When my babies were little, I didn't mind sacrificing for them. It was natural to me, I loved ministering to my little ones. I enjoyed a hot meal, but if my baby needed fed, I'd gladly sit down to nurse them, cuddling their warm soft bodies close even as my food grew cold. In the still of the night when my babies were restless or fussy, I loved rocking them or snuggling them up close in my bed as the darkness enveloped us. Inhaling their sweet baby scent we floated off to a world where it was just us loving each other.
The selfless attitude that came naturally when they were babies, I've found is a struggle now. Perhaps it's because they are more capable of doing things for themselves. Perhaps it is the many demands of seven children. Perhaps it's being asked to love when it is not the natural thing to do. Whatever the reason for the change, God has brought me face to face with my selfishness.
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Selfishness is an ugly thing. It rears it's head when I'm fixing supper and a child needs something. I grumpily stop what “I'm” doing to help.
It's almost bedtime. The day has been long. The kids are playing noisily, and I'm irritated. “I” want silence.
The boys have had a blast playing outside. They are filthy. I'm frustrated because it means extra laundry for “me” to do.
My husband comes in and needs to talk about something. “I” am trying to finish a task. I'm short and impatient with him because “I” have things to get done.
The demands of a large household are many. I wonder when I will have time for “myself” again. There are things I would like to do. I have other goals and dreams. Envy of other women who perhaps have careers and free time invades my heart.
“Me, myself, and I” takes over my thoughts. “Selfish Ambition” plants seeds of “envy”. I find discontentment invading my soul. Soon there is no peace in my heart.
“But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such 'wisdom' does not come from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” James 3 14-18
I cannot live this way. There is no happiness here. Self must be put be put behind. Jesus came to serve. He is my example. He said, “Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mt. 20:26-28
When I serve my family with the right motive, peace fills my soul. I remember I'm one of his children held close in his arms, and we are content there just loving each other.
Longing to stay in his arms each day through loving service to Him...