The Art of Forgetting One’s Self

This morning I woke up at 4:30am. Wide awake. Feeling pretty good. But it wasn’t time to get up for two hours. I laid in bed and thought about what I might do at such an early time. I finally decided to get up, get ready for work, and go to the grocery store. After work, the hubster and I were going on a date. If I went to the grocery this morning, I could pick up pizza for the kids for dinner, grab some greens to juice this morning, and maybe I would be able to sneak in a nap before work! This would save me time and stress later, I could get a healthy fix, and the kids and Jesse would be happy with the bagels and yogurt I planned to bring back for breakfast. I felt great!!

THEN… just as the family was heading out the door, the entire morning exploded. My youngest teenager was completely disrespectful. In an instant, I was pissed and overwhelmed with feelings of being unappreciated, unnoticed, and taken advantage of. I stormed off. The hubster tried to console me. It wasn’t just my youngest that I felt doesn’t notice me, or appreciate me. I told him the feelings I was having, and told him I didn’t want to talk about it. That was true. I had yet to shed a tear, and knew I would if I talked about it. He told me he appreciated me. Of course he did. He left.

THEN… my youngest called me from school to see if I would bring her a Gatorade! I said absolutely NOT, and gave her a piece of my mind about how unappreciative she is. She proceeded to tell me that I’m the one that dissed her. I didn’t even know they still used that term!

THEN… after we hung up, I proceeded with plans on what I would no longer do. I would no longer pack their lunches, take their friends home, run them around, plan meals according to what they liked, buy the cereal they prefer. NO MORE! And I’d add to their chore list. They don’t want to appreciate me? FINE THEN! I won’t give them anything to appreciate.

What is so crazy about this, is that when I was planning my morning, never once did I think… “I’m going to do this so the kids will appreciate me” or “I’m going to do that so my husband will notice me”. Honest to the Good Lord above. Those thoughts never crossed my mind. Yet, once I didn’t receive those things, I was upset.

I don’t pack my kids’ lunches so they will appreciate me. I do it because I want them to eat healthy, and because they are always in a rush in the morning, and it is something I can do to make their day run more smoothly. I don’t buy the hubster coffee and half’n half so he’ll think what a wonderful wife I am, but because I want him to wake up in the morning and have what he needs (‘needs’ is loosely used here… he should be drinking my green juice with me). Maybe somewhere in my subconscious I do these things for other reasons than my consciousness allows. That feels ugly. I don’t want my loving acts to be for selfish reasons.

Last night I finished the book I was reading and needed to grab a new one to begin today. I instantly remembered a book I recently bought, “The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness” by Timothy Keller. Oh… I laughed out loud. God sees me. He hears me. He knows what I do, and how I feel. And he knows the importance NOT of me feeling appreciated by those around me, but of me loving them unconditionally, and showing them what that looks like… HIS love.

I hear you Lord, I hear you.