Life in a Fishbowl - Learning to Live Transparent and Open

Living Life in a Fishbowl

Life in a fishbowl is an intense place to find ourselves as women, as moms, as pastor’s wives or missionaries.

I grew up in a Pastor’s home. I grew up knowing that everyone was watching me and my family. We were on display for everyone to look at whether we wanted to be or not.

As I grew older and felt called into full time ministry, I knew that my life would continue to be held under a microscope. I would be compared and examined by well-meaning people and maybe some not so well-meaning people. Those things are a part of ministry.

As we moved into missions, these feelings only grew. The feelings of being examined, watched, or even judged.

{throw in blogging and social media with missions and we have willingly magnified life in a fishbowl}

I feel even more in the open to the world than I did before.

Our finances, our time, our efforts, our ministry, our family, our marriage… all there for anyone to see, to question and to comment. All there in this “life in a fishbowl”.

We are okay with that, knowing that what you see here or on twitter or in church or on the street or in our home is the same thing.

I also feel this as a writer and blogger. Writing on social media, sharing life #behindtheprayercard for all to see.

When I think back over our years of ministry, I remember some sage advice I was given very early in our marriage. My husband’s aunt, who has been in ministry with her husband for over 20 years, was joking with us and said something that has actually been very helpful.

She said, “We live life in a fishbowl so we need to give them something good to look at!”

Giving them something good to see in our family, our friendships, our home, our marriage, and our parenting has become my passion.

They won’t see perfection. They won’t see us all put together. They won’t catch us doing it right every time.

I want them to see through life in a fishbowl that we are no different than anyone else. We make mistakes, struggle, cry and hurt.

And, through that realness, I want them to see God in us. I want them to see His love at work in us.

On my own, I couldn’t do this.

When I’ve been hurt by someone or misunderstood, when people see something, assume things about me or our family. I am not strong enough for those moments.

Life in a Fishbowl - Learning to Live Transparent and Open

But God in me is strong enough.

He can shine through us in those moments of struggle, helping us to be an example to those looking in to our fishbowl.

I was reading Philippians 2:14-16 and it fit this thought so well.

“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life – in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.”

We are called to shine like stars as we hold out God’s words of life to others. We are called to put aside our complaints and arguments and live blameless and pure as children of God. We want to get to the end knowing that we did not run or labor for nothing.

God is doing something in us and through us for a purpose. He called us as ministry families so that we could shine for Him and be His hands extended.

This chapter goes on in verses 17-18 to say, “But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.”

At times we feel like we are being poured out completely on the sacrifice. We are giving our all for the sake of the calling on our lives. We sacrifice so much to obey what God asks us to do for His Kingdom.

But let us, like Paul, take joy in knowing that God is at work in us and we are not alone.

We can shine like stars, or like my husband’s aunt said, we can give them something good to look at, not because we can be perfect but because God is working in us through every moment of this life.

Every moment of life in a fishbowl.

Life in a Fishbowl - Learning to Live Transparent and Open

Real people. Striving to share our lives as God leads us in our path with Him.

Trying not to share too much or too little… trying only to share what glorifies God and brings honor to His Name.

Praying that what is seen in our fish bowl will highlight what is good and right and clean in family and marriage and ministry all while having a whole lot of fun together.

Praying that our fish bowl will point others to the One who daily helps us in every area of life.

Not for perfection, but for the reality of living life with God one day at a time.



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