Today, I brought in cupcakes for my department. It is I Love My Neighbor month at church, and while I was a bit of a disaster on Wednesday, the lovely ladies in my bible study managed to pull it together for me and we (mostly they) decorated the 6 dozen cupcakes I managed to bake on Tuesday. We packaged them in sets of three and off they went to our co-workers and neighbors.
I sent off an email this morning telling the English department that they were there, and by 2….only a few have been eaten. It is making me crazy. And that craziness is uncovering a piece of my heart that is not cute: I want credit.
It is not enough for me to bring in cupcakes to my work because God called me to love people and food is a way I communicate my love. I want those cupcakes to be eaten and appeciated. I want an email that says they were delicious, for people to tell me that they were delicious and I am kind so that I can deflect that, “Oh it was nothing.”
I want whatever it is I do to be noticed, to be appreciated. To validate me. Often, it is where I find my worth. It is one of the reasons staying home with the girls first semester was so hard for me. There wasn’t anyone telling me I was doing a good job as often as needed or thought I deserved. Christian did a good job encouraging me, but the Peanut and the Rooster just don’t have the words. (As though when they are 6 and 7 they would not take their mother for granted.)
I know this is not the heart of the Jesus Lover I so desperately want to be.
What is worse is this. I hesitate even to write it. I sometimes feel the same way about this space. I love writing, and feel strongly that God has called me to share my story as honestly as I can. But now, I want people to read it. More people. The crazy amount of encouragement I have gotten, especially since moving to this space, the fact that people choose to read what I write when there is so much else they could be reading or doing, I don’t take that for granted. I very much appreciate it. But if I am honest, I check my stats compulsively hoping to have another 100+ day.
I see the spiral this could lead to. If 100 hits becomes consistent I will strive for 200 and so on and so forth. I am not the first to notice that blogging is a little like middle school. Like me! Notice me! Tell me that I am clever! That I matter! That I mean something! I’ll follow you if you will follow me. I will share your stuff in the hopes that you will return the favor. It would never be enough, it would never leave me satisfied. I would always want more.
I suppose I could pretend that this wanting credit is righteous. After all, I write about Jesus. If I say “To God be the Glory” then the more glory I get the better off He is, right? I do sometimes, pretend that I want credit so that it can be deflected to Jesus. As though Jesus needs me to not just be obedient, but then showcase that obedience or else He will get missed in it all.
I know that it is important to be encouraged sometimes, that God often brings life giving words through our peers. I recieve them frequently, and I am grateful for the ways they fill my heart, or throw me a flotation device to cling to just when I am dried up or drowning. But there is a point when those words become more important than His words, than what I know to be true about me.
I have heard the critiscism often, that Christians cannot or do not just quietly go about the business of being the hands and feet of Jesus. We Christians don’t want Jesus to have the glory initially, we want that spotlight turned on us so that we can deflect it to him. I know how this turns stomaches and hearts from Jesus. And yet, I am having trouble controlling the desire to recieve the glory. But I want to control it. I am done having that desire rule my heart and actions.
Lord, I want to be a Jesus Lover, please get me out of the way!