“When is supper?”
“Is my hoodie clean?”
“Where did you put my book?”
“Mom, he’s looking at me. Can you make him stop?”
The questions came like rapid fire. It felt like I was training troops, dodging bullets, putting out fires, and building barricades with no time to stop. Exhausted, I dropped into my chair at the supper table. I hadn’t even finished eating when the troops began asking to be excused from the table. Not a word of thanks and a few more almost rude demands followed.
The pressure suddenly demanded release. Bursting into tears I exploded,
“That’s it. I’m going on a walk, and I won’t be back until I’m good and ready.”
I grabbed my shoes and slammed out the door.
As I secured the laces to my worn and grungy tennis shoes I thought,
“This is all I am to them. Just an old pair of discarded shoes. They use me all day long, but at the end of the day I’m tossed in the corner and forgotten about.”
Storming down the road, I continued my pity party.
“No one appreciates what I do for them. Not a word of thanks. Such ingratitude.”
The thoughts raced through my brain more quickly than my shoes pounded the pavement.
Catching my breath after walking a mile, I slowed the pace. The thoughts of self-pity began to taper off, but I still felt self-righteous in my thinking. After all, I did deserve some thanks and appreciation for all the things I did for my family and others.
With the physical exertion the turmoil in my spirit began to calm, and as the quiet pervaded my soul some verses came to mind.
“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Suddenly, I felt humbled. True my ungrateful brood needed some training, but I desperately needed a change of attitude. Who was I to think I should have a higher status then my Savior? Here I was telling God that I deserved to be treated better than his Son. In the midst of the battle I had lost sight of my purpose. I was created to honor and serve My Creator. This is often accomplished through my service to others.
“Oh Lord, forgive me. My service was given with thoughts of only myself. I wanted my children to say “thank you.” I wanted them to serve me in return. I wanted others to notice how selflessly I gave to my family and others. I wanted men’s applause.”
Arriving home I sat on the back step unlacing my shoes. Rejuvenated in mind and spirit I had a new prayer,
“Lord, let me be a shoe for your service. I may get worn, stepped on, and kicked aside, but grant me the strength to continue and in so doing share Christ’s love with my family and the world.”
Natasha is a pastor’s wife and the homeschooling mother of seven children. You can read more from Natasha on her blog: Mother of Seven.