Friday, August 17, 2012

The act of serving

Often when I sit down at my laptop, I have a blog post pretty much written out in my head. I am an internal processor who refines with the written word. Forgive me, this time, for that isn't the case.

I have such a heart for "the least of these". Not "least" because they matter the least, but because that is how they are treated. Even our government throws money at the problem, when love and knowing a new way of life is more the cure. Conceptually, my heart bleeds for the broken and disenfranchised. The old, the orphans, the sick tug at everything from my heart to spirit. I talk to others about them, I blog about it. I even give money to causes. I feel so frustrated by myself when my actions struggle to line up with my heart.

Yesterday, baby boy was being high needs. He isn't, usually. Pretty chill for a babe of not yet 3 months, content to watch his sister, nurse and nap, snuggle with whomever has a free arm. Not yesterday. He wanted to be held, not happy in a sling, won't be entertained by sisters silly antics or songs. And not just in my arms, but interacted with, talked to, tickled and sung to. He wanted to eat for all of 2 minutes before deciding he was done only to be convinced he was surly going to STARVE if he wasn't immanently  fed 30 minutes later. It was exhausting.

I our house we have an on going expectation of service. Annabelle is to little to turn the water on to wash her hands so a big sis is expected to help. Not just expected to help, but have a good attitude about it. There are things we all need help with, I need Matt to lift heavy things because he is stronger than me. Eliana needs me to make her pancakes because it isn't safe for her to use the stove yet. Addilyn needs Elie to help her cut out picture and tear off tape. We serve each other, it is a culture I try had to cultivate in our home, an attitude that we meet needs for others to the best of our ability. It is what love looks like when used as a verb.

Some days I find myself just doing things to keep the kids busy and out of my hair. Even as I type that it seems so cold. I am not called to find ways to make my life easier, not that I should intentionally go out of my way to make it hard. When my focus becomes my comfort, my lack of irritation, my ability to check things off my list, I am not living in love or service. God gave me my children and gave them to me with needs. Needs that I can meet, the need for my attention, my snuggles, my choosing to play with them and there fore making them feel important.

Children are not convenient, nor were they supposed to be. There is nothing like a child to make you see how selfish you are. Dying to yourself to make way for something bigger and better is uncomfortable, painful even, but so necessary. You can't be filled up with love when you are filled up with your own need for comfort, there just isn't room. I have written of love before, how it is less emotion and more endurance. I feel like just when I start to grasp what love might look like, I am again struck with how very little I get it.

On days where my older children are mostly left to fend for themselves as I care for the littlest member of our family, I have to pray, once again, about the state of my heart. Lord, let me be a servant to the least of these. Let my words be kind and actions be patient, make it not all about me and my comfort. Let my children see joy in care, let me be a model for words in action, love in motion.

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