I got in the kitchen early and baked blueberry muffins (one of her favorites) and blended a purple smoothie, put it in her favorite heart cup with a straw. Mentally cheering myself on for the healthiness of the breakfast about to be set before them and myself, I presented her breakfast and waited.
a thank you,
an “ooh mommy! These look yummy!”
or even a grunt of appreciation.
Only a “Why’d you give me a GREEN straw?!? PINK is my favorite color.”
I calmly walked out of the room in order to avoid losing the chance for a lesson in thankfulness in my own bad attitude which was waiting just below the surface. Then I became grossly aware of my recent penchant for pity parties. Frankly, I’ve noticed a lot of this lately. So much effort. So much thought and preparation. So very little thanks. So. Much. Work. So little acknowledgement. Even the thanks I do get seems buried in my own unending to-do list of what must be done next.
Now, let’s be honest. Motherhood is certainly almost always a somewhat thankless job. Especially mothering small children, because they are in the years when they must learn gratefulness. They learn what it looks like, what it sounds like, hopefully what it feels like. But in those days of training, we are the ones who absorb the excess ungratefulness. We take it all with a grain of forgiveness (on our “good” days) and gently teach them how to be thankful. But it IS. SO. HARD. SOMETIMES.
This morning, I was unloading the dishwasher and pondering how frustrating it can often be. How tiring. And often, aren’t you just physically worn out? Tangibly tired in well-doing when all your effort goes seemingly unnoticed. It’s interested how just a little gratefulness from the ones we serve goes a long, LONG way. For them and for us.
And then it hit me. (or should I say He gently stirred my heart in conviction…)
Are you acting like a 4-year old who doesn’t quite grasp the sacrifices I’ve made for you?
Um. yes. The answer is all too often yes.
I’m like a child, sitting in a room FULL of toys, saying… “What can I play with?”
I’m lavished from every single side with spiritual and physical blessings abundant and all I can do is sigh at the kitchen floor that is dirty. Again. When what I should be doing is overflowing with Praise that my children are healthy enough to make messes. And that we have enough food that it’s ok if a few crumbs fall to the floor.
I’m living in abundance with God as our provider and I’m asking, “Why this job!?” and “When a better one?!” or rather, “Why a green straw? Don’t you know I PREFER pink?”
How can I possibly teach my little ones gratefulness when all they see is weariness and worry on my face?
More importantly, how can I have any hope for “Rejoicing in the Day that the Lord has made…” when I cannot remember to Praise Him for HIS moment by moment goodness to us.
Meditating on this today:
“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us,
and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
And His courts with praise.
Give Thanks to Him; bless His name.
For the Lord is good; His lovingkindess is everlasting,
And His faithfulness to all generations.”