Moms, I understand. As a parent, you have now forever been put in last place. Your needs come after just about everyone else’s. Your schedule and what you want to do often have to be placed on the bottom of a list of priorities like football practice, homework, grocery shopping, dry-cleaning pick up and even pet care. Lord knows over the last two decades my dogs got more pedicures and haircuts annually than I did.
And I grew to understand that this kind of becoming a servant was good for my soul. Placing myself last instead of first is not something that comes naturally. To any of us. But motherhood has a refining purpose and this type of “death to self” is part of the way our Heavenly Father grows our maturity.
Recently I decided to reread the New Testament in the Message version. My new Bible I gifted myself with at the beginning of summer is a side-by-side version with the NLT, NIV, NKJV and the Message. I came across this verse…
“So you want to be first place? Then take the last place. Be the servant of all.” Jesus put a child in the middle of the room. Then, cradling the little one in His arms, He said, “Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces Me, and far more than Me—God who sent me.”
You see, I prayed 19 years ago desperately that God would help me do this job right. Those first few years of parenting were lonely…I didn’t have many friends and even fewer friends who agreed with how I parented. There was no social media…there was barely even email. And by age 24 I had three daughters under the age of 3. Dear sweet Jesus HELP.
Over time He gently showed me what this scripture meant. It was good for me that I had less time for me. John the Baptist even said, “I must become less, He must become greater.” I needed more of His heart and far less of mine.
I needed to embrace my place in last place. I needed to pour all my time, treasure and ability and seek His wisdom into raising these little girls into women of faith. Women of grace. At 24, I had no way of knowing I would eventually have 10 daughters and 5 sons.
It didn’t come easy. I was raised a pretty selfish only child. I had always done whatever I wanted, whenever and however. It still isn’t easy, yet it is a simple, conscious decision. Every time I choose to embrace my children instead of my own selfishness, I am reminded that it is truly the Lord Himself I am reaching out to.