"She has done what she could,..., and truly I say to you, where-ever the gospel is preached in the whole world, that which this woman has done shall be spoken in memory of her." Mark 14: 8-9
I love this phrase in Mark 14:8. He tells the story of Mary anointing Jesus' feet with oil. And because of this heart-felt gift, she is remembered through out all of history. Mary models for all of us that worship of God, from our hearts, through small acts of faith, are pleasing to God. They also become the foundation for normal people, like us, to show the reality of Christ and His power through our lives.
Judas did not think it a very great service to Jesus--after all, the worth of the oil in money could have been vast and used for something, "important." How many times do we measure our service and worth by what the world would consider is valuable and not see what is really of importance to the Lord? It is the acts of worship, done from our heart, the service given to our children and husband, the love and cup of cold water we give to the needy or lonely or discouraged or serving tirelessly in ministry, unnoticed, that are acts of ministry unto Jesus and show His truth, beauty and life in this fallen world.
So much of our life is invisible to the world, but our wonderful Lord sees each act of service done from a loving heart as an act of love done unto Him. Rocking a sleepy or ill child, cooking one more meal, washing one more set of dishes, listening to a child tell us of his bad dream while losing precious sleep, correcting children's squabbles one more time; staying up late to have one more discussion with a teen who longs for love and guidance, but has to talk and talk about everything. It is the multitude of "doing what we could" that adds up to changed lives, strong relationships, the life of God being real in our homes and work. Know that today, every act of faithfulness in God's hands becomes an eternal memory of glory to His reality.
In our ministry
This concept has been of incredible value to us as we look at all that the Lord has done through Whole Heart Ministries. I feel that Clay and I have been so blessed over the years because of so many wonderful moms and dads, "doing what they can" to help us get this ministry up and off the ground. It has definitely been as a result of God working through many people that we have seen Him work. Without the faithfulness and sacrifice of time, we would never have seen the Lord use these messages--so many people, so many acts of service--but none invisible to the Lord.
Some set up tables and books, some write emails and advertise our conferences, some pray, some serve with their children at conferences through registration or meeting with moms to hear their heart-felt needs. or help me set up my dining table one more time for a group or Bible study in our home, some send a support check just when we are totally out of finances. One sweet group of moms from Texas gave me, two years in a row, a surprise gift of money to use for special times as a family--what a blessing in the midst of college age kids who are all so expensive!
But, no matter what, it has been a privilege for us to be a part of such a great host of wonderful servants who "do what they can." The combination of the whole results in thousands of people being encouraged.
They did what they could........ Now I want to tell you of a more recent story that the Lord used to show me how much at work He is behind the scenes.
It was a series over 18 years of one person at a time doing what they could. Eighteen years ago, we started our first real mom's group with friends Marla Huskey, Lisa Hamilton and Lynn Custer who were a part of this group of 45 moms. I moved to Texas but Lisa and Marla kept it going and through ups and downs have been a support to hundreds of moms. Meanwhile I moved to Texas and then to Colorado to start more groups. This year, after 18 years, they will lead of group of 55 moms through our new dvd study on Seasons of a Mother's Heart.
Lynn moved to Raleigh, North Carolina and has been leading Seasons of a Mother's Heart Groups for 10 years. She has seen a couple of hundred mothers come through her home being encouraged and always has a request from moms for her to start one more group. She is also on our board.
Vickie Sanders Me Michelle Holiday
Meanwhile, Lisa and Marla brought Victoria Sanders to one of my mom's conferences in Atlanta a few years ago after encouraging her through our original group in Nashville. Victoria moved to California and she is a real networker. She wanted to start a group like the one in Nashville, and is now a part of 3 different mom's groups this year in California who will be studying different Whole Heart books together. Meanwhile, she met Michelle Holiday at one of our mother's conferences in California. They are in two of the 3 mom's groups and Michelle got the idea of video-taping 15-20 minute lecture series to go along with Mission of Motherhood, Ministry of Motherhood and Seasons of a Mother's heart. She has a background in videography and is producing a wonderful series that we will be using with our books in the fall.
Michelle and her little boy, who was so patient during the filming, in the room where I had to change outfits 24 times to look like each taping was on a different day!
Beth Martinez, a sweet friend, who called me on the phone from California before I knew her, and said, "If I find a hotel, will you do a mom's conference out here?" and she drove me to and from the tapings in California.
Sandra Maddox, my dear friend, who will lead the training for leaders and for churches for Mom Heart Ministry, met me through a young mom at Saddleback church who found Mission of Motherhood online and dragged Sandra, the mom's ministry leader to one of my conferences--and now we will be working together nationally.
So, all we did was pray, do what we could, and God connected us to women coast to coast, doing what they could and now just through these few we have seen thousands encouraged and inspired in the Biblical calling of Motherhood.
Nashville--18 years, hundreds of moms encouraged--this year--55 in a group
Raleigh--Lynn Custer moves to Raleigh and teaches Seasons groups for hundreds over 10 years
Victoria comes from Nashville and attends a mom's conference. She moves to California.
California--Beth Martinez hosts a mom's conference
Sandra, Vickie, Michelle come to the mom's conference
Victoria comes to a mom's conference and meets Michelle
Beth starts a mom's group
Victoria starts 3 groups, one with Michelle
Michelle gets the idea of videotaping
Video tapes reach thousands?..........
What small idea has God put on your heart this year that might just turn into a work of His heart and hands? I pray that He will bless you as you do what small thing that you can and that over the years you will see that in His hands, your act of faith had eternal consequences. I wonder how the world will be changed if all of us do what we can!!!!.........
Mia, Michelle's mom who shared her lovely home for us to use for our videos. Thanks, Sweet Mia.