“Do unto others”, a momentary choice as a mom……..

Th. Rennert

Is it possible to be beyond weary  to the bones? A week of a speaking trip in Canada for 3 days,different time zones, many conversations with sweet friends and lots of people, and did I say, little sleep? …..

Coming home to 11 people in our home for a week of speech and debate finals from the crack of dawn until 10 or later at night;

with meals and lots of life and fun; driving, judging, talking, serving;

Finally, Saturday night before the final awards, Joy calling at 5 p.m., “Can I bring 8 more kids home for dinner tonight?” to add to our already 11. A quick chicken enchilada casserole thawed from the freezer.

“Let’s throw together a quick after party at our house after the awards ceremony,” from another one of my children, who was throwing themselves fully into the activity and celebration of the week.

A quick trip to Walmart, candles lit, porch lights ablaze and 38 people showing up on the spur of the moment for snacks and chattering and antics of stories everywhere, loud piano and music, laughter and weary adults falling on the couches as the teens clamored for a little more time together.

Sending off our precious friends to Texas Sunday morning at 9:30.

Asthma, a respiratory infection, still nagging, still hanging on, a deep tightening in my chest, reflecting shortness of breath, but putting one foot in front of the other was a practiced habit….

Preparing a luncheon for 11, that had been postponed twice for a group trip overseas by 1 Sunday and cleaning up after everyone had gone, while the rest of the family was out at a church activity.

Tea time and dinner  and a movie, for our last guest, who was ill on the couch and yet so sweetly patient.

Finally, at 10:00, thinking about falling into bed just to stay alive, did I say, beyond weary to the bone, if possible,

when I passed Joy’s bedroom. (She was out at her very last speech party, with friends and comrades.)

Piles everywhere–strewn clothes on chairs, floor; shoes, speech ballots and paper all over the floor, dirty tea cups, plates with crumbs in them, and unmade bed with stuff here and there…….an overall mess…….

She was not being irresponsible, she had given her all–practicing, writing, dressing, running from room for room for giving over 30 speeches, adrenalin spilled, energy expended. Her bedroom was a reflection of our weeks.

If I were her, I would not want to come home to such a mess.

I know what it is like to return from conference weekends to a messy bedroom when you are beyond tired. It oppresses one to think of more work and more effort……

And so with one last weary push, I hung clothes, stacked papers into neat piles, picked up all the dishes, folded her sheets and covers into a straight and welcome turn down for needed sleep, placed shoes in the closet, picked up random things off the floor and placed beloved stuffed animals in the proper place of old, when she as a child loved their welcome.

When she returned at midnight, she would see love all over her bedroom, a little more ordered place, where rest would come more easily, because I needed to do unto her as I would have her do unto me–if I had been so weary and in need of an angel to straighten my room.

The next day, a facebook picture of her, me and Sarah–with a sweet message–you and Sarah–two of my most favorite people–

her heart saw the love, her sweet thankfulness spilled the next morning–”Mama, you are the best. Thanks for the gift of straightening my room.”

It is in the small moments of choices of love spilled out once again, where hearts are knit together and open for influence.

It is in doing unto others as we would have them do unto us……….

Emails pile up, requests for more of my time and body stacking up as the outside world strives for my attention–but my inner circle, my children, my husband, Jesus waiting for me to listen to Him–they are the ones who get my first best–

and if there is nothing left to give, the world will have to wait for just another little while, as I seek to keep peace and a heart to serve in the center of my home.

**************************

PS Today, join me at Momheart.org for an article about being a strong friend with your precious children!

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Comments

  1. Arlene says

    Thank you Sally! I was one of those who was blessed and encouraged from your weekend in New Brunswick…THANK YOU for ministering to us when you were returning home to such a VERY BUSY week with your family. Thank you for the reminder to me today that my family’s needs are FIRST.

  2. Maria says

    Love this message! It blessed! The past two weeks have been full of disappointments, chaos, and everything and everyone screaming for my attention and assistance. But in the midst of the noise, God gave me His presence and peace. As I finished the last line of your blog message, I realized that it was the cherry God placed at the top of the ice cream Sundae of His sweetness to me. Thank you!

  3. Beth Morrow says

    So thankful to read this! This is so my heart to help, to serve, to bless my grown children when I can. They, however, (usually he one not reaping the blessing at the time) tend to judge me, say I’m enabling, say that helping clean up or whatever is not my job, but you have so exposed my heart here. I will continue to follow my heart …Thanks

  4. says

    Oh, this brought tears to my eyes! I love your mama’s heart and all the words you’ve written and spoken over the years that demonstrate this love–they have literally changed my life. I’m praying rest and peace for you today, Sally! (And I’m so thankful for technology, so I can often tell you how much I appreciate you!!)
    Sarah :)

  5. says

    My mom used to do (and still does!) things like that for me as well. She was and is such a servant. I want to be that kind of servant to my family as well. Thank you for your kind, loving (not enabling) example in parenting. Praying for you right now!

  6. Tauna says

    This is beautiful. I am encouraged to make an extra effort to find those special opportunities to show love to my family today. Thank you!

  7. says

    Thank you for this! I am not a mom, but even I needed to read these words. I often struggle with how to give my best to others, and your words give lovely perspective that I have sorely needed.

    God bless!

  8. says

    Love this post (and all of your posts!), Ms. Sally. It sums up what being a mother is…going above and beyond for one’s children, even when you’re exhausted and have nothing left to give. Joy and Sarah are blessed indeed with such a wonderful mommy and chum. Praying you find some sweet respite this week!

  9. says

    “and if there is nothing left to give, the world will have to wait for just another little while, as I seek to keep peace and a heart to serve in the center of my home.”

    Yes. Thank you.

  10. says

    Thank you for this Sally! I have an email inbox that is OUT of control – you know how it is! And the guilt – bah! And reading this just calmed me down – the world will simply have to wait a while – I love how you expressed it because the truth is – the email is out of control because I’ve been giving my family the best of me – that’s how it’s supposed to be.
    But when I open my email it gets my stomach in knots. You give me courage – thanks!
    Courtney

  11. Samantha says

    Precious, just precious. You convict and inspire me in one fell swoop. I’m off to say yes to a child, not my inbox.

  12. says

    Sally, you can have no idea how much those days you spent with us in NB, Canada meant to me!! Thank you for coming all this way!! We’ve been waiting ‘patiently’ for the MP3′s to come so we can listen and get clear headed again. :)
    This post is wonderful (as all of them are) and I’m so glad I took time to read it before the children are all up and ready to need me.
    Hope you feel better very very soon!!!

  13. Tricia says

    Thank you so much Sally. I love your heart and your writing ministers to me in a way that gently convicts me to change. I’ve been so focused on “tasks” to keep up with the children, teens, and our home not to mention homeschooling. I have definitely forgotten to minister to them. I’m in desperate need to change my focus. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Praying your health will return to you. <3

  14. says

    Sally, as always, you are wonderfully encouraging and inspiring. You model the Proverbs 31 woman we are studying so well! Thank you for this…I really needed a little extra boost today. I pray that you will be refreshed in Christ and find new strength. God bless you!

  15. Keri Brown says

    Wow. Thank you SO MUCH, Sally, for this beautiful picture of what selfless motherhood should look like! It’s easy for me to think, in theory, “I should serve my children more selflessly,” but not to follow through because it’s so easy to make excuses. Now, though, I’ll have this word-picture before me in my mind to hold up as an example to follow. I can nearly feel your exhaustion as you’ve described it here, and I can nearly feel you make the decision with your will, rather than your emotions. Thank you, again, for this vivid description that will spur me on to greater selflessness in the future!

  16. says

    Thank you, Sally for living what you hold dear and inspiring others to do likewise. Your life, family and ministry has left an indelible mark upon this family.

    May you find peace and rest in the days ahead that exceed your expectations and meet your deepest needs.

    Love and blessings from Texas :)

  17. says

    This post has been in a reader waiting and waiting; the Lord knew when I would need this reminder and word of encouragement to serve my family through my weariness. Thank you, Sally, for being God’s instrument in my life today!

  18. says

    Oh, THANK YOU. I loved when you said, “She was not being irresponsible…” as I think that tends to be my first thought sometimes. But, taking the time to look deeper at the mess and faces of our sweet children will most often reveal a deeper meaning. Thank you, thank you for this today. xo

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