My sweet friend L from All Glorious Within wrote the sweetest birthday post today - if you want to read it see here :)
Tomorrow I will put the first half of my twenties in a box, seal them with a kiss and say goodbye. Isn't that cray? (Yes, I've started saying "cray". Don't judge.) In moments like these - times in my life when you come to a crossroads, no matter how big or small, when I walk through those "rites of passage", or hit a benchmark - I become reflective. No matter how big or small the event. When I finish a good thick book I loved, I always savor the last few pages, and without fail I shed a tear or two when I close the back cover.
The other day, as I dusted and rearranged my overflowing bookcase, I found one of my old Bibles. One I used in high school. The leather's all faded and a little torn, the pages crumpled. And as I opened it up and leafed thorough it's old pages, I found a bookmark. Wrinkled and ripped at the top, I got it about 10 years ago when a old family friend and mentor of mine led a women's conference. And I've cherished it since, because the few words on the bookmark remind me of something I told the Lord at that time, and a commitment I made for my life.
It reads, "She did all she could." -Mark 14:8.
You see, she is someone I want to be like.
She knew Jesus. And her story is in the Bible. It's one of my very favorites. When Jesus was in a place called Bethany, as He sat the table in the home of his friend, she came in. She held in her hands an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard.
She broke the jar.
And she poured the perfume out of the jar ... onto Jesus' head.
People began whispering. Indignantly, they said to one another, "Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year's wages and the money given to the poor."
They judged her. They looked down on her. They rebuked her. Harshly.
But Jesus looked up at them, and he said, "Leave her alone."
He defended her.
And He said, "She has done a beautiful thing to me."
"The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them anytime you want. But you will not always have me.
She did all she could."
He continued to explain. He told them she poured perfume on His body, preparing Him for his coming death and burial... something only He knew would soon occur. He said that wherever the Gospel would be preached, her story would be told.. through all the world, through all the years to come.
(Emphasis mine. Based upon Mark 14:1-9)
Friend, she was a woman who knew Jesus. And I want to be like her. Her story moves me. It makes me cry.
She understood something no one else in that room did. What she did was sacred, special, and precious. And Jesus knew that. But the people in the room? They didn't "get it."
But she didn't care. As an act of worship, she anointed Jesus with something precious.
I love her faith. Her bravery. Her passion for Jesus. And how she didn't care what anyone said or thought. Just Him.
We don't know much about her. We don't know where she got that perfume, where she lived or how she possessed the expensive oil. But we do know she possessed something valuable, costly, precious. The perfume was worth much, to her and even to an onlooker.
I love this story, because I can relate with it. No, I don't own bottles of costly perfume (let's face it - the perfume bottle I used in these pictures is certainly not alabaster... nor is it Chanel no.7. It's actually Juicy Couture... hey all I had to choose from was that and a half empty bottle of Taylor Swift's last fragrance) But because my life - my heart, and your life and your heart, are worth much. And we alone choose and decide how to spend our lives and where to give our hearts.
Like the woman in this story, I chose long ago to give my life, my whole heart, my time, my love, my worship - to Him. No matter the cost. And I want to continue to do that. It is costly. By giving my life to Him 100%, I am saying "no" to all else. I am pouring it out like a costly perfume, on His head, in worship. I am trusting Him, and I am giving my all. But it is oh so worth it. Because it belongs to Him anyway. And because He is the love of my life.
I choose to give Him this year. And the rest of my 20's. And my thirties someday. And every decade after, every year He may give me. I don't wanna keep it bottled up. I choose to pour it out on Him. In reckless, passionate worship.
Like a bottle of Chanel no. 5, poured out. Wasted, to some it seems. Like this woman, who poured it out - despite haters, despite what anyone thought. All she saw was Him.
Think about it tonight, my sweet friend. What are you doing with your costly perfume?
Your life? Your heart?
My prayer as the clock strikes midnight and I open a new chapter of life, thankful for a new year, is this:
That I may, in reckless and passionate abandon, pour out every last drop of my costly perfume as worship to Him. And that someday, just maybe, He will say of me -
"She did all she could."
That would make me a happy girl.
What are you doing with your costly jar?
May we, through His grace, pour it all out for Him.
Love to you and you and you.
PS - Check back tomorrow after you've eaten yummy turkey and all your favorite sides ...
I have a big birthday/Thanksgiving celebration giveaway. You don't wanna miss this one :)
Earrings: Forever 21
Jeans: Q Boutique