"Do I seriously have to do this again?" I thought as I rolled out of bed, stumbling to the door. It was the fifth round of clean-up that night. I stripped the bed (after a momentary "could I just throw a towel on it?"), cleaned up my scared, shaking daughter, remade the bed, and tucked her back in, kissing her and reminding her that the bowl was on the floor if she needed it (in hopes that I could avoid some clean up). I added the dirty sheets to the growing basket on the stairs, and crawled back into bed with a 13 month old who suddenly needed to nurse. Sleep must have overcome me at some point because I startled awake to do it all over again an hour later.
Have I succeeded in making you feel sorry for me? Have I convinced you of my martyrdom? I am ashamed to say that those were not even the worst thoughts running through my head, and I could honestly recount that story much more pathetically.
It happened the next day. My children were feeling a *little* better, and their little tummy's were hungry. They requested chicken noodle soup, and being the good mom that I am - I obliged them ;) I set them up with their bowls of soup on t.v. trays, cozied up under blankets on the couch. As I began to walk back into the kitchen, my three year old son said something that made me stop in my tracks.
"Mommy, thank you for making us this soup." I stood for a moment, thinking about the night before. He kept apologizing every time he got sick. It was so sad. I assured him that it was not his fault, that he could not help it and it was okay. I would even say, "I am so sorry that you are sick. Don't worry, Mommy, will take care of you." But I had to wonder...did he feel my frustration? my self-pity? my martyr mentality? Is that why he had apologized? I could have cried at his sweet spirit. In the midst of his sickness, he was thanking me for taking care of him - doing something as simple as making him a bowl of soup. He didn't need some grand gesture, he felt loved and cared for with his blankey and a little comfort food.
How could I be so selfish? How could I even think of myself? Who cares about me. These children are the very beating of my heart. How many times have I said that I would do anything for them, and I yet I grumbled under my breath and rolled my eyes in the darkness when they needed me. I am so thankful that my "Daddy" doesn't act that way with me. He doesn't roll His eyes when I call on Him for the tenth time in the middle of the night, and he doesn't grumble when He has to clean up my mess. What a selfless Father. I need so much more of Him in me.
And in that moment standing in the living room, I was overcome with repentance and the joy of servanthood. I responded to Beckett, "You're welcome, Bubby. It is my pleasure to serve you." And I truly meant that. I honestly love taking care of my family. I feel purposeful and at my best. I desire to bring them comfort in their misery and make them feel loved and secure in their hour of need. But I had allowed a world full of selfishness to invade my mind, I had given in to that whisper that said "Look at everything you are doing! You deserve a medal!". I am certainly NOT a martyr...I felt sorry for myself and felt like I deserved something. What I have done is simple and requires very little of me. I want to have the attitude of a true martyr, selflessly giving their lives for the cause of Christ, with no expectation of accolades or awards.
"Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends."
I deserve nothing. And yet, look at all the blessings I have been given. I have my health, my time, my energy, my love and my joy that I can be pouring out onto my beloveds.
If motherhood is my mission, and home is my mission field...then cleaning up puke, washing a
"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then on the day of Christ's return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless."
Thanks for stopping by on Theme Thursday!
April's theme is: The Servant Mom - Next week: "Home is Your Mission Field"
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Have you allowed grumbling or complaining to steal your joy of motherhood?