a couple weekends ago we were driving around the city.. sharing a cup of red mango while we ran errands.. popping in at trader joe's with nothing on my arm, not even a purse.. there was no one needing a diaper change or a nap.. no gear in our car. the baby sat inside me happily, silently, easily. we had absolute freedom. and soon, i know things will change. that's what got me thinking.
when you're pregnant, you will (i guarantee) hear some funny things. it's a bit of a no-holds-barred phenomenon. some people love to warn you about how tired you will be after the baby comes. "say goodbye to your sleep," they'll say. they also love to tell you how many privileges you will lose. "enjoy it while you can," because good things are going to end soon. now i realize that these people mean well or mean to joke. but still, isn't it pretty telling of where our minds dwell? if things aren't easy, they aren't good. we are okay with hating work. we are selfish beings. most of whom have been unsuspectingly taught from a young age to have a negative attitude toward work and to treat it "as something most sedulously to be avoided." (elisabeth elliot) and i should be clear: when i say "work" i'm not talking about a career, but rather the ordinary tasks that make up our days.
well. i'll be the first one to admit that i am guilty of this way of thinking. and it hit me: i want to be careful that going into the life-giving work of motherhood, i have the right attitude. i want to undo the work-hating mindset that tends to linger in me. "it is, after all, mostly little, common things (work) that make up our lives. this is the raw material for the spiritual life." (again, elisabeth elliot) what am i going to do with this raw material? how will i respond to the little duties that go along with having a baby? those will be my raw material. how can hating work be God-glorifying, when we are called to be imitators of Christ- who did not come to be served, but to serve? He is our ultimate example, and if we want to grow in grace and be happy in Him, we would walk as He walked. taking the very nature of a servant. working.
there was something my mom used to say to us as we grew up that has always stuck with me:
whatever you do, do it with a happy heart.
or maybe the best version: if you're going to do it at all, do it with a happy heart.
(reminds me of colossians 3:23)
notice that the instruction wasn't:
whatever you do, hate it. feel bad for yourself. mourn the loss of the good old (easy) days.
yes, when there are 3 of us there will be less sleeping, less eating with both hands, less packing light, and more things that must be done before we can sleep, walk into a store, or head out the door. i realize this. but there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. ecc 3:1 we are entering a new season. a season that will surely involve work as surely as it will involve rest. (for i do believe that God is faithful to provide the times of rest and play, just as He provides the work.) i know that there will be work involved with having this baby in our life. i probably don't realize how much right now, but i do know that it will be amazing, sanctifying work. this will be an enormous, maybe the biggest chance of my life, to serve.
Lord, please bring this to my mind right when I need it, when I am exhausted and ready to give in to self-pity. Please make me a lover of work- a happy worker for You. Teach me to be thankful for the work entrusted to me and very importantly, to be faithful to that work. Your name is dear to me and I want to see You glorified. Please prepare me for the giving of self that is being a mom.