Saturday, July 12, 2008


A few days ago, I celebrated my 49th birthday! My morning began with my dear precious husband whispering in my ear how much he loved me, along with a lot of other sweet things, like what a wonderful wife and mother I am. As we snuggled, the smell of bacon flowed from the kitchen as my daughters were preparing a special breakfast as a surprise. As I lay there wrapped in my husband’s arms, I was overcome with a complete contentment. Is it possible that some woman out there has ever loved her man more than I love mine? Do other mothers feel as proud and thankful as I do? These were a few of the thoughts I had running through my head as I treasured the moment that would soon end and be filled with the scurrying activities of a busy housewife.

Living almost half a century now, has opened my eyes to a lot of mistakes I’ve made along the way. Even though 27 of those years have been focused on mothering, I’m ashamed to say that I started out very selfishly. So often, as I feverishly wrestled to get another meal on the table, or a load of laundry started, a baby would cry or a diaper needed changing. Thoughts of discontentment and selfishness began to create a root of resentment in my heart. At the time I didn’t realize how dangerous this was, but after months of thinking these sorts of thoughts, they began ringing out in my speech. Things like: “I’m the only one around here that ever does anything”, or “what would you all do if something happened to me?” I had become a bitter, complaining nag!

I can assure you that all the nagging in the world won’t prompt your family to change. The only thing it was successful in accomplishing in my family was building walls between family members and me. Everyone walked on eggshells. You know, “If mama ain’t happy, then nobody’s happy”.
Several years ago, God opened my eyes as I read a book, “Created to be His Helpmeet”, that unapologetically addressed my foolishness. I began to see that I was the foolish woman who was tearing her house down with her own hands (Prov.14:1). The contentious woman who’s like a dripping facet (Prov.27:15). I repented and asked God to help me overcome this manipulative behavior that was destroying my family. Well, God is faithful! Even though I’m a sinful creature who continually struggles with the flesh, He has replaced my heart of stone with a new heart. Now when I catch myself thinking thoughts of resentment, I quickly remember the destructive power of negative thoughts, and begin praising God for the ability and privilege to serve this wonderful family He has given to me.

You see, it was about dying to me! None of us like the idea of dying! But I have learned that I had never truly lived until I learned to die. I know this sounds crazy, but it’s true! Before, when I was always thinking about my own rights and what I deserved, no one could ever do enough to please me. I was never happy or satisfied!

Jesus said in John 12:24-25, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abide alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”

When I began dying to myself (and this is a continual process) things went so much smoother. I began focusing on God and bringing glory to Him with my life. Now even the menial task in life have a spiritual purpose. I began seeing that serving my family WAS serving God. As my family began watching the change in their wife and mother, their lives began transforming as well. The protective walls that had been put up began to fall and harmony and love began to blossom. It’s amazing what kindness and respect can do in a family and how contagious it can be.

Our lives are far from perfect, but I’m thrilled with how far God has brought us. As we daily learn to fall to the ground and die to ourselves, much fruit has come into our home: Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.

So you see, dying isn’t as bad as it seems! In fact, I’ve never been happier! Ironically the two anonyms; dying and living, are closely connected; and I experienced the fullness of that joy on my birthday!

1 comment:

Christie said...

AMEN! :) It's truly amazing how wonderfully God's ways work...

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