Monday 2 February 2015

Breaking the alabaster box {"she hath done what she could"}

I know of so many women who are in a continual battle - internally, and externally - about the role they are undertaking as a mother.  There are doubts and fears bombarding our hearts and minds, as we week to serve God, right where we are.  We are led to believe that there is something better - more important - that we could, or should, be doing, beyond the incredible task of being a mother.

We are made to feel that what we do is somehow inferior - working outside the home is "better", or "more important". We are made to feel that the task is insignificant. Others may think it's the easy option to stay at home.  I was incredibly astounded, and heartbroken, to hear that there are those that even think that having more than "x" amount of children is tantamount to sinful behaviour, because it's keeping us from "working in the Church".  There are women who think that they are failing their children because they can't provide the same things for their children as others can. Others still struggle in their hearts, feeling they are letting their children down because THEY are not perfect themselves.

I was struck, however, by the account of Jesus' visit to Bethany, where he met with his dear friends - Lazarus, Mary and Martha.  Those friends who went to every effort to be the perfect hosts, on another occasion and who loved being near their Master.

As He visits, Mary takes a box of costly ointment, and anoints Jesus with it. The disciples - particularly money pinching, betraying, Judas - complain at the wasteful action of using the oil in such a way.  It should have been used for its intended purpose, or at least sold, the money being useful for something else.

Jesus, however, pointed out something that us mothers need to remind ourselves EVERY SINGLE DAY.

"She hath done what she could"

Mary gave sacrificially, and willingly, to Jesus, using what she had to give generously.  Yes, there were other ways that the precious ointment could have been used, but she wanted it to be given to Jesus.  She gave it all, and she gave gladly - what she had to give, she gave.

Precious mother - this is you.

God has given you your children.  Children are an incredible, God-given miracle - without a doubt.  They are a gift.  He has given you the ability to care for them, train them up, and nurture them. He has made YOU their mother.  No-one else.  It's something you can only do.

I ask myself, how am I giving as a mother, today? Am I putting in every effort I can to serve the Lord, right here, right now? Am I lovingly, tenderly, and graciously caring for them?  Am I seeking God's wisdom and guidance, daily, through His inspired Word - seeking His will and HIS ways? Am I accepting the situation that God has led me into - seeing that God's ways may not be my ways, but they are the BEST ways?

If the answer is "yes", then God will look upon us, as He did Mary, and will say

"She hath done what she could"

We can't do any more than that - we CAN do less than that.  God has given us the ability to choose to give our all - to be faithful and true, in our calling as a mother - to shun the other options that may tempt us to doubt that what we are doing is the "right thing" - and to do what we can, giving to Jesus.

Our willing hearts, and the action that MUST accompany it, as evidence of that internal work, are what God is looking for.  He will bless us, and accept our life offering, if we do it for Him - for His glory.

It says that Mary "broke" the alabaster jar.  It doesn't necessarily mean it was "broken" - simply opened up, to be poured out.

That's how we need to be as mothers - poured out, before God. Emptying of self, and giving to Him.  Not keeping anything back, but serving fully.  Not just a dribble.  Not keeping anything back. Not giving to somewhere or someone else.  Everything we have, given to God.

The other important point to remember, is this - it was MARY'S box.  It didn't belong to anyone else.  It was hers alone, and hers alone to give.  Your life is exactly that - YOURS.  No-one else can live it for you.  They can tell you what they think is right for them, they can tell you what they THINK is right for you.  You, and only you, knows what you own, as YOUR lot in life, to be able to give to the Lord.  We need to own our life by pouring it out to Jesus.  Being a mother who gives her all, poured out with a willing heart, to Jesus - our Saviour. With God's Word to guide you on the big principles, and God's wisdom to guide you on the finer details, you can pour out the alabaster box of your life, as a mother, to Him.

Are you like me - do you even find it is most often those who are "disciples" of Christ who are the most critical of how your pout your life to him? It was the DISCIPLES who moaned and complained about what she did.  I have countless situations where people have questioned how I am pouring out my life - how many children I have, how we choose to educate them, how we choose to discipline them, what we allow them to do, or not do, the company we have them keep, and mostly it's fellow believers who condemn and question the most. They are the ones who question my actions.

The Lord sees, and sends His word of rebuke out, as He did to His own disciples

HE sees.

He sees when we taken those precious moments of our life - as wife, mother, and follower of Him - and give them back to Him.  Living our life poured out, responsible only for what God has given US.  Serving God by serving our family, broken and spilled out entirely, for JESUS only.

And maybe, just MAYBE, the disciples and whose who question YOU have the same issue? Perhaps their own hearts are pricked by the choices you make?  Then, it's simply not your place to worry or doubt your own choices - it's only theirs to make THEIR own choices, before God - not to question YOURS.

Sweet sister - what  you have to offer, as a mother, is of great value in God's eyes.

"If any man serve me, him will my Father honour."
John 12:26

If the Lord has given you a family, then you have to raise them to His glory. That is the way God expects you to serve Him.  The Lord will honour our service to Him, as mothers.

Don't look for the approval others, simply look for the approval of your Heavenly Father.  The only words you need to hear, as we pour out the "alabaster box" of motherhood, are "She hath done what she could".


  1. Beautifully written and so true - Thank you!!


  2. From one Mommy to another ...may I say, Very good! Thank you for sharing. :-)