Sacrifice in the Mundane (On selfishness)
Wait a minute: Did this book for grown-up mothers actually include a chapter on SELFISHNESS. Surely not. Anytime I tell someone I have six children, they declare how self-less I must be. They tell me what a high calling this is. They affirm my goodness, my patience, and my self-control. Or they call me crazy. None of these is entirely accurate.
The truth is: I struggle with selfishness just like every woman alive. Depending on the day I can totally relate to the following from the book:
“Days are long and mundane. Every need, every ask, every complaint feels like a burden.”
What a ridiculous, selfish mother I can be at times. And on days that don’t feel like that, it is often because I have checked out mentally. I have put myself mentally in another place and time where playing trains and answering math questions and changing diapers and buying groceries are all done on automatic pilot. I have let others take my place in my children’s hearts.
But at the same time:
“You and I, we love our children to the core of our beings. We would die for them. But for some reason, we have a hard time putting away our books, or our computers, or our crafts in order to serve them, train them, encourage them, and fill their souls with life. Every day.”
Yes, yes, yes! And right now, with daughters who are fifteen and thirteen, I feel most vividly that my time with them is short. They are not asking me to play trains or ponies, but they are asking me to fix their hair, take them to tea, discuss their latest book with them, watch them dance, take pictures, discuss boys (yikes!), help them with math, biology, and help them sort through the internal conflicts they also have with (you guessed it!) selfishness.
Each day I am asking the Lord to help mature me. I don’t want to be selfish. I want to shut down the computer, take out the headphones, leave the phone on the charger, shut down the business, unplug everything with a plug and just love on them with everything I can. I want to be faithful. I want to be the mother who gladly, sacrificially, joyfully and DAILY laid down everything for those I love.
Does this mean I can’t take time to take care of myself. No. In fact, it is when I am feeling most selfish and most jealous for a life different from my own that I begin to not care whether I look especially nice for my family. That is when I stop caring how healthy the food is I am eating. That is when I start indulging in television more, and reading godly books less. But at some point,
“I accepted that no one else was going to take responsibility for me, and if I didn’t take care of myself, my soul would die a slow death by exhaustion, boredom, loneliness and mediocrity. “
So, moms, even in those mundane days, I have to nurture my own soul AND lay down my selfishness.
The way- the only way- I know how to do this is to gaze upon the cross, and keep in mind John 15:13
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
Thank you, Sarah and Sally for helping me see clearly the areas of sinfulness I have in my selfishness. By sharing your stories, you help me see my own more vividly and help me want to shake off these heavy chains of sin and be the mother and wife God is calling me to be. Every single day.