Last week, the Bible study I am leading focused on clothing, appearance, and why we spend so much time, resources, and money in this area.  As a stay-at-home-mom, I thought this was an easy one for me.  After all, I wear sweatpants and t-shirts almost every day.

And then I walked into the mall.

I didn’t go to look at clothes.  I was on an entirely different errand, but I had to walk through Macy’s to get there.  Did you know that cute spring clothes are already out?  Did you know that they are very colorful and remind me of the life I used to live working in an office?  A life where I didn’t change diapers, or watch Toy Story 2 ten times a day, or spend my time cleaning up some unidentifiable stickiness off the coffee table…

When I got home and started considering my reaction (I didn’t buy anything, but I wanted to really, really badly!), I thought about how this one question applies not just to my appearance, but to everything I do – music, blogging, ministry, parenting: Do I do what I do out of love, giftedness, and calling, or do I just want to be noticed?

I discovered a part of myself that is not pretty.  I do things (or sometimes do not do things) so that I will stand out.  I want you to think I am the best musician, the best writer, the best ministry organizer, the best parent – and I make wrong choices based on my desire to be noticed.

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  While God is not promising to fulfill every one of my desires, He is telling me to spend my time seeking Him, and He will take care of the rest.

I’m working on this.  I’m praying about and finding ways to be intentionally less focused on how something makes me look to you, and more about how I look to the Father.  And here’s what I have discovered: Not worrying about what you think about me frees me to enjoy the things that I do.  If I am focused on doing things out of love, giftedness, and calling, I can be the person God has created me to be.