Part of the reason I had put it down a few weeks ago mid-chapter was because I wasn't getting anything out it. That seems silly now, since it's so applicable today, but isn't that just like God to draw me back to it when He knew I would be ready to glean from its Truth? What a faithful and loving Savior.
So -- Chapter 7, Sacrifice in the Mundane (on Selfishness)
I can't remember if I've mentioned in past posts that each chapter begins with a portion of a letter Sarah Mae writes to Sally, and then Sally's letter in response. A lot of them are good, but I REALLY liked Sally's response to Sarah's laments over her own selfishness.
Nothing excellent is ever accomplished by being lazy or selfish. Once I got over my pity party and decided that I was willing to do whatever it takes to build excellence into my life and home, my motivation increased and my vision for what I could accomplish stretched, and as I look back, I am now amazed at my capacity to work so hard and to get so much done. The end result is that my labor has been rewarded and I have felt the job of building something of great worth. So develop a willing heart and become the best mom you can be by getting rid of the destructive attitude that we all have -- that of selfishness -- and decide to be an overcomer! I believe in you!
What a pep talk! I loved that. I so desire to "develop a willing heart."
The chapter focuses on John 15:13 - "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." It is a call to put aside selfishness, and to serve sacrificially, especially in the lives of our children.
Sarah has some really good quotes, too:
You and I, we love our children to the core of our beings. We would die for them. But for some reason, we have a hard time putting away our books, or our computers, or our crafts in order to serve them, train them, encourage them, or fill their souls with life. Every day.
Oh, man was that convicting. There are so many times in my every day life that I view my two sweet blessings as a distraction from what I want to do. I want so badly to flip this thinking in my head. To view the laundry, the e-mail, the work as the thing that should be put on the back burner for my kiddos. I love that I have seen God do exactly what Sally said could happen in my own life. It seems that most days, when I choose to sit and build legos, read books, or go play somewhere, that He multiplies the time I do have to sit down and work. It's like my own personal fulfillment of Malachi 3:10. I hope I'm not taking too many liberties with that passage, but I feel like in this season, in this area of my life, He is whispering to me to test Him in this. It's like He's saying, "Dear sweet Magen. I'm going to care for you. You devote your time to me. You serve Me by serving these little ones, and I will repay. Test me in this!"
I do, by the grace of God, succeed at this mindset every so often. I fall into guilt sooo fast, though, when after a long day, with many successes (and many failures!) I just desire a break. Both ladies address the need for "me time" in this chapter, but the passage that I should pin up somewhere is, "When we choose to give the best of ourselves to them, we will need a break, or we will break." Gotta love the permission to not feel guilt!! :)