I have been reading Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson, one of my all time favorite writers and speakers. Sally has a heart God's design for mothering and family. Chapter 4 is on "The Servant Mother". Being a Servant Mother is not being a maid to your children. Becoming a servant mom is a progression, just like all the other areas in our lives in which we strive to follow God's design.

"Choosing to be a servant-mother means willingly giving up myself, my expectations, and my time to the talk of mothering- and choosing to believe that doing so is the best use of my time at that moment. It means that, by faith, I have already made a decision to make myself available in the routine tasks and myriad interruptions of daily life because I believe it is God's will for me to serve my family through them. Making this choice ahead of time means I will expect problems and needs to arise and be ready to deal with them in peace instead of impatience and resentment." Sally Clarkson

Practically speaking, servant mothering means cleaning up the vomit without complaint when it makes you sick too. It's rubbing your sons back to help him get back to sleep after a bad dream, even when you are tired and could use the back rub yourself. It's taking the moments to stop doing dishes and watch your daughter flit through the room with out the put-out look on your face. It means reading a book to them...just because. It's trying REALLY hard not to gripe about laundry that is NEVER finished. It's taking time to notice the little things as BIG, not forgetting that Lego creations deserve our excitement and attention just as as finding their toes and taking their first steps did. It's INTENTIONALLY showing your children that they are important and loved unconditionally.

About 11:30 Friday morning, after I had been cleaning and teaching school, I sat down for a quick break under the air vent when my stomach began to hurt. Of course, I thought if I just got up and got busy, I could make it stop! How silly is that?! So, I took my two children to the local water park for a much needed break from routine. The problem was, my stomach was getting worse. About 45 minute at the water park, I am on the phone with my husband, crying and trying not to pass out from the pain and heat. I don't know exactly what part of the water park my son is in and I am hurting too much to yell out to get my daughter's attention. Just then, my son comes up and I tell him we have to leave and to please get his sister. Without a glimpse of selfish disappointment that we were leaving, my almost 11 year old turns in to a young man, gets my daughter and our things together and leads the way out of the park. On the way to the car he calls my husband to let him know that we are on our way home. Then, as I am putting the car into drive he says "Wait, wait, let's pray over mom before we go." He prayed for healing and that we would be safe on the way home. Once we made it home, he made sure I was comfortable, asked if I needed ginger ale or crackers and played with his sister quietly so I could rest. At one time he came in, laid his hand on mine and said "I just want to do all this for you to repay you for all the times you take care of me." So, now I'm crying and have stomach cramps.

What a jewel that moment was for me. It is something I will think on when I am exhausted and at the end of my patience. It is a token that will propel me to fight the good fight in my home. The point in sharing this story is to say that our blessings are far more that diamonds and pearls when we choose to live by God's design. When we make ourselves empty vessels that can be used by Him to bless our children with security, love and respect, we raise up a generation that blesses others as well. The sacrifices we do or don't make, and the attitude in which we do things, make lasting impressions on the hearts of our children. The sacrifice is worth the reward.