Excerpt from Diapers, Pacifiers and Other Holy Things: Words of Encouragement for Mothers of Pre-schoolers, by Lorraine Pintus
What Am I—Your Servant? (page 137)
Amanda was not announcing a population explosion in Israel. She was demanding her favorite drink.
I shuffled to the refrigerator and retrieved the pitcher of apple juice. Lack of sleep blurred my vision. I missed the cup by several inches. I had so many bags under my eyes I felt like an ad for Samsonite luggage. During the night, I’d gotten up three times to nurse the baby and once to find “Spot” who had fallen to the floor out of Amanda’s reach.
I snapped the sippee lid on the cup and handed it to my daughter.
“Kicks! Kicks!” she demanded, pounding the tray of her high chair.I glared at her for a moment, debating how to respond to her request.
“Kicks please!” she corrected herself.
I trudged back through the kitchen and grabbed the cereal box. As I poured Kix into Amanda’s bowl I heard Megan crying in the other room. Feeding time already? I moaned. Something warm trickled down the front of my nightgown. My stomach rumbled. My own hunger would have to wait, I had two other mouths to feed.
As I shuffled in the direction of Megan’s cries, I tried to recall my life before children.
What was it like to eat a meal sitting down? How did it feel to sleep through the night? to go to the bathroom without an audience? How would it be to have only myself to dress? to smell like perfume instead of diaper wipes? to wear a blouse free of drool marks? I longed to read a book uninterrupted, to look through a window and see the backyard rather than jelly handprints, to lie on the couch without getting impaled by a Lego.
A satisfied coo interrupted my thoughts. Megan nursed contentedly. She was so cute. As she sucked her nose wiggled up and down like a bunny’s.
I rubbed her soft, fuzzy head and smiled. I did not resent my children for the way my life was. In fact, I was grateful to them. My children had shown me something about myself I never would have learned any other way: I am selfish. Not just sorta selfish, but really selfish.
Before having children I did not acknowledge my self-centeredness. After all, I did nice things for my husband, helped my co-workers with their struggles and volunteered at church. But any serving I did was because I chose to serve at a time that was convenient for me. When my children were born, my ability to choose died. I was thrust into the role of on-call servant, like it or not.
Much of the time, I didn’t.
I stomped around the house, picked up toys, made beds, folded laundry, and growled at my husband and children, “What am I, your servant?”
They ignored my complaints. God didn’t.
Yes, Lorraine, He affirmed. You are their servant.
Great! I wanted a little sympathy, a little help, a little cooperation. Instead, I got conviction . . .
Find out what happens in this story and read 30 other inspiring stories like it. These short 5 minute devotions, peppered with humor and wisdom, are perfect for reading at baby showers or discussing with your moms group.