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  • Writer's pictureMaria Whittaker

Some Thoughts and Some Ramblings

Updated: Mar 1, 2021

So...I usually try to write on a topic for these devotional blog posts but this is going to be a little big different. Every now and then, a girl's gatta ramble and I particularly need to since I've been home alone a lot lately. Well, not alone alone, but Emory can't really keep up her end of the conversation you know. So I guess this is part life update, part thoughts on God and spiritual things, part good old rambling.

Like I've said before, I'm trying to post every Monday. Didn't happen this Monday, but better late than never! In part, I couldn't because I had some truly awful stomach pains that post-self-diagnosing (thanks WebMd!) is NOT cancer but may be an ulcer caused by taking too many anti-inflammatories for too long (because of my back issues). So that's fun.

Reason I've been stuck at home is my car broke down and we're in the process of trying to figure out what the problem is. It's actually our only car because when Nate's broke down awhile ago, we didn't want to buy another one due to our plans to leave for Romania. Thankfully, we were lent a car by family members and were managing just fine but now mine broke down so I've been stuck home a lot. Honestly, I've never been home so much as I've been in 2020 and now in 2021. I'm not complaining, because who knew, I'm actually kind of a homebody and I genuinely don't get bored almost ever because I always have a million projects I want to do (crochet, make a dress, carve a toy, make Emory toys, read books, write stories/poems, blog, etc). Literally I'm project central. What does overwhelm me is being with me all day. My brain doesn't shut off and I get so drained from being alone for too long. People give me energy so it has been really hard in that sense. Picked a great month to take a break from Instagram too! :P

Something I struggle with is the thought that the unobserved life is not worth living. That's an untrue quote that I modified from the original quote ("The unexamined life is not worth living" - Socrates). It's untrue, but being a people person and getting energy from people, I often can feel like when I'm all by myself, the things I do are meaningless. Like if I pray in church or small groups where everyone hears me, that's meaningful, but if I pray by myself, it feels like because no one sees it the deed itself is invisible. If I clean/cook/work hard at a church event, it feels meaningful, but if I keep my house clean, feed my husband, work hard on things no one sees, it feels like maybe it doesn't matter at all. I realized I'm kind of an attention inappropriate-word because I feel so dang invisible much of the time and getting a reaction out of people helps me see myself better and feel like I matter, I exist, the things I do/think/feel don't just dissipate into a cold, uncaring universe and are gone forever. Wow that got deep really fast. What I'm trying to say is that I struggle feeling seen when I'm not seen by people.

Of course, God sees everything I do/think/feel and it matters to Him. Not only in an affectionate, He's-my-loving-Father kind of way, but also in terms of His kingdom. I wrote a whole series on the work we do and why it matters, but it's hard to really believe that every little thing, like changing a diaper for the upteenth time is eternal work that glorifies God because it is done in obedience. A whole other topic is how I feel about what kind of "eternal work" God assigns each of us. I mean, some Christians get to build God's kingdom by being millionaires or leading wildly successful lives, while other Christians get to build God's kingdom by scrubbing floors and doing laundry. It takes humility to accept that obedience to God, for me, means getting dinner ready rather than abandoning my household tasks to pursue whatever things I think will make me successful. Anyways, I'm straying from my main point and sounds like I could probably save this topic for a whole other blog post.

The truth I've been ruminating on is found in Matthew 6:1-6 and comes straight from Jesus' mouth:

Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

I guess the reason that I feel "invisible" when other people don't see me is because anyone would feel invisible if they are completely unseen. It's that classic question of "If a tree falls in the forest with no one around, does it make a sound?" I mean, it may make sound waves but they are pretty worthless/meaningless with no ear or other hearing device to receive them. Something fascinating I recently learned about myself and all humans is that we are, by design, dependent. Sin wants us to be independent but we were literally created to have relationship with God and to fall apart without it. So it's normal to feel invisible when I am unseen; the solution lies not in pretending that the things I do matter just because but rather believing that I am not going unseen at all. Rather, the most important, influential, successful, wealthy, powerful, wise Person in the Universe is watching me constantly and searching my heart to see if through all the minutiae of life, I am demonstrating a desire to be close to Him and live out His commands.

So, one of my goals for this upcoming year is to seek heart transformation to really believe this, as well as to collect many secrets. Good secrets. Things I'm doing for the kingdom that no one needs to know about, but that my God sees and that show my love and dedication to Him.

In other news, we bought our plane tickets to Romania! For June 23! I'm debating whether or not I should do an update video to let everyone know the basics of what the next few months will look like, so let me know if that is something you would enjoy. I'm slowly starting to go through my things and trying to figure out what the heck one takes when they are moving countries. I'm really going to have to crack down on minimalism and say goodbye to or store a bunch of things. If I think about it too much, I cry, but honestly, I'm really excited. Though leaving family and living in a different country, let alone a different continent, will be so hard, this has been a long time coming and there are so many ways that I can see God has been testing us, preparing us, and growing our faith. I'm thankful for those of you who let me know you read my blog and I'm excited to use this as an avenue of sharing what God will be doing through us and in our lives for the next two years!

Also, in other other news, Emory Jane is 5 months! I literally cannot believe how fast the time flew. We always take her monthly picture by this little scattering of fir trees in a park by our house so I'll include a couple of the shots! I'm so thankful for photography that enables us to freeze these moments in time. My sweet little bestie is growing up way too fast.

Have a great rest of your week, and may God help you collect many secrets for Him alone to know and enjoy! Carpe Diem!

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