Friday, November 16, 2012

greatness in serving

i have a burning desire to be great.
don't we all?
all my life, i've pushed towards success.
whatever it took, i wanted to make it happen.
however, the lord doesn't just keep us "how we once were"
no. we are forever changing.  growing.  being sanctified.
and for me, this sanctification includes a shift in what it means, to be truly "great".

this morning i cried to mr leif, "i'm not doing anything right, in not one category am i doing great".
and it's not like i even have very many categories.
just two main ones: wife and mom.

...roman has been difficult, these last few weeks.  very difficult.
stretching me and my patience, and challenging me in new ways every day.  i don't know what to do with him most of the time.
i speak words to myself, "consistency will work"... "stick to your guns"...   "he's testing you"... "he needs more limits"...
and i try to respond.  but at the end of the day, i'm exhausted.  worn out.  and defeated.
though there is so much good in my day, so much joy, so many blessings, why?
why is it so easy to hold onto the bad.
the hard.  the exhaustion.  the constant serving.  and giving. and sacrificing.

sometimes when mr leif walks in at 6pm, sometimes i want to run out.  drive.  blare music.  and refocus.
but i don't.  i want to, but i don't.

and so, as i'm crying to mr leif about not being "great" at being a mom, about hating this feeling of failure i have, i move onto the subject of marriage...
and there too, i feel like a failure.  i have this vision of what a perfect wife does.  what she looks like.  how she acts.  
and, i'm not any of those things i think i need to be.
 i become selfish.  i tell myself i'm tired, that roman wore me out, that i just need some "me" time.
just a quick break from the serving and giving and sacrificing.

and yes.  i would tell you a thousand times, no, a billion times, over and over.
i love this role.  to be a mother.  to be a wife.  both are gifts that words can't describe.
but, it's in the mundane that my head spins. it's in the small moments, when i let sin take over, that i make it about me.

and so, as it normally goes, mr leif listens to me.  assures me that i am not what i say i am.

and then something speaks to me.  this greatness i'm trying to achieve?
where are my standards coming from?  whom am i accountable to?  where i am looking for feedback?

and it hits me.  like bricks.  because His word does that in it's convicting state.
"whoever wants to be great, must become a servant."
matthew 20.26

am i measuring my greatness to the things of this world?
how my child acts in the store.  what i wear out during the day.  the paint color of my walls.  my social life.  my status in attaining the american dream.
are those things weighing more than my call to serve?

it's a long process.  in fact, it never ends.  it won't until jesus comes again.
and so i say, come jesus, come.
because the hard moments are hard.  but the good moments, when His word is revealed?
it's then, i come alive.
i want to be great in Your name.  and so, i will serve.
my husband.
my son.

i will serve with joy.
when i find the butter that disappeared off the counter, and is now divided into little plastic pans,
and smeared on the walls.

i will serve with joy.
when he refuses to eat lunch.  but happily will hold it in his lap.  not eat it mom, just hold it.
and maybe throw it all over the backseat.

i will serve with joy.
when i've had an exhausting day, with my child, who cried more than he laughed today, 
who sat in many timeouts, who pushed every button his momma had.... 
i will serve our daddy, with dinner and cake and birthday celebrations.

. . .

this makes my heart leap:
"Will I someday be standing with scars to give account before Him that I wasn’t about my own comfort but Christ’s call, that I didn’t make my life about safe living but about dangerous dying, that I didn’t escape into a neat, saved American dream but into a messy, mission-driven God-sized demand."
-ann voskamp


  1. great great post lindsey. i love your shift in attitude.

    we recently had the privilege of having Pastor Cesar and Maria(pastors to the poorest of poor here in my city) talk to us at small group. and they were talking about how their entire life's focus is FULL TIME MINISTRY. They are now full guardians of their 3 young grandchildren and so are busy. They say "we never take our suits off" meaning...there is never a time when we are not representing Christ. To their the people in the restaurant...the people in their congregation. They are normal people but they inspired me so . They truly serve every day without complaint and I want to be like them when I grow up:)

  2. ah, linds. sometimes i don't have the right wisdom to give. or funny comment to make.
    but i do know that i can pray. and i know that where we are weak & defeated HE IS STRONG.
    i need it too. every day. this motherhood job is HARD. so hard.

    praying for you, friend. i really will.