those" days, feeling sorry for myself and like there wasn't enough room at the table for me, creatively speaking.  I began to question why I couldn't book the same gigs as someone else, and why my main offering right now is so hard for me sometimes (being mama and housewife) when my creativity comes so easy to me.   

Bam! This little "offerings" idea quickly started yelling in my mind "Pick me! Remember me!"  The lightbulb went off.  I was spending so much time focusing on me, me, me, I was missing the holy presence and opportunities and kindness of God that was readily available for me to share.  
One by one a parade of hero women began to run through my mind.  Kind post-office workers, Internet friends who send me happy mail, ladies who text me with encouragement, artists who tell me to keep going.  They don't know it, but their smiles, hope, encouragement, and love have shown up at the very second I've been at my lowest before.  How could they have known? They couldn't.  But God could.   And THAT was the rally cry behind this new blog series.  That so much of our lives feel so self-centered, especially if you're a handmade seller with the pressure of social media.  But I've seen what can happen, how the love of Jesus can spread like wildfire, if we only begin with a simple act of kindness.  Sometimes I get this intense fear-what if my life is over and all I did was scroll through the Internet?  Or what if I just spent all my time thinking about myself and missed the very HUGE presence of God in my everyday life? Perhaps I'm old-fashioned, but I'm ready to take back hand-holding, real-life prayers, hot meals with phones put away, dancing, playing, and inviting others in without anyone knowing it.  

My sad, sometimes embarrassing look within is that sometimes I spend too many hours obsessing over the crafty/artist side of my life.  Feeling left out, overlooked, and sorry for myself.  The truth is, there are people literally everywhere, thirsty for the hope of Jesus.  They are in our grocery stores, the line at the post office, our kid's school, the table beside us at the coffee shop, the local fast-food joint, our homes, and our churches. 

Today I encourage you to offer a look within.  Let God speak to your heart about less "me" and more "I see".  To take it even a step further?  Offer someone a peek into your heart via conversation, text, email, or a blog post, letting the facade of "perfect" down and pure realness show instead.  We are all broken, but when I am honest with you and lend a hand to help, we are on our way to healing. 

I leave you with this song, that came at just the right time. 



2 comments:

  1. I am going through this myself. I have to remind myself to keep my eyes on Jesus and not myself or circumstance. I also want to take back raw human interaction. I don't want to look back at my children's childhood and realize I was too wrapped up in so social media. So thank you for sharing the what Jesus needs me to hear!

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  2. I just wanted to comment & say that I am loving this series! I have someone who recently came into my life & I'm having a hard time learning to love/like him. It's not very easy for me. It's hard sometimes to remember to focus on others & what they may need in their lives. After reading this my daily prayer is going to be "God, let me see what You see!" Thank you Sara!

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