Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Servant's Heart

One of the many things that God has had to teach this pitiful heart of mine was how to truly be a servant. Being in the ministry will put your servant's heart to the test for sure; serving others regardless of what we receive in return. As followers of Christ, we know that He came to serve, not to be served. However, I'm not so sure that we translate that into our everyday life as wives and mom's. As women, we may serve others well, but when it comes to our family, we store up a little bitterness. At best, we serve with the expectation of something in return; praise, appreciation. We wash the dishes, do the laundry, cook multiple meals all the while, storing up frustration, bitterness, anger, when we aren't thanked or recognized or appreciated. God has had to teach me that that is not a true servant's heart. That is doing things out of a need for self-approval. Ladies, we must find our worth in Christ, not in others acknowledgement of us. Taking care of our family is the greatest way we serve Christ. When we realize that all of those mundane duties are for Him, we release our families from our expectations. This was one of my primary motivations for this blog and one of the greatest reasons my tagline is "How to delight in everyday life." The everyday mundane is not so delightful when we are waiting on others to appreciate and approve of us; when our focus is on what they give us in return, the chores of the everyday are a frustration at best. When we gain a right perspective that we are serving Christ, not our family, our entire attitude changes. I still don't enjoy doing the dishes, but I don't whine about it anymore! And what I've discovered is that when my attitude and perspective changed about the duties of everyday life, so did the attitude of my family. They naturally appreciate me, they aren't forced or guilted into praising me. A few months ago, I began reading the book "One Thousand Gifts." If you've not read this book, I encourage you to take the time. It is no coincidence that as God was teaching me this truth, I began reading this book. In her book, Ann Voskamp (mother of 6) states, "When the laundry is done for the dozen arms of children or the dozen legs, it's true, I think I'm due some appreciation. So comes a storm of trouble and lightening strikes joy. But when Christ is at the center, when dishes, laundry, work, is my song of thanks to Him, joy rains. Passionately serving Christ alone makes us the loving servant to all. When the eyes of the heart focus on God, and the hands on always washing the feet of Jesus alone-the bones, they sing joy, and the work returns to its purest state: eucharisteo (thanksgiving). The work becomes worship, a liturgy of thankfulness." Mother Teresa once stated, "The work we do is only our love for Jesus in action. If we pray the work...if we do it to Jesus, if we do it for Jesus, if we do it with Jesus....that's what makes us content." I didn't realize it until the past few years, but this is what my precious great-grandmother was teaching me each day when she would sing her hymns while washing the dishes, doing the laundry and working in the garden. I pray that today, your heart of worship flows from the duties of everyday life.

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