Monday, February 02, 2009

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

A few weeks ago one of my Monday night Bible Study girls asked me, "So, what do you do for your job, Ms. Jennifer?"

I answered that I was a full time Mom.

"What do you do while your kids are at school? Don't you get bored?"

I explained that there were chores around the house, bills to pay, errands to run--and that I spent time volunteering at the kids' school, at the childrens' home, going to Bible Study, etc.

"But, what do you do for money?"
"Do you have to ask your husband?"
"Not me! I won't ever depend on a man for money! I want my own stuff."

I tried to explain that marriage didn't work that way. It is a partnership. My husband's job earns the paycheck, but I have important responsibilities as well.

They were not buying it. All they could think about was having the respect that they thought having their own money would bring. I was sad as I thought about their perspective. Then I had a rough couple of weeks with very little time with my husband around the house. Last weekend he had a deacon retreat. I had a afternoon into evening roadtrip with girls. Then he was on call this weekend (which translates to 12 hour days at the hospitals, plus literally a couple of pages an hour all night long when he is home.) My kids still have the Winter crud, complete with all night coughing, 6 weeks after it first entered my home...and my hormones are in a vulnerable place, if you know what I mean!

Suddenly, I find myself acting out as if I am one of those teen aged girls. I JUST WANT RESPECT! my pride seems to be screaming.

Yesterday morning as I sat alone in church, frankly thankful for the brief break the nursery was providing, our pastor said something that zinged me to the core.

"Everyone says they want to be a servant, until they are treated like one."

Don't misunderstand me. I do want to raise respectful, courteous children not demanding, ungrateful ones...but it is a fine line sometimes between what is truly disrespect and what is my pride. I don't want to be the martyr Mom softly humming "Poor, poor pitiful me."

Rescue me, Lord. Give me a right perspective. Grant me wisdom to know what behaviors and attitudes are issues I need to address in my children--and which ones are things You need to address with me. I need You.

And could you please help us finally get healthy so we can sleep?
Amen.

12 comments:

ScrappinAway said...

I just read your story! Thanks so much for sharing. We have some things in common. I have PCOS and after 3 miscarriages, I finally found a doctor that was able to diagnose me and I now have a beautiful 19 month daughter. While I was pregnant, I started having heart problems. Thankfully it turned out the MVP and is not bad, just have to keep an eye on it about every 5 years. Then my daughter,who had one two vessels in her umbilical cord decided to come early at 35 weeks weighing 4lbs 10 oz, thankfully she was healthy! My situation no where near as serious, but after reading your story it makes me wonder if the PCOS and the heart thing is somehow related. Anyway thanks for sharing. God is Great!

Bailey's Leaf said...

"Everyone says they want to be a servant, until they are treated like one."

Amen. Wow. Thank you for the reminder.

Kris said...

I will be reflecting on that quote. So true. I have the same feelings of pride sometimes too, and wonder where that fine line is... Thank you for the food for thought.

I hope everyone is healthy soon!

Meaghan said...

WOW! i imagine it's possible the girls have never seen a healthy marriage modeled for them. that's a lot to wrestle with lately girl! i'm a nurse, and i've been one of the people who have called MD's like your hubby :-) thank you for the sacrifices you've made to allow him to do his important job. that being said, i can't imagine my hubby's schedule being like that with triplets! xoxo

HW said...

After nearly 18 years as a stay at home mom, I still struggle with this RESPECT thing. Just this morning, I was biting my tongue so as not to snap at my family "I have a schedule too! Don't you think I need to get out the door and accomplish things?" Thankfully the Lord puts his hand over my mouth sometimes.

Thank you for this very thought provoking post.

geisme said...

Liked the prayer at the end. Echoing it with you sista'. (well, not the health part, as we are all healthy here, thankfully) But the know what issues & attitudes need addressing. And ow, am I just having that pity party.
Thanks J-
-Gail

Laura said...

Thank you. Very convicting and just one in a number of ways God is getting His point home to me.

Peter and Nancy said...

My heart aches at the idea that the girls would find it so impossible to believe they could trust a man to be their provider. Not to mention that they can't imagine him willingly sharing *everything* with you. I'm so glad you are with them to show them a different way -- they already know you're wise and compassionate . . . you may be their ticket to modeling a healthy marriage, not to mention the fact that God himself is trustworthy.
Keep on!
-- Nancy

Liza's Eyeview said...

Count it all joy and a blessing to be able to be a stay at home mom (as I know you are counting it as a blessing). My husband wants me to work outside the home to be able to help pay the bills. My heart is into being a homemaker. It's a huge struggle for me to go to work every morning. So, her I am telling you, I have very very high respect for you and your husband. You are doing God's will and God's design for the family. May you ll be healthy again soon. Aloha, Liza

Amy said...

Do you ever get tired of people saying, "I really needed to hear this today." Or, "I can really empathize with what you are going through because these SAME EXACT THINGS - they are on my mind and heart."

I find daily encouragement in your posts. Thank you so much!

Bethany said...

Again, what a beautiful post! I enjoy reading and re-reading your story and just hope for something as wonderful-- when I read this post, my heart longed for a marriage and family once again. You are so blessed!

Tonya Ingram said...

Being a single mom, I find myself many times just wanting respect from someone since my boys do not understand how hard it is sometimes to do this by myself. I do the best I can and thank God for the opportunity and the grace to get through it all.