Everyone in my house seems to take notice when I fail to succeed in my duties as mom. Not often do I get a “thank you for drying my mittens last night,” or “thanks mom, for cleaning the toilet.” Forget to make dinner and everyone is out to get me. As moms we spend our days doing what feels like a thankless job with everyone else in the house working against us. Sunday morning I endured a crying melt down from Joshua, lasting for over 45 minutes prior to arriving at church. All that fuss over the fact that he had to wear “girl” underwear! Really dude? It was clean! Rest assured it is not that we lack “boy” appropriate underwear, it was simply the outcome of a very busy week – my priority was clean clothes. Period. Not equal amounts of gender specific underwear.
Pride is a monster that grows quickly in my heart. It is hard to go about repetitive, daily chores with the only time someone notices is when the job isn’t done that one time. So I start looking outward for recognition and praise. I commit to play dates, or take on a volunteering role because if I do all those things “well” other people will be happy with me. But more often than not, as I stretch outward my home life begins to fall apart – I snap quickly at my kids, my husband, even our pets. I pile more of my chores and duties onto Joel expecting him to pick up the slack, I even blame him for the mistakes of doing a job he isn’t used to doing. I choose to turn a blind eye to the fact that by taking on extra commitments and stress, my calling at home is not being fulfilled.
When did doing my job as a mom not become enough? When did praise or recognition become my only measure of self worth? Why is serving God well in the calling He has put on my life not enough for me? What are we going to do about it?
Post the epic underwear melt down from Joshua, Sunday’s message spoke straight into my burned out mom’s heart. Our pastor talked about growing as a Christian, and he used Nehemiah as an example of a man who walked the talk. He explained how the Christian walk often means doing something because it is the right thing to do, perhaps without gain to you, and actually more likely done at a cost to you. A cost to your comfort, your bank account, your time, and perhaps even your life.
Fulfilling the calling God has placed on my life may not always get praised. In fact, I want to go in the opposite direction and say that when we are truly fulfilling our calling the need to be praised matters less, and the desire to serve others grows. Not that it isn’t totally frustrating to be ignored and underappreciated. But perhaps looking at my struggle with fresh eyes, and leaving the frustration behind will be more satisfying than praise from others.
I am going to start by turning to God with thanksgiving and committing myself to His service in all that I do. From laundry to peeling carrots, drying mittens to paying bills – no one has to praise me for the tasks I am responsible to do. In fact the Bible says; “Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” As much as I want right now to be rewarded in material things with high praise, it will be worth it to grow as a Christian mom completing the simple everyday things well.
Slowly I am coming closer to my vision goals. Forming new habits and rekindling old ones I had left behind in the busyness of life. I hope you are still plugging along on your mission towards your vision in 2017. One month down only eleven more to go. Happy February friends, can’t wait to see what the groundhog has to say about spring tomorrow.