An Audience of One

From our very first breath we are cheered for what we do. From the baby burps to first steps, we offer praise to those little humans for their actions. Students learn to expect praise for grades, how they play with others, and their attitudes. We discover, early on, that performance in sports, dance, or drama can bring a wide array emotional response. 

As we grow and mature, we become accustom to performing with the expectation of a response from our audience. It may come in the form of a good job evaluation, a pay raise, or the opposite. I often question the crooked lines I leave when I mow the grass, thinking the neighbors are judging how I mow. But now I just shrug and think, “But I did mow the grass.” 

Critiques, self-imposed or from an outside source, can be beneficial. We need to comprehend the consequences of our choices, words, and actions. However, far too often we associate those critiques with our intelligence, self-worth, or value. How many people like my post? Who showed up to hear me speak or sing? Why did that one person not like my book? The list goes on. 

All of those questioning thoughts are racket that distracts us from our purpose, to glorify the One who created us. I Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God

I have never been able to do anything well if someone is looking over my shoulder, ask my typing teacher or my husband. I cannot be “creative on demand.” I become a bumbling goof. I am distracted by the “noise” of the appraisal of my work. 

When I set out to play the harp a few years ago, I jokingly said that I play for me and Jesus… and the dogs. The music is only as sweet as my audience.  When I write, it is the message He puts in my heart. When I garden, it is to create a sanctuary of worship. When I clean my house, it is an act of appreciation for what He has provided. 

As my hair has turned grey, my heart has not become hardened to that racket, but I am learning to put the earplugs in so I can hear the applause of my Audience of One. 

Galatians 6:4 Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.

Published by Keri Willis

My name is Keri Willis. I am a semi-retired educator. I spent a great deal of my career working with adults with developmental disabilities and many years in elementary education, in the classroom and as an administrator. My main ministry now is coordinating the women’s ministry for our church in San Diego, CA. I have been married thirty-four years and have two grown and married children. I now have a head of full grey hair and good ideas. I believe we are created to use our gifts and to be creative. That comes in many forms for me. I love to woodwork and use power tools, design, decorate, garden, and create new recipes. And I love to write. One major lesson I have learned in my writing journey is that I need to be still and listen to hear God’s voice before I am prepared to put into words the message he has instilled in my heart. This has been much easier since I am no longer working full time, but it is so easy to get distracted and not listen, which almost always ends with an empty page in the form of writer’s block. While I have written many articles for newsletters and local newspapers, I did not consider myself a writer until I self-published my first book, Teapots and Power Tools. The idea emerged as I was working on a project in my garage. I had worship music playing, power tools out and saw dust flying. I glanced up and saw my delicate teapot sitting on my router table. The message was clear. Sometimes we are using the power tools God gives us and sometimes he just wants us to be still and have tea with him. The book became the foundation for a women’s retreat, and then my amazing niece helped me work through publishing it on Create Space (now KDP). At least five other projects are in different stages of production. I joined hope*writers to help motivate me and keep me focused and accountable. I am still trying to figure out the whole website and blog thing. That is my next goal for myself; that and finish writing at least one of my projects! Teapots and Power Tools: Effectively using the tools God has equipped you with, while taking time to “Be Still and Know That He is God”

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