Sunday, July 22, 2012

pieces


"We will discover the miracle of servant-living when we catch hold of the enormous truth 
that people cannot take from us what we freely give away." -- Susan Lenkes

This quote.  It hit me in a deep soul-wrenching place.

I read it. Then decided I wanted to blog about it. Then tried and failed. The post would just not write. My heart would just not bend. Oh, I wanted my heart to bend, it just seemed to be stubbornly stuck in place that wills not to freely give.

Everyone wants a piece of me. This week my husband had the stomach flu and needed lots of tea and naps and to be excused from his regular child-rearing duties. My baby needed lots of holding. My 3-year-old needed lots of conversation, explanations, and direction. And our kitten decided that I am her favorite, which means she finds me for any and every need. She got the stomach flu too, so guess who got to clean that up. Why does everyone want ME? Can't someone else be the favorite for a while?

Being a mother is not about getting my needs met.  No one ever said it was.  Being a wife is not about that either.  Nor is being a teacher or a counselor or a friend.  Even though I know this, it somehow gets confusing inside of me and I want to cry out, rash and selfishly.

The quote (from a women's devotional that I am reading) reminded me that I am called to follow the example of Jesus by being a servant to those I love. Specifically, I am called to love my family by serving them. But I will be the first to say that it is freaking hard some times!! All that giving can start to feel a lot like someone is stealing pieces of me until nothing is left but a crabby shell of myself with a bad attitude.

...people cannot take from us what we freely give away.

Daily, I try not to lose my perspective, but somehow a line gets crossed and it begins to feel less like giving and more like others taking. That isn't servant-living; that is selfish living. When I give with the expectation that I will somehow be repaid, or that there will be an outcome I can view as "fair", then I am not really acting with a servant's heart, but acting in self-promotion.

The miracle of servant-living is that when our hearts are in the right place, the burden evaporates. How it works is an enigma, but truly, there is strength and freedom in the giving. Instead of feeling robbed, I can feel blessed by the opportunity to give... especially when it goes unnoticed. By refusing to give freely, I am disabling the power of joy to change my heart. 

Perhaps this is why God designed us to live in relationship with each other... to teach us more about how to love like He does. No one can steal pieces of me if I have already given my whole self away.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ashley! I appreciate you and your honesty! Thank you for this reminder. :-) Love and miss you. Staci

    ReplyDelete

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