Serve and be served

It was an interesting week here in never picture perfect world. One stomach virus, two hacking coughs, and an unexpected draining of a cyst on my back intertwined with my co-op trip to Kentucky, a consignment sale, ballet, piano, soccer, a special nine-year-old’s birthday , a sick dog and Yom Kippur.  As usual in a mother’s life, there was a lot of serving to be done: cleaning up vomit, driving people to activities, cooking, laundry, grocery shopping, teaching, making birthday brownies, wrapping presents and trying to arrange a play date/company for dinner.  But I was stopped in my tracks Friday morning when I went to the dermatologist.  Thank the Lord for lidocaine.  By the time it wore off and I drove home, I was down for the count.

Instead of serving my family, I was the one who needed serving.  It is difficult to reverse those two roles at times, and yet so important. If I am only willing to serve and never allow anyone to serve me, it is my pride getting in the way.  Somehow, we independent Americans think if we can’t do it ourselves and require help, it is a sign of weakness. Even in the church, we can get an attitude that we must only serve and should never be served because it is selfish.  We need the joy of serving others with a kind word, a prayer, a hug, or a meal, and we need to be willing to be on the receiving end of service as well; to admit that everything is not always all right and we need the word or prayer or hug and God wants us to have that little blessing.

This weekend, I couldn’t even bandage my own wound.  The musician bandaged the nurse. The head of the home served the helpmeet. Instead of cleaning up after my children, they cleaned up themselves.  Scooter Man started laundry.  They all washed windows–inside and out! (Just a side note, that is not a usual weekend chore, it just happened.) Happy Girl took the dog in and out as needed. Doodlebug asked sweetly if my back was feeling better and Blue Eyes brought a cup of water to my bedside table.  This afternoon I got out for the first time and was gingerly carrying a bag from a store to the car.   A man left his place in line and opened both doors for me–and I never even asked for help!

Imagine the loss of blessing on both sides if I had pridefully insisted on doing everything myself.  My husband, children, and a perfect stranger would have lost out on the blessing of serving others.  I would have missed out on the blessing of being served.  It is humbling to be served.  But how grateful I am to both serve and be served every day! My gratitude list for the week:

  • My generous sister-in-law who gives me so many clothes for two of my children
  • Consignment sales to clothe the rest of my children
  • Trips to Kentucky Amish country to quiet my mind and spirit
  • Little girls in leotards
  • Knowing on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, that I don’t have to fast and pray all day and wonder if my name is written in the Book of Life for another year–the Sacrifice has already been given and approved and my name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life for eternity!
  • My husband cheerfully serving the family by doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, and even changing my nasty dressing!
  • Children following the servant leadership of their father–the windows have never looked cleaner!
  • My nine year old son. Happy birthday Scooter Man!  Your curiosity and enthusiasm for life is contagious.
  • My twelve year old daughter’s first batch of cookies made totally by herself. They were excellent!
  • A new week for a new adventure (though hopefully a little less eventful!)


Filed under Gratitude, Meditation

2 responses to “Serve and be served

  1. Mary Davis

    Well I knew that some of your kids were sick because the Riley family came out to where we were camping and ate chili with us because they were unable to join you guys. Never knew that so much was going on!!! Hope that all are better and that you have a good week.
    Blessings from your around the corner neighbor!!!

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