They are called rights
Those ugly little things that creep into my heart
and make it so easy to be proud, selfish, distracted from my kids, and overwhelmed with life.
The lies say,
"I have a RIGHT to sleep!"
"I have a RIGHT to have my hands free, to do what I want with my time, have a clean house, eat a hot meal..." and the list goes on.
Somewhere last week I began allowing the rights to penetrate my mind, one by one until bitterness, shame, and narcissism took over. My heart was becoming ugly and misaligned to the heart of my Father in Heaven. When I loose touch with Him, I seem to loose touch with my kids, my husband, my calling and the whole thing will start to unravel inside of me.
When I start acting like I am entitled to things in my life like sleep, order and free time, my attitude quickly spirals down a treacherous slope of frustration, self pity and impatience.
I have to admit last week was hard! Bennet was fussy. She wanted to be held constantly and was not sleeping. Ella was testing her boundaries in every direction. The house was a disaster. There were moments when I was almost convinced that my kids were staging a coup!
But you know what?...That isn't what made it hard. Sure at the time it seemed like it was the kids' fault, or somehow my husband's fault that things were difficult (Our poor hubbies, they get blamed for everything don't they?)
The fault was mine. I was resisting my calling. I was resisting my responsibility to God, and my family. They were all doing exactly what they were supposed to do. I was not.
Bennet is a baby she is suppossed to cry! She is supposed to want to be held! It is her job to need me! Ella is a toddler! She is supposed to be pushing her limits. That is part of her process of growing up. She is just doing her job! Why am I acting like they are somehow interrupting my life? This is my life - I am a mom! Moms are meant to hold their babies, comfort them, correct them, play with them and even wake up with them every thirty minutes throughout the night if need be! There is nothing that I could possibly have on my own selfish agenda (even sleep) that is more important than to care for my children. Why am I angry at my kids for doing what they are suppossed to - by expecting me, their mom, to do what I am supposed to do?! The week was hard because I decided to believe the lie that I am entitled to something that requires less than all of me.
Jesus himself said this,
"Greater love has no one than this; to lay down one's life for one's friends.
I am not entitled to selfishness. I don't have a right to make my own comfort the number one priority in my life. I am obligated rather to a calling to lay down my life for my children and for a God who first lay his own life down for me.
I give up my right to sleeping! I give up my right to sitting down! I give up my right to a clean house! To having my hands free! Those so-called rights were never mine in the first place.
In those moments when the selfishness creeps in, I have to decided to silence the falsehood that there is something better to do than hold my sweet five month old baby who looks up at me with her big blue eyes and cheesy grin, wanting nothing more in the world than to be close to me. There is no greater privilege than that and I will choose nothing more in the world than to want to be close to her! I am deafening the lie that fulfilling my own desires is more important than taking the time to train my beautiful amazing spirited toddler (who is just as strong-willed as her mamma.) What could be a better investment of my time?! Nothing! When I keep the right perspective then I am reminded that there is no greater blessing in my life, than the call to lay down my life for my children! Selfishness returns to gratefulness; bitterness to joy. Once again I am beautifully wrecked by the vastness of Gods love, the limitlessness of his patience and the power of his revelation. I am overcome with love and gratitude for these precious little people whom God has entrusted to me to love and care for.