(Photo courtesy of miss pupik on flickr)
Do you ever feel under-appreciated?
I’ll admit I do.
I often feel like I run the same race every day. Maybe we all feel that way? I read recently that being a parent feels like you’ll never get an A+ again, and often I feel that way. I wash clothes all day long to see my husband dispose of his on our closet floor at the end of a long day (that’s where our hamper is). I wash dishes to see another pile of them in the sink 30 minutes after I just loaded the last glass in the dishwasher. I spend a day wearing myself out completely cleaning the house from top to bottom (tubs included!), just to not hear a single “hey, the house looks great honey!” Five minutes after I vacuum, my child smashes a blueberry into the carpet and spills a bowl of pretzels. My house often resembles a Toys R Us in which a classroom of preschoolers were allowed to have free reign for an hour.
Can anyone relate?
After a while, I begin to do my tasks begrudgingly. I mean, what’s the point of working so hard on a home that no one sees and no one seems to care about? The little organizational details go by the wayside in an effort to take care of the bigger picture, but now they’ve taken over as well. I eventually find myself not working so hard and not doing well in any area of my life.
I may still do my daily tasks, but I lose the joy in them. I work with a bitter mind and the grumbling of a 13 year old version of myself in my thoughts. People like to work for something that brings them a good result, right? It’s the same anywhere you go. I don’t know anyone who says, “I LOVE feeling like I’m completely worthless and unappreciated!”
Well, lately my mind has been rocked in this area.
Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.
Colossians 3:22-25, The Message
I recently read a book about a first century Christian who had nothing but the worst things happen to her over and over again, but still she served with joy faithfully in everything she did. She didn’t bristle at the lack of appreciation or the way she was treated. She just “turned the other cheek” and continued to walk with gentleness of spirit.
Where is my gentleness of spirit?
I entered into the ministry with the knowledge and the heartfelt desire to be a servant to the people I was called to minister. I hope I displayed that. When I lost my paid position, I think that I unknowingly “lost” my mission field. It was time to live for me. And I did. For quite a long time.
There was no joy in it.
God wants us to serve joyfully and faithfully exactly where we are, daily. In every moment. The Son of God came not to be served, but to serve. When we realize that life is short and fleeting and the frenzied pursuits of temporary happiness are meaningless, we realize that we can have true and lasting joy when we focus on what’s most important.
I have been called to servant parenthood.
I have been called to servant wifehood.
I want to work at it joyfully, as serving the Lord and not for man. I want to radiate the joy of a quiet and gentle spirit. I want to be thankful for every dish washed and shirt hung. I want to take pride in spending time teaching my child how to become a kind and generous spirit.
I feel as though I have only broken the surface, but if I don’t stop writing you’ll run screaming for the hills. I think, though, that I’m not done with this topic. It’s laid heavily upon my heart and I feel as though there’s so much to dive into.
Would you want to hear more? At the very least to watch your crazy friend wrestle with her brain?
This child makes it all worth it.