Last night around 1 pm, just about the time my REM sleep was becoming deep and dreamy, my two year-old awoke with a blood-curdling scream. He was racing out of his room towards ours and I tried to gently calm him with my voice. Being still only half-awake, I let him slip into our bed, thinking I would move him in a few minutes, once he fell asleep. Unfortunately, I fell asleep in about 3 seconds and didn't wake again until around 3:30.
I was stiff from being shoved against hubby's herculan chest by my bed-hogging and oh so adorable son. Knowing the risk of having my son become a "habitual visitor" of our bed, I knew it best to move him back to his room. Yet at this hour, I also knew how chilly the house can be, since we have the thermostat set to a brisk temperature while we sleep.
Mentally, I was grumbling about moving my son, while also knowing this was what I needed to do for his own good. As I crawled from under the covers, I was gripped with a thought. Here God was asking me to be a mom. Nothing amazing. Just a mom, doing her everyday job. But I could have a good attitude or one that needs adjustment. A verse on servanthood that has been haunting me since my bible study last week came to mind, "If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me." (Matt. 16:24)
As I reached for my son, I was suddenly convicted of my half-awake murmuring. God has allowed me to mother this boy, and my duty is to "take up my cross" and serve my family - out of obedience to my God. But here I was "complaining" about His job description for me.
Oh how my heart changed as I picked him up. What a privilege I suddenly felt. What a love. What a joy. I didn't notice the cold air. I didn't feel the usual weariness or irritation at being awoken. He seemed so light, so precious, so beautiful.
I also contemplated how Jesus felt when the cross was placed upon His shoulders - my cross. Did He bear the cross with a similar love that I felt for my son, as I moved through the dark? Oh but the hideousness of what He carried! How dare I ever murmur about what God asks of me in service to Him.
To help me better serve the people in my life, my coffee cup verse for the week is Romans 12:1. I pray it helps me grow in the habit of self-denial - to bring glory to God.