I pushed the damp mop across the kitchen floor, knowing full well that I would be finding sticky spots on cupboard doors and drawer handles for days to come. The transformation of a bushel and a half of apples into smooth, pink applesauce is the work of a couple hours on my own. However, with my grandson’s “help,” the task expanded to fill an afternoon, for while I am well-acquainted with the five-sided miracle of a star hiding in the apple’s cross-cut core, the discovery was stunning to five-year-old eyes.
How many apples sliced in two will verify that the star is there every single time? How many tiny cups of applesauce need to cool for snack breaks? How many salty pretzels are required for dipping and crunching? Apparently quite a few, and so this goal-oriented grandmother presses into the curriculum of self-giving. Productivity can become an idol, and a demanding one at that, requiring regular offerings of to-do lists and check marks, all evidence of accomplishment and shortcuts to self-worth.
Slaying the Giant of Selfishness has been a perpetual battle throughout the years of mothering my four sons. Pausing on the way to the laundry room to really look at the Lego structure and to listen attentively to the explanation of all its features or calling a halt to my weeding in the middle of a row of green beans to push a swing required a conscious act of the will. Saying “my life for yours” was an act of service that came hard to this task-oriented and driven mother.
When writer Elisabeth Elliot sensed a rising up of pride or a preoccupation with self in her own walk with God, she resorted to this sifting statement:
The best way to find out whether or not you really have a servant’s heart is to see what your reaction is when somebody treats you like one.”
So, what does it look like to be a servant to my family, to say “My life for yours”? I’d been reading content and listening to the podcast produced by Kindred Mom for quite some time when they announced a call for articles discussing the role of humility in motherhood. “Maybe I’ve aged out of their demographic,” I thought, but the Elisabeth Elliot quote and the perpetual struggle with my goal-oriented and prideful self sent my fingers to the keyboard, and I’m grateful to be sharing my collected thoughts on this topic today at Kindred Mom.
Grace to you,
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