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.

How Grandma Willis Would do 2020

Reposted to celebrate Mother’s Day, my rich heritage and the gift of my godly mom-in-law. This is the brief overview of a life well lived. For a more in-depth story of her life see my blog from January 24, 2022

My mother-in-law lived to be 100 years old. She was born on the heels of WWI and the Pandemic known as the Spanish Flu. As a teenager, she lived through the depression, and as that era was ushered out, she became a bride with a bright future.

Just as the dread of WWII was looming, she became a mother of a son. And in the wake of Pearl Harbor, she became the mother to a baby girl.  In the throes of a world in a complete upheaval, she gave birth to another baby girl who was whisked away from her “too weak to live.” Still reeling from the loss of her baby girl, she received the news that her only brother, a pilot, was shot down in the Battle of the Bulge on Christmas Eve 1944.   

Sadly, her story was not completely rare in that time period. I can’t help thinking that this changed the makeup of her constitution and that of our whole country. 

So this morning as I received news of yet another friend losing his job, and looked at the numbers of more precious souls leaving this earth, and the craziness in our economy, I turned on “Grandma’s Playlist” on my Amazon Music account and realized how she not only survived but blossomed into a beautiful tree planted by the rivers of water. 

Here are the songs on her play list… If you don’t know them, look them up and take a listen. These songs were all written in times of great uncertainty and pain, yet with the hope not in our government but in our Savior.  In this order… Yeah… you can cry with me… you know who you are… you already are:

I Need Thee Every Hour

I Surrender All

God Will Take Care of You

No One Ever Cared for me Like Jesus

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

Take my Life and Let it Be

Victory in Jesus 

Rock of Ages 

Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

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