Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Servant's Heart

God is really speaking to me today regarding my attitude about messes around the house. I can get so cranky that my hard work only lasts, say, ten minutes sometimes. It is REALLY a lot of trouble to take care of the laminate wood floor in our good-sized dining room. The back door is located in this room, so the kids come in and out through it after playing in the backyard. Think leaves, mud, grass, water, from shoes that were removed too late. Then of course there are the messy eating habits inherent in kids under, what, eleven? Tell me it's not older than that!

I have to remove all the dining room chairs and other misc. items to do the sweeping. Then I have to press down really hard with the hardwood-floor mop, inevitably leading to sweatiness for my pregnant, compression-stocking-wearing body. We're on our fourth day of heavy rain and humidity, so even the 73 degree house feels stifling.

The floor looks great when finished, then gets trashed after the next meal or next outing. I try to keep up with the messes using wet paper towels, but that only takes me so far. I hate a gross floor. Think - remove items, sweep, mop, repeat. Remove items, sweep, mop, repeat.

I could go on about the endless piles of dirty clothes, the two to three outfits a day the kids sometimes go through, the trail of toys all through the house (even though we have a playroom). You get the picture. In short, suffice it to say that mothering little ones is nothing less than a life of service. Yes, my husband helps. Usually it's by keeping the children at bay so I can quickly get through these chores. I'm more thorough, so this arrangement works for us.

I need to remember that I'm called to this. This is where my heart is. This is what God has for me. And I love it. And I'm so grateful. But my gratefulness can't make up for my poor attitude about endless, uninteresting, revolving chores. My kids will recall whether I served them with love or with irritation. God, please don't let it be mostly irritation! Change me! Give me a servant's heart.


Fern said...

This is all extra-hard right now because you are pregnant, don't forget. You won't feel like this after the new year, once your baby has arrived.

We have wood floor so, just like at your house, any outside mess gets carried a looooong way through the house on people's shoes. Last fall I bought a $5 throw rug to put inside the front door, and it made a big difference. It sort of reminded the kids to remove their shoes, I think, and it also caught a lot of the mess. Plus because it was not backed with rubber or anything, I just threw it in the wash when it was dirty. Sometimes on very muddy days I just lay down old towels by both of the doors.

Part of our service to our kids is in the here and now, and part is for later. By cleaning their messes, we serve them now. By remembering how frustrating it was, and by being able to commiserate with and encourage them, we serve them when they are adults with children of their own.

Hang in there! :)

Jodie Allen said...

thank you for this post. i know you wrote it in a semi-desperate voice... and I'm there too most days, or everyday right now! But i wanted to thank you for your last paragraph and for reminding me that this is God's call for my life. Seriously, you just gave me an "Ah Ha" moment (as Oprah would say) and I've been in desperate need of this for a long time.

*found you from Fern's blog!

Maria said...

I love the quote you mentioned 'give me a servant's heart' I find myself being very irritated and the family sees it but reading your post, I want to make a change.