I fix pancakes for breakfast, his favorite. I holler down the stairs that they’re ready and he gripes back, “But, Mom, I thought you said we could get McDonalds today.” Stab...
I set my alarm thirty minutes early in order to wash his new shirt so he can wear it to his eight a.m. practice. I hand it to him. He complains, “Gross. Why is it still so damp?” Slash...
In between carpooling him to his basketball and her to her softball, they grumble, “I hate when you take this way, it’s shorter the other way.” Slice...
As I serve dinner on plates, he whines, “Why didn’t you put mine in a bowl?” Rip...
I pour my time, my emotions, my finances, my heart, and oh-so many prayers into two children that are not even my own and I hear...well, I don’t hear much. Gash....
These thankless responses cut my pride-filled flesh like knives, leaving me to kick and scream, silently, “Helllo! What about ME?! Hey, look over here! Remember me?!”
I hold it in, teeth clenched, as I pick up another pair of muddy shoes from the living room floor.
Other times, my willpower fails me and my wounds gush with rage, “I just spent two hours cooking this for YOU and you don’t even appreciate it. Next time you can just cook your own dang food!” or “Do you think I WANT to get up and drive you all around town for this or that? No, I don’t, but I do it for YOU anyway. The least you could do is so me some appreciation!!”
Lashing out temporarily releases the pressure on my flesh, but leaves me feeling empty, disappointed, and unsatisfied on the inside.
When people don’t give us the response that we think we deserve, we get so angry and hurt, but why?
Pride wears many masks, often times it presents itself as anger, or fear. Pride is easily offended. Pride is always afraid; afraid of being unnoticed, unaccredited, or unaccepted. Pride only knows three words: me, myself, and I.
And pride never, ever gets what it thinks it deserves; for its thirst is unquenchable.
But I’m so thirsty.
So incredibly thirsty.
I’ve drank from pride’s fountain, and it is laced with salt. The more I drink the more I thirst. I know that if I want to live, I must find another source.
“But Lord,” I cry out, “don’t you understand? My kids ought to be more grateful, my husband should have showed me some appreciation for that, and those other moms should have thanked me! I do so much for these people and they...
“It’s not for them,” the Lord interrupts.
“Not for them?” I laugh, “Then who is it for? Because it sure isn’t for me!”
“It’s for me. Don’t you see?”
“See what, Lord?”
“See me – in everything. I’m in those piles of laundry, I’m in those pancakes you cooked this morning, and I’m in the freshly vacuumed carpet. I’m in the alarm you set thirty minutes early and the ‘atta boy’ you gave your step-son in the car. I’m in the half-a-dozen ‘momma, look at this’s and ‘momma, watch that’s. I’m in the shoestrings you spent five minutes tying just the way he likes them, even though you were running late. I’m in those nine dollar Wal-Mart-special fold-out chairs that get warmed up every single little league game, rain or shine. I’m in it all, watching it all, and it’s all for ... me.”
My phone rings, it’s my husband telling me that he’s on his way home. He’s trying to talk to me about an employee he is having issues with, but I quit listening. Colt needs a bath, the stove just went off, and I have my own list of issues I would like to talk about. I start to rush him off the phone, when I hear it again: “It’s all for me.”
Ok, Lord, I’ll listen.
“...and this is the third time he has showed up late,” my husband continues, “I’ve given him so many chances, and I just don’t know what else to do. The guy nearly cost us five thousand dollars today with some careless mistake he has made over and over. Oh well, you probably don’t want to hear all this. Sorry. I’m just venting. I let you go, be home soon.”
I hang up. His picture pops up on my phone as the call ends. I stare at it until the screen goes black. He does so much for me -- for us. He works so hard. I love him.
I walk into the bathroom and start my baby’s bath water. I run my hand through to test the temperature. It’s just right. As I watch the water rise, I think about what the Lord spoke to me.
It’s all for Him. It’s all for his glory, not mine. Just the thought of it loosens a few of the chains wrapped around my heart. I don’t wake up each morning, wrestle these four children all day, keep the pantry stocked, or even rush to kiss a another skinned knee merely to hear the words, “Thank you.”
No, I wake up, I wrestle, I stock, and I kiss all for His glory. It’s all worship.
And worship is the ultimate salve for my wounds. I only begin to heal when I look beyond myself and remember that it is all for Him, by Him, and through Him.
I bow my head.
“Thank you, Lord, for revealing to me my purpose: to glorify you in all that I do. Thank you for setting me free from the smallness of myself and letting me enter into the fullness of you. I worship you, Jesus, right here, right now. I prepare this bath, all for you, and when I bathe my baby, that’s also for you. And when I dry him off, dress him, and tuck him in for another night’s sleep, that, too, is all for you. Help me to stop believing the lie that I always deserve more, because truth is, you are more than enough.”
I raise my head just in time to see the water run over the tub’s edge and I know it is Him – he always fills to overflowing.
Get what I deserve. The ridiculousness of the thought now makes me laugh aloud. Thank God I don’t get what I deserve. I get above and beyond, exceedingly more than I could ever hope, dream, think or ask for. I turn off the faucet, but my cup still runneth over.