Sacrifice of serving
In a world full of, "You have the right to... " or "You deserve to... " what happens when we as mothers decide to live even more sacrificially than we already think we do.
What if, instead of yelling at the kids to put away their toys for the 5th time you say, "Let's work together to clean up this mess, but next time I want to see you clean it up the first time I ask, because I know you will do a great job."
What if, instead of trying to take care of your chores while your kids sit at the table to "get their school work done" you sat with them, learned with them and laughed with them?
What if, instead of letting out a deep sigh only to say, "How many times do I have to tell you guys to get along?!" What if you stopped doing the dishes and walked over to them, got down on their level, looked them in their eyes and said, "God has something better for you. Do you know that it is a gift for you to have each other? Talk to each other about what is going on. Learn to listen to each other instead of demanding your own way, use words for building each other up, forgive easily and love each other because you are able to conquer mighty things together."
Does it sound impossible? Too cheesy? Sound easier said than done?
That's fine. But guess who is going to work on all the above? This girl right here... as in, the queen of cheese and chaser of challenges.
"Fathers, do not exasperate your children, instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." —Ephesians 6:4
I have to admit. I am so tired of repeating myself. I am tired of feeling like I have exhausted all disciplinary avenues by the end of the day. I am tired of the enemy stealing the joy in motherhood and our homeschooling journey— through my selfish filter.
As a homeschooling mom, or a stay-at-home mom in the early years, you tend to start off your journey over zealous and filled with purpose and a sense of exuberance. Somewhere along the way, i.e. the media—social, televised or other— starts to distort your filter. We start to believe if we did more, if we did less, then we would look successful. People might actually start to believe that I can make it at this homeschooling thing.
Hear me when I say, the only thing we need to do more of, is take the time to listen to our children, play with our children and teach them on a level that can be modeled. We will not reach their hearts if we are too busy reaching the heart of those around us through distorted filters.
Sally Clarkson does a great job articulating this in her book, "The Mission of Motherhood". One particular quote I adored that seems so simple and perfect is:
"If I have integrity and patience in the small moments of life that are so important to my children, and If I approach them with a servant's heart, then I have a far better chance of influencing them in the larger and more critical issues of life. "
I understand how easily we can let that "I need more me time" filter slip into our hearts. I hear you Mama, you are tired! We do absolutely need to take time for ourselves to be able to pour out onto our children. However, instead of getting stuck in self-pity mode (I am covering my eyes as I type this because I am SO guilty) choose to serve your children better than yesterday. It is the same concept as tithing. When you think you don't have anything left to give, tithe and God will open the gates of Heaven and pour out more blessings than you can imagine. I believe that the times you choose to sacrifice through serving in all those little moments when you feel like you have nothing left to give, you will be more filled than you would by gratifying the desires of your flesh.
I feel like this message mostly pertains to homeschooling Moms because we have children depending on us 24 hours a day 7 days a week and sometimes we just want to let them watch t.v. all afternoon so we can clean up a couple messes or eat something more than a banana for lunch. I see you too stay-at-home Mom. Those days are long and the years are short and it is absolutely worth it!
I believe that choosing to sacrifice our time and our wants now, will lead to a greater surrender for all of eternity for our children.
Isn't that the goal in the first place? When you chose to become a mother, when you chose to homeschool your children, you chose to do these things with an end goal in mind. Life is all about choosing to sacrifice one little bit at a time, because our ultimate example made the greatest sacrifice of all. In an Instagram post earlier this week I posted a super sweet (mommy prejudice) picture of my Gwyn Estelle just sitting there with an open bible and this quote from Andy Stanley,
"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise."
"But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." —Joshua 24/15
Have a wonderful week friends.