The Sacrament of Living

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward (Colossians 3:23-24, NIV).

Let a man sanctify the Lord God in his heart and he can thereafter do no common act … For such a man, living itself will be sacramental. As he performs his never so simple task, he will hear the voice of the seraphim saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts. The whole world is full of His glory.” (A.W.Tozer – The Pursuit of God).

The Housewife Syndrome

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The yardstick of this world is a mighty weapon leaving many, many casualties in its wake. A major disease that is a result of this monster, is the housewife syndrome.

This disease is as old as time and no cure has ever been found. No amount of psychology or common sense is totally able to heal this illness. It has ingrained its lies deep in the hearts of its victims.

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Most of us become skilled in the game of comparing very early in life and we soon measure our worth on the scales of performance. And this, at least, is one thing I used to be able to perform with excellence!

Ever since my boys were small, I used to be just a housewife, a wife and a mother. I considered myself to be quite low on the scale of importance and were plagued by feelings of guilt for burying my talents in the ground.

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Who will ever consider doing laundry, scrubbing floors, cooking meals, ironing, making beds, etc, etc, etc, to be a noble vocation! Definitely not me for I was quite snobbish.

Helping my husband to keep the pot boiling, I designed children’s clothing. I was an excellent seamstress and worked into the early morning hours sewing the most beautiful clothes. Yet, in my eyes this was still a common profession.

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Another cohort contributing mightily to this whole shebang is the world of religion. The religious elite is not innocent in this folly and most have their own set of performance rules and regulations to keep the wheels of the cart rolling!

I recall the time when the medical profession was unable to provide an explanation for my Fm/CFS. Well, my husband did not understand it either. In the beginning he was not supportive, believing this illness to be just a figment of my imagination.

This was a hard time for both of us for I was unable to fulfill my duties and he worked very hard. One day he even dragged me to the stove telling me to stop being such a hypochondriac and look after my family. I could only scream in pain and crawled back to bed.

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I needed help and support desperately and went to see my pastor and his wife. In a previous post I wrote about the catastrophic outcome of this meeting for their diagnosis was that my sorry state was actually the result of not serving the saints.

One day I realized that all my striving and comparing were just  as useless as chasing the wind and I heard a voice!! Softly and tenderly it wooed me like a fresh breeze of love to come to Him.

His cure for this foolishness was actually so incredibly simple, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31, NLT). When our Pappa God wrote this cure on the tablets of my heart, I was overjoyed.

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My eyes were opened and I could suddenly see why Brother Lawrence considered washing the dishes at the monastry, a holy experience (The Practice Of The Presence Of God).

I realized that if humble duties like eating or drinking, things we share with our lowly animal friends, could be done to honor and glorify our Lord, there is nothing, except sin, that is not important to our Pappa.

Like all the blessings our Pappa bestows on us, the secret for this cure is hidden and available only in Him. As we learn to set our eyes on heaven and to store our treasures there where moths and rust cannot destroy, we soon find our hearts desiring nothing else, but the will of our Pappa.

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I often wondered why Pappa hasn’t healed my Fm/CFS until He told me that it is for my own good. This is just a thorn in my flesh to prevent me from surrendering again to this cursed life of earning approval through performance.

Much love XX

Mia

I would like to hear if I was the only sufferer of this performance disease. Please, let me know!

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32 thoughts on “The Sacrament of Living

    • Dear Judith
      Thanks for your visit and encouraging words. I like your linky place.Thank you for hosting us.
      Blessings and love
      Mia

  1. Mia, I just read Tozer’s book this week!! Picked it up one afternoon and feasted on those words!
    Performance, not measuring up–yes, I know it. I’m praying that God would work in this heart and release me, but it is awfully vulnerable and hard!!
    ‘But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’
    Blessings to you, Mia!

    • Dear Rebekah
      This, sweet friend, is what it is about. If we could do anything to get rid of this performance disease, we would still be trusting ourselves and then He definitely does not compete with us!!
      He waits until we come to the end of ourselves and cry out to Him. Then He brings beauty out of our ashes and strength out of our weakness.
      Blessings and love
      Mia

  2. Oh Brother Lawrence!!!! Always stirring things up for me….and in the process bringing peace. He must be cracking up in heaven! I love that man! 🙂

    • Dear Daja
      I had to smile when I read you comment. Yes, He must be having a good time with our Pappa in heaven. Of everything Brother Lawrence wrote, one thing stands out to me. He said that no one, he included, can introduce our God to us better than He does Himself!
      Much love
      Mia

  3. Mia – This post just brought me to tears to realize how much you have & are suffering with FM & how much it has been misunderstood. I took time this morning to pray that our God would bring your body relief & healing. I think we all have struggled with striving to perform, to be more than, a little bit better, comparing ourselves, etc. We can get so caught up in that vicious cycle. I am so grateful for our God that frees us & gets us on the right track to recognize that the smallest task can bring Him glory. Thank you for sharing this.
    Blessings, Joanne

    • Dear Joanne
      In the beginning FM/CFS was very hard and I felt quite sorry for myself. But now rejoice for all the good Pappa has brought our of this illness, all for His glory This was His way of healing me from this performance disease. Thank you so much for your prayers. I am humbled by your love.
      Blessings and love to you
      Mia

  4. Oh, thank you. Nodding my head and saying, ‘Me too…’ You are most certainly not on your own in comparing and finding yourself wanting. I struggle with it daily, and although I know that what other people think is of little importance I have to fight with feelings of inadequacy and inferiority all the time. The bottom line is that I play to an audience of One. I need to let that get from my head to my heart.
    Thanks for this.

    • Dear Helen
      I want to encourage you to ask your Pappa God to show you how much He loves you. He loves doing just that. I am praying that He will help you to win this battle against those lies. It is hard, but you will get there for our Lord has already won the war. Thank you for sharing.
      Much love to you
      Mia

  5. I love that quote from Tozer! While God has blessed me to do many things, the one thing I’ve done that I found most rewarding was to raise the three little girls God gave me to love and serve Him. Yet, that most amazing thing, doesn’t do much to impress others. 🙂

    • Dear Elizabeth
      This reminds me so much about Pauls instruction on the widows who needed to receive support. The only good work he lifts out is that she has loved her husband and raise her children!
      Much Love
      Mia

  6. Mia, What a freeing word you’ve offered here. I, too, have struggled with issues of performance. I’ve compared. Considered myself less-than. Thanks be to God, He has let me know my real worth.

    I’m so grateful that God gave you those important verses, letting you know that all your work can be done unto the glory of Him who saved you.

    • Dear Jennifer
      Oh, my friend, it is so freeing when our Pappa opens our eyes to really see this truth! Once He has replaced all these lied we have believed with His truth, we are so incredibly free.
      Blessings and love
      Mia

  7. Dear Mia,
    So glad God spoke the truth tender to your heart to set you free from the performance disease…I have suffered from it, and I am generally healed but I do still struggle at times, and God is so gracious to remind me one way or another…2 Cor. 12:9-10 is so comforting…love to you my friend 🙂

    • Dear Dolly
      Yes, once our Lord has healed us of this disease, the enemy will still often whisper his lies to our minds. But know we know where it comes from, don’t we!!
      much love, sweet friend
      Mia

    • Dear Jennifer
      The performance disease is one our Pappa loves to heal!! Just as well for we will never be able to do this ourselves. Nice to hear fro you again, thank you.
      Mia

  8. Dear Mia, many years ago I belonged to a church that proposed that I could be saved, but then I must work to become ‘In Christ’. Performance and accomplishment were everything! It wasn’t until many pain-filled years later that I first heard about our Abba’s GRACE. I remember sobbing with overwhelming relief that I didn’t have to strive to be loved and accepted by Him… It was revelatory! I must confess, that those thoughts still creep in… But I am quick to recognize them as the lies of the enemy.
    Thank you for always sharing your heart in such poignant ways. Isn’t is beautiful how our Abba can use what we at one time thought a curse, {FM/CFS} to bring about a deeper communion with Him.
    Much love ~ Mary

    • Dear Mary
      Our Pappa works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform! Who would think that something as painful as Fibro is a way that we can bring Him so much glory as we learn to live out of His provision of grace every day. What a great God He is!!!
      Blessings and love
      Mia

  9. It is always a journey of fiath. Even the good things we do, if they are not done for his glory, will not remain. I will continue to fight that fight, evaluate my heart motive, so my life will please him. Thank you for sharing your story, your struggle. So glad you are finding victory.

    • Dear Dawn
      I am also so glad that finally I am experiencing that incredible freedom in the Holy Spirit. Our Lord Jesus paid such a dear price for this freedom and we should take Paul’s advice seriously where he tells us to make sure that we stay free.
      Thanks for visiting and commenting.
      Blessings and love
      Mia

  10. Absolutely not, Mia! My pastor would probably say I was one of the worst offenders. But through the healing ministry at my church I have found so much freedom from the day to day performances of life. God is so good and I am learning to be loved by Him everyday. Blessings to you, Mia! Love, Rachael @ Inking the Heart

    • Dear Rachael
      It brings so much joy to my heart to hear that your congregation people really care about one another. It is always supposed to be that way.
      Blessings and love
      Mia

  11. I do like Brother Lawrence and it has been awhile since I sat with him. I too keep thinking my almighty to do list and ego driven accomplishments would gain His love when all along He just wanted me plain and simple and as I am. Just as I am.

    by the way, I love the photo of the baby turtle and the strawberry. made me smile

    • Dear Jean
      That picture makes me think of us humans who tries to earns God’s approval by doing mighty, difficult works. Shows you how big our egos really are! Yes, Brother Lawrence was a wise man.
      Blessings and love
      Mia

  12. A mature perspective. While the verse is simple, it is exceedingly profound. Your words are encouraging for all of us who face the reality of this flesh and it’s weaknesses. Thanks to our Father who gives us the peace from within. Nice job, Mia.

    • Dear Floyd
      Religion is all about outward performance where Christianity is all about a heart in which our Lord Jesus lives through His Spirit. Such a person knows the freedom Paul talks of in Galatians.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.
      Blessings and love
      Mia

  13. Mia, Thanks for sharing your heart! At times I’ve referred to myself as a “recovering perfectionist.” Needless to say, appearances and performance were my priorities. With the help of God’s grace – and some counseling, years ago – I can embrace the person God made me to be with all my gifts and flaws. You have my sympathy -I struggled with fibromyalgia for a number of years. These days I am mostly symptom free, as long as I continue to practice my self-care program, i.e. sleep, eat right, manage my stress, and get massages once a month. The biggest turn-around came when I began a regular exercise program (Curves for Women) that included stretching afterward. I was also diagnosed with and treated for a serious Vitamin-D deficiency. God bless you as you seek to honor God in all you do!

    • Dear Kathy
      I am often wondering if Fibro is not a disease that perfectionists suffer from. I am so glad that you are able to control your symptoms so well. I try to take walks for that helps me a lot. Oh the freedom when we realize that we are precious to our Pappa just the way we are.
      Much love
      Mia

  14. Oh darling, Mia. No, I was right there with you in this wretched performance disease. Though mine took a different shape, the heart of it was the same. Not believing I was loveable and doing everything I could to earn God’s love and the approval of others. Brother Lawrence has also influenced me incredibly — for if something so simple could be an act of worship, then the real question is about the heart, not the doing. I am amazed by the ways you have grown to see your Fm/CFS as a blessing because it has brought you closer to God’s own heart. May you always find your worth and hope right there — at this heart. Sending love, friend.

    • Dear Ashley
      There is no other place we can actually find our worth at, dear friend. Yes, this disease has many infection strains and we need to be so careful to not catch one of them again. It is all about the heart, dear one. There where He lives.
      Much love to you
      Mia

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