Wednesday, September 21, 2011

servanthood and motherhood

I listened to a sermon yesterday on servanthood, and there was one section that, in addition to being hilarious, seriously encouraged me:

"Part of the job of a mom is to do the menial tasks. Sometimes this means it's outside of your spiritual gifts . . . I've never met a mom who says, 'My gift is poop cleaning. And now this child has provided this amazing opportunity for my gift to be fully utilized, 30 or 40 times a day. It's fascinating.' You know what a mom does? A good mom does whatever needs to be done. Wipe the nose, clean the diaper, burp the kid, change the kid, feed the kid, get puked on by the kid, repeat the whole process . . . the essence of motherhood is the essence of service."
-- Mark Driscoll. "Jesus and True Greatness." Sermon at Mars Hill Church, Seattle, WA 18 Sept. 2011.

I have long known (as has any mom) that to be a good mom is to be a selfless servant, but it's nice to have somebody else (especially somebody male!) recognize that. Do I always serve my family selflessly? Absolutely not. But I feel like motherhood has expanded my capacity to serve like nothing else in my life has. In the beginning, with a newborn, you give and give and give because the alternative is criminal neglect. If your baby needs something, you give it, no matter how little you feel like it. And you begin to realize that this selfless, menial serving at 3 am is a blessing in itself. It produces its own kind of satisfaction, the knowledge that I am loving my little one like Jesus loved me.

By the time that little baby is a toddler, you find yourself looking for ways to serve him. My little guy loves playgrounds, even though all the walking and bending and lifting is a full-blown prenatal workout for me now. But I delight in taking him. I delight in serving him and watching his face light up as he first spies the tops of the climbing towers. He squeals with excitement, and his little hands sign "play" over and over again. And I know that I could do this forever.

It's not glamorous; I'm not going to get recognition or a corner office. No one even knows about most of the ways I pour myself out on a daily, hourly basis. But I love my family. So I serve them. Simple, but life changing.

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