"Dying to self =killing your ego and living in the perfect imitation of Christ and Mary.......
-- When you are forgotten or neglected and you don't hurt with the insult, but your heart is happy -- that is dying to self
-- When your advice is disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, and take it all in patient, loving silence -- that is dying to self
-- When you lovingly and patiently bear disorder, irregularity, tardiness, and annoyance... and endure it as Jesus endured it -- that is dying to self
-- When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation or record your own good works, or itch for praise after an accomplishment, when you can truly love to be unknown... that is dying to self
-- When you can see your brother or sister prosper and can honestly rejoice with him, and feel no envy even though your needs are greater -- that is dying to self
-- When you are content with any food, any offering, any raiment, any climate, or any society -- that is dying to self
-- When you can take correction, when you can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, with no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart -- that is dying to self.” --Unknown
How beautifully this poem above expresses parenthood! In fact, I believe it could be one of the best descriptions of the vocation of marriage I've ever read.
I woke up this morning fatigued, completely depleted of all energy or motivation, and, if I'm being honest, a bit cranky. NOTHING makes this mama more crabby than lack of sleep. I always say, if I'm too tired I cannot be a good mother, because that for sure is my Achilles heel. And boy does the devil seem to know how to play upon my weaknesses!
The problem with feeling this way as soon as I open my eyes at 6:02 in the am on a freezing cold winter morning, is that my two boys, who are raring and ready to go, seem to be completely oblivious to my exhaustion. How rude! Ha! But this is the truth of the matter, isn't it? Motherhood does not get to take a time out or have a two hour delay so we can go back to bed and get a few more winks of sleep. Nope, when my kids are up, well so am I.
So waking up this morning, I simply prayed to the Lord and especially the Blessed Mother, because I know she's been here before, for the ability to choose to dye to myself today. I prayed that they would help put in my heart the desire to want to give of myself when I'm feel completely empty, to burn within me yearning to show my children generosity and charity (in it's true sense) at a moment when I seem to have nothing to give even to myself.
What a difference this simple prayer made! It's as if the Holy Mother physically touched my heart and made it start "beating" again but this time, beating for the purpose to glorify my Lord. Don't get me wrong, I'm still tired, my bones still feel old and my muscles stiff on this cold morning, but for some reason, I feel joy. Joy when I prepared Pickle, my oldest, breakfast. Joy when I was nursing Little Bean for the third time this morning before he finally gave into a glorious nap!
Let's be real here. I didn't get one shred of cleaning done (other than breakfast dishes clean up). I didn't get anything else accomplished. In fact, I'm quickly writing this in the few minutes I'm hoping to have before Little Bean wakes up and guess what? I'm still in my pj's! I know, I know it's lunchtime and Pickle will be ready to eat as soon as he is finished with his craft and I'm STILL in my pj's. But even this is something I need to decide to dye to some days. I cannot measure my value and worth by what I have accomplished this day and THIS is VERY HARD FOR ME NOT TO DO. But in dying to myself, I must become more Christ-like and change my idea of productivity. No longer can I measure my self-worth by what I have done, but rather by what I have been for others! And right now, I hear Little Bean crying so I must go and be mom for my boys! Much love to you all.