May 18, 2010

Know Where to Look

Day after day, it's the same thing. Besides feeling like all your daily and weekly work is taken for granted and being emotionally and spiritually drained in trying to remain consistent in disciplining disobedient children, you feel like there are no rewards for all your labor.

Who recognizes your sacrifices? What regular wages do you receive for all your long hours and being on-call 24-seven? You work overtime and are not compensated. There are no days, holidays or weekends off. You are overworked and underpaid. Don't they know that you could have had a successful career? Don't they know how many hours of study you devoted to obtain levels of higher education? And for what? To change diapers, cook meals, fold laundry and sing The Alphabet Song 20 times a day besides listening to relentless whining and crying?

The rewards are there because you're doing ministry in faith.

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Psalm 127:3

What about those giggles when the Tickle Monster attacks? What about those ear-t0-ear tooth filled smiles? What about those words that come unprovoked, "I love you, Mommy"? What about when they come up and beg to sit in your lap for a little "we time"? What about when people compliment you on how beautiful/handsome they are? Or how well-behaved they are? Or how clean they are? Or how smart they are? Or how about when your husband surprises you with your favorite ice cream? Or flowers? Or 10 lbs. of bacon? Or a foot or back rub?

When your children don't have temper tantrums in Wal-mart like other kids - that's a reward. When your children beg you to help you do your tasks and cry when they can't participate - that's a reward. As they've watched you go about all the many things you do, directly and indirectly for them, they see. They learn. It fosters in them already a mentality that they are not supposed to be idle. The helping desire and attitude they already exhibit - that's a reward. Any small little moment of joy that wells up in your heart when you realize that you are doing something right - that's a reward. When your children grow up and come to the point of tears at recalling how much you've done for them - that's a reward. When after 16 or even 18 years you see that you've successfully, by God's grace, reared responsible sanctified adults prepared to start families of their own, who are willing to now care for you when the time comes to do so. That's a reward. And at the end of it all, to hear those words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant," and see the crown and other heavenly rewards that accompany them. There is no greater reward.

A conversation between Eowyn and Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:

'Shall I always be chosen?' she said bitterly. 'Shall I always be left behind when the Riders depart, to mind the house while they win renown, and find food and beds when they return?'

'A time may come soon,' said he, 'when none will return. Then there will be need of valour without renown, for none shall remember the deeds that are done in the last defence of your homes. Yet the deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised.'


Hang in there. Keep going. Know where to look. Open your eyes - the rewards are there. They won't look like the rewards as the world defines them. They may not be as big, flashy or expensive. They might be small and meaningless in the world's economy. But these rewards are as God defines them and you might be the only one to notice.

1 comment:

Homebodies said...

Thanks for the encouraging post!