Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Servant's Heart

Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve : to give, and not to count the cost, to fight, and not to heed the wounds, to toil, and not to seek for rest, to labor, and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do your will.--- Ignatius of Loyola

So needless to say the past week has been difficult. It is very hard to see your little one in pain and not be able to do anything about it. I have spent the past six days tending to Benjamin and jumping at his every need and he has had many. I would be lying if I said I weren't a little relieved that today he is more back to his independent two year old self.

Thursday afternoon, right after his surgery I found myself serving him just so glad that I had the opportunity to do so. Howard even commented on my "servanthood" as we are typically a litttle more, inclined to teach the boys independence. I knew my boy was hurting and confused and I was glad to do whatever I could to make the day a little easier. If that meant removing an ice cube from his drink because we all know a two year old must have FOUR ice cubes, certainly not five in his cup, or making him new toast because today he wants it whole, not cut up, then I was ok with that, though I must admit on a normal day, those things would not fly.

Each day I found the joyful heart which I served with on Thursday diminishing. I found myself complying with his incredulous demands all the while grumbling and groaning under my breath. Then Saturday when I was beckoned with a wild scream while I tried to take 30 seconds to use the bathroom by myself I lost it. I just sat there and cried. I needed a shower, I needed to feed myself, I needed to get my nose into that Bible and yet there seemed to be no time for any of that as Benjamin wanted ONLY Mommy! Thankfully Howard drew the line there and said "Kristy PLEASE just go take a shower...he will be fine for fifteen minutes!" (maybe it was more for Howard's benefit than my own as I had not showered since Thursday morning, but either way I NEEDED those fifteen minutes.)

As I spent my time in the shower reflecting I began to feel guilty. Guilty that I could even for one minute resent the fact that I HAD to take care of Ben. I should have been thanking God that I GOT to take care of him. God answered so many of our prayers in regards to Ben's surgery and has been so faithful. I know what it is to only wish you could tend to your child's every whim never to have that opportunity, there are two little boys in Heaven that I would give anything to serve, and here I was wasting precious time feeling anger with my situation, I gave in to self pity and my selfish nature.

As I prayed to God and told Him how exceedingly sorry I was for my self centeredness and self pride I continued to cry. He sent his Son to earth not to be served, but to serve others. He paid the ransom for all of us though he was blameless and here I was whining because I had a few tough days. Now all of that said I am also very aware that to be able to serve effectively, we do need to be sure we are taking time for ourselves to feed ourselves both literally and through God's word. For if we are empty, we have nothing to give.

This did however get me thinking about having a servant's heart. God calls us to serve. Not just when it is convenient, not just when someone else might notice, not for what we may get in return, but always. Jesus, the highest of highs, washed feet, a job typically reserved for the lowest of lows. Who are we that we think we are above God? If no job was too menial for Him, why do we often back away from a job that seems beneath us? Why do we often serve and do kind things when everyone is watching yet get snippy with the grocery store clerk or the waitress who spilled our drink? Is God not watching? Isn't it HIS view of us that is what is important? Jesus gave all he had freely, never thinking of himself. Our Father calls us to do the same. We really have nothing to offer Him, but we have much to offer others. What are your struggles with this?


Staci said...

I have had the same feelings before. When the kids are sick and/or hurting I go out of my way to give in to their every whim just to make them feel better. When it drags on for longer than two days I start the grumbling as well, when we hit a week I begin to look like a zombie (our illnesses usually involve many sleepless nights and calling for MOMMY). When I finally lose my mind the guilt comes over me and I remember all the mommies who don't get to take care of their babies because they are in heaven. I wish I could keep that in my mind BEFORE I start complaining and getting frustrated so maybe it wouldn't happen. Glad that your little guy is feeling better and that Howard recognized your need for a shower :)

ShEiLa said...


So true.
Serving others is not easy...
with a smile
and with no one watching is
tricky... but possible.

Hang in there.


Sheryl said...

I just love your heart. You are willing to speak what so many feel but don't freely admit. It's hard to serve all the time with the right attitude. But you realized your attitude needed some adjusting and you knew the ONE who could help you.

By the way, I could smell you from here. Thanks for taking that shower!! sheesh.

Love ya.

Becky said...

I love MIchael Card's song 'The Basin and the Towel' It talks about just that. I have a son in law that has an amazing servant's heart. I quite frankly have never met someone so young that is so atuned to service. He is very special.

Anonymous said...

I think the hardest part of being a servant is the accompanying "humility" that goes with it. Many times when I am serving my family, I am tired, weak, worn out, overwhelmed...I have to step back and realize that I am (when it all boils down) a servant of God. I am serving Him through serving my family. I am doing His work, not mine. I have a gentle and patient master, thank goodness. He knows how long my rope is.
Prayers to you!

Just Me said...

I love the new? colors on your blog...it definitely looks like spring and hopefully spring is on its way to you there :o)

Thank you for sharing this perspective. As someone who has "chosen" a job that sometimes feels like a "servant", I have to remind myself that MOST people in the hospital do not choose to be there. My role is to take care of them and their needs, even when there seems to be little appreciation shown in return. I especially like your last paragraph and the words "God calls us to serve. Not just when it is convenient, not just when someone else might notice, not for what we may get in return, but always." So true, but something that is very easy to forget. Thanks!

Lissa Lane said...

Hey sweetheart. First I want to apologize that I've not been by for so long.

I wanted to let you know I'm closing down my Life of a mother blog and if you want to find me my new blog is at


Kirsten said...

Your heart is so tender. You are an incredible mom and wife.

We'll be praying for you on Monday. Peace be with you. Love and hugs.

R said...

Thanks for the reminder to us all to check our heart's attitudes. Please remember though that while Jesus has the true heart of a servant he still took time away from the crowds to spend time alone with God- if he needed time away from service to others don't beat yourself up over needing it too :)