March 23, 2019

Rewards & Recognition... a Five Minute Friday post.


Happy Spring, Sweet Readers! I hope you are at least getting glimpses of New Life springing forth wherever you are today! I know we have been experiencing near-70 degree days full of birds singing, sunshine, and wide-open doors to let fresh air in and chase away the remnant of winter! This is a Five Minute Friday post... which simply means I set a timer and free write for five minutes flat on the one-word prompt: REWARD


Oh, how we love
Rewards & Recognition!

My mind first wanders to all those rewards points offered through shopping at various stores. You know... the ones we get for doing nothing really other than spending money! 

But then I drift to the different kinds of rewards given for services rendered or jobs well-done. I think of all of the award ceremonies, raises, trophies, bonuses, etc. all given out in the open, in front of a podium, to give recognition and to help set us apart.

It's not that there's anything wrong with it... There's not! 
It's great and important to recognize and speak life into those around us! We all want to be special... to be acknowledged for how we finish well.  

We all want to belong and to be the best
-- at something... to someone... 

There's nothing wrong with that! 
The issue is when it breeds
Competition and Comparison... 
Backbiting and Bondage...
when it stirs up Striving and Stressing
and a longing for Approval and Acceptance 
that is not rooted in Love or Light!

But I see the word and I think back to a conversation last weekend and I reflect on Scripture and I remember --I remind myself!-- that as nice as rewards and recognition is when it comes from co-workers, bosses, friends, and family... it's BEST when it comes from the Father!
I mean... right? 

As good as it feels to get words of affirmation and confirmation and adoration from those around us, getting it from the One who made us... Well... His opinion of us is the one that counts the most! 

He is the One who sees all and knows all and loves me still! He knows when I nailed it... and He knows when I fell short... (And He rewards both... by the way!)

The Bible reminds us that there will be rewards... yes! 
But Jesus Himself taught us that it's what we do
in secret that counts in the Kingdom!

In Matthew 6, Jesus digs into this and talks about giving, praying, and fasting. In each of these examples, He wraps it up by saying, "your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you." 

He goes on to talk about storing up treasures in Heaven... about not worrying, but instead trusting! Trust that God --this Father who sees in secret, and rewards in the open, He is working things out! He clothes the flowers and feeds the birds... He will surely take care of you!

And oh, how He does!

It may not be in the way you want... or the way you've become accustomed to... it may not be in the form of an awards ceremony, or trophy or promotion or raise... it may not help pay the bills or seemingly get you closer to your dreams. But the second part of Matthew 6 is meant to reassure us that He knows better than we do and even if/when we can't see it --we can trust that He is rewarding us and providing for us in ways that may not make sense right now --but it will! 

We WILL see 'the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. ' (~Ps 27:13)

Don't despair! Don't give up... 
Keep doing good in secret...
Keep following His lead and doing whatever
He puts on your heart to do and to say... 
to write and to live out loud...

And your Father,
who sees what is done in secret,
will reward you!


Last weekend I was a part of a powerful Women's Conference. It was a charged atmosphere full of women pressing into God... from the worship to the Word to the tribe gathered to bless our city, it was a blessing!  I had several conversations with friends - new and old - and it was so nice to just be OUT! 

Much of last year was spent in the quiet corners of my home and my heart. This was mostly good --albeit rather lonely... and when I first saw the word prompt, I thought of a conversation I had with a sweet friend who simply spoke life and honor and blessing into me for ministry I didn't even really know I was doing over the past few years! She talked of influence and impartation that happened in the open all while I was pursuing Him in secret.  I didn't realize how my heart needed to know it mattered and it counted... it felt very much like a reward -from her, yes... but mostly from Him! 

I was also blessed to be on a prophetic prayer team where we got to pray over and speak into women whom we did not know --but who were fully known by Him! It's a ministry that I LOVE to participate in and haven't really had the opportunity for a while. It reminded me that much of what I love in ministry truly is the quiet, unseen, private moments... I miss the microphone and releasing a sound every once in a while... but even more than that, I missed the pouring into and pouring over and the Lord reminded me that I'm called to this -with or without a mic! After a year of being set apart for wholeness and healing, He's once again releasing me to be who I am, wherever I go! 

As I wrote a few weeks ago, I'm so glad,
because I have missed her!

What about you, sweet readers? 
Are you doing things in secret
that the Father wants to (re-)assure you count?
Those small gestures, those errands or words or tasks that you do whether anyone is watching or not...
They count! They matter...

and He sees all!

Something about how He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him! 

So press in... and press on...
and seek His heart even more than His hands. 
For it's been my experience that when we seek His heart...
we get both His heart and His hands... 
We get ALL of Him!

What better reward can there be?

Linking up with  Kate Motaung and the #fmfparty Community today.  Five Minute Fridays give us the chance to dive right in and share what He puts on our hearts! Click HERE to read what others have to say about "REWARD"

The FMF lowdown: The gathering happens on Twitter on Thursday nights & then we write our hearts out & hit publish all over the interwebs on Thursday & Friday (& sometimes on Tuesdays!) It's where we encourage & uplift... where we share prayer requests & praise reports... where we talk about food & friends & we find support & kindred hearts. It's where we are reminded that life is good & God is good & we're not alone... & then we all write for five minutes flat, a flash mob of wordsmiths letting our hearts & our fingers do the talking tapping & we hit publish before we can second-guess it all away. We'd love to have you join us!

Photos courtesy of Unsplash

I'm also linking up with the lovely writer community linked below:

Crystal Twaddell for #FreshMarketFriday

Mary Geisen for #TellHisStory

Kelly Balarie for #RaRaLinkUp

 Maybe somehow you don't know this, but we have our very own (somewhat non-blog-related) podcast called THE CHANGING OUR MINDS PODCAST! Karrilee and her all grown up Girlie, Kayelyn, co-host this podcast and talk about Oh So Many random things!  Faith plays a part, sure... but it is more like joining us for coffee as we catch up on the couch or sitting at the table! We talk about whatever is on our minds and often reveal things that we used to think we knew... but we've changed our minds! We'd love to have you join us at the Table or a comfy couch as we catch up over a cup of something yummy and share life together! We invite you to SUBSCRIBE here to have the Podcast sent to your preferred listening device so you won't miss a thing! Also, follow us on Facebook to join in on the conversations!

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