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Servant of All

July 10, 2010

Servant of All

Mark 9:35… If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.

A friend visited with me yesterday and asked, “how do you like motherhood?”  My natural response is to reply with my overall feeling.  “Motherhood is the most amazing adventure yet. I love being a mommy.”  Of course this is true.  I don’t lie when I respond this way, but it is not the whole truth.  This motherhood transition is difficult, scary, and most humbling in addition to wonderful and exciting.

Jason and I visited Huntington Gardens this week.  A friend of mine gave us a year membership for my birthday.  I absolutely love going there.  One moment I am in the middle of the jungle, and a few minutes worth of a walk and I am in a garden in Japan.  Those who know me even slightly know my love to travel and my appreciation of nature.  For the few hours I am at the gardens, both appetites are satisfied.

This week as we walked through the dessert garden, my mind wandered to an overview of my life.  As a baby I spent my days in day care in someone’s home with other kids.  When I did things well, I received praise.  When I did something wrong, correction.  As a young person, I studied in school.  As I did well, I received praise; as I made mistakes, correction.  Then summer time mom and dad sent me to day camp.  Good behavior brought prizes, bad behavior punishment.  On and on all throughout my whole life in different forms I enjoyed gratification from positive acknowledgement of my achievements and efforts and also appreciated corrections and teachings along the way.

Motherhood, however, provides no such accolades or corrections.  I stand unsure from day to day if I am doing a “good job.” My private sacrifice of time, energy, and creativity is not acknowledged with a good grade, time off, or bonus pay.  Unlike school or the workplace, my service is unending and the job is seen as the “lesser things” of this world, things that servants are hired to do.  Cook, clean, shop, and care for the little ones.  Yet loving my husband, caring for our child, and taking care of the home takes more out of me than any high stress job I performed for pay.

I miss work.  I miss the team.  I miss the pats on the back for a job well done.  I miss learning from others.  I even miss making mistakes and being corrected.  The life of motherhood is much like a servant.  If I do my job well, no one notices.  If I don’t do my job well, it is plain to see.

As I transition into this high calling of low recognition I really struggle with pride.  Why does something so menial, take so much of me?  Well, because as I turn to the pages of Scripture, I learn that although the world sees child rearing as mindless, motherhood is anything but menial.  Motherhood is honored and praised.  God knows how much it takes to manage a home, love a husband, and raise godly children.  That is why the Proverbs 31 woman is seen as a woman to be praised for devoting herself to such a life.  In Titus Chapter Two older women are encouraged to teach younger women to love their husbands, love their children, and among other things, to be a worker in the home.  These things are seen as honorable, not menial.

This morning as I read Mark chapter nine, I related to the disciples as they discussed who among them was the greatest.  It is my tendency to desire to be great and to compare my greatness with others.  That is one of the many reasons this season of private ministry in the quietness of the home is such a humbling transition.  There is no one to see my greatness in the simpleness of changing dirty diapers and washing dishes.

In this passage Jesus tells the disciples, “if anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”  Jesus Himself was servant of all as He laid down His life to ransom us from Hell.

After this comment, Jesus explains further in Mark 9:36-37.  Jesus uses a child to illustrate greatness, “Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me.”

As a mother, I have received my son from the Lord, in His name… and by doing so, by taking him in and raising him for the Lord, I am receiving God Himself.

I shared some of my struggles with the facelessness of motherhood to a friend of mine.  She told me about an illustration she heard from a Woman of Faith conference.  Motherhood, she said, is much like building cathedrals.  We see these beautiful works of art, detailed with the utmost care, the workmen giving their lives and all their creative energy to make a house for God.  Yet they are not remembered, only their work is displayed.  So too, as we love our husbands, serve our children and manage our homes, we may never be noticed for the workmanship and the effort, but we will have created a house for the Lord, for all to see, and the glory will all be His.

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4 comments

  1. There is something to say for a woman who can capture her thoughts and be able to articulate them as well as you do. God is surely working this out for you and revealing to you the priorities He wants you to pursue. I love that you are approaching this new and amazing season with hope, with a sense of purpose and with a sense of calling. Thank you for being so transparent and for allowing God to use your gift of words in helping others to stop and consider on their own walk. “High calling of low recognition,” surely you are storing treasures in heaven.

    ps your the BOMB!


    • Martha,

      Thank you for being a constant source of sweet encouragement. God brought our friendship together at just the time He knew I needed someone passionate about Him… and fun to be around. I enjoy our time together, even though it is not that often :-)…. YOU ROCK!


  2. This really says it all. You have completely captured everything that I wish had been said to me when I was struggling on this level. Your teachable spirit and transparency is amazing and I know you are blessing so many women who are struggling with where they fit in the world as a mom. I know I did…I wish I had figured it out as quickly as you have! You are amazing and beautiful!


  3. Thank you for the time spent in writing your blogs. It has been so encouraging to me in this season in my life as well. May God continue to bless you.



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