In the past 2 weeks I’ve seemed to have hurt my left hand twice. Before we left, I had hurt my pinky finger. I found out when I tried to push myself up off the floor. It made sitting on the floor to pack fun.
Friday night as we were packing up to leave from our vacation, I couldn’t bend my thumb. It was bruised and swollen. I have no idea how I did this either.
I’m right handed, so this really shouldn’t bother me, but you never know how much you use something until it hurts to use it. It was difficult to pack things, pick up things and even hold things like a water bottle.
I felt pretty useless as I watched my children do most of the work of packing, carrying and loading the van. I was feeling sorry for myself when I noticed how they were working together, getting the job done, as if I wasn’t needed.
What I needed was a reminder of my value. What I needed was God-confidence of my place and value.
“13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
The word called according to The Free Dictionary means: To order or request to undertake a particular activity or work; summon. This freedom is from the old law. We are FREE from that burden and responsibility. If you are unsure of what all that entailed take some time to read the book of Leviticus.
Next we aren’t to use our freedom for our own purposes, but freedom comes great responsibility. We tell our teenagers this when they take the car. We are parents know this when we stay up too late the night before and still has to get up and be an adult the next day.
We are to instead use our freedom to serve each other. This is a stumbling block in many ways. I’m the one that is supposed to be serving not my children. Aren’t I the one who is supposed to labor unappreciated and unloved over a hot meal that my children will scarf down and never say thank you for it?
Nope, sorry, no time for playing the victim or self-pity. It is time to WAKE UP! Time to teach our children that we ALL work together and we are supposed to serve each other. Three of my children have put on Christ. Serving with a smile not only on your face but in your heart is vital to being a Christian.
This was a great opportunity for Audrey to learn the art of playing Tetris while packing up the van with our belongings. The boys learned that when they bring something out to be loaded they can’t just drop it and walk away. Sometimes they have to help load it or even just hold it until it was ready to be packed. The oldest boy learned how to not boss his younger brothers around but to lead them in the carrying of the items out to the van, and once we were home he lead the charge to unload the van encouraging the boys to help him.
These were very valuable lessons that they will use later in life. So while I was “lazing about” while my children “slaved away,” I was reminded of this verse, and the guilt just melted away.
It was on the drive home that Audrey informed me how much she enjoys packing up the van and how much it is like playing Tetris. Jackson said he doesn’t mind carrying everything, he just doesn’t want to figure out where it all goes.
Now some may say, but my children are too young. If they are old enough to dump out the toys, then they are old enough to help clean up their mess. If they are old enough to take all the books off the bookshelf, then they are old enough to help clean up the mess. If they are able to walk, then they are able to start helping carry in the groceries. They all want to be helpers, why not let them.
My older 4 know that they are to find the lightest things and set them aside for Lucy to carry in the house. When we were prepping the meal Friday night, Lucy wanted to help. Audrey had her pull all the grapes off the stems so we could bag them up for the trip home. Now, I’m pretty sure a few went missing along the way, but she was a BIG HELPER and did a job she could do ALL BY HERSELF. This taught her independence, self-confidence and a step closer to freedom, which ALL children crave.
So Mama’s what job are you doing that you could delegate to your children, not only for a life lesson but a spiritual lesson on serving others? Maybe it is time to teach your children to serve and set them free.