Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Mommy, Did This Bless You?"

Since the boys started back to school on Wednesday we had a pretty strict schedule to stick to Tuesday night. Here was the plan...shower, clean your rooms, swap over laundry, eat dinner, brush teeth and go to bed. This all sounds simple enough, but remember we have 4 boys of different ages and some of these precious boys are harder workers than others. Caleb got his shower, cleaned out half of the dishwasher and disappeared. Jacob took a shower and emptied the dryer for me. For some reason we couldn't find Matthew until right before dinner and he had showered and that was all. Needless to say I was getting frustrated with the lack of obedience on this night that was to run like clock work. Joshua comes out, showered, dressed and says "Mommy, I did something that I think will really bless you." Now let me say that this is a phrase we use quite often in the Hawkins home. "How can I bless you?" "Can you please find something to do that will bless your brother?" "Please bless mommy by cleaning up your room." Chores become not merely chores but opportunities to bless others in our life when we change our perspective. I quickly followed Joshua to see what was going to really bless me. I followed him to his room and he opened his drawers to show me that he had taken everything out of each drawer, refolded it and organized each drawer. I must add that he did an awesome job. I was standing there praising him when Caleb walks in and said, "What did he do?" In my join me in praising your brother voice I said, "Caleb, look at what an awesome job Joshua did organizing his drawers all by himself." Caleb shrugs his shoulders and walks away saying, "So, what's the big deal." At that moment he became my only deal for the next few minutes. First of all we addressed his lack of respect and smart tongue, but then I got to the heart of the response. "Mommy, why is it Joshua is always doing things to bless you and you are so proud of him. Why can't I think about doing things like that? It's just a drawer, it's gonna get messed up again." I explained to Caleb how proud I am of him everyday, but that yes Joshua does walk around looking for ways to bless all of us each day. Joshua has a heart for others and rarely seeks to gratify himself. His focus is outward. Caleb right now has a very inward focus. What an awesome impromptu lesson for Caleb to learn tonight. He is going to start looking for ways to bless others. He said something that is so true, but totally not an excuse, but we've all heard it before. "Mommy, its hard for me to serve, I'm more of a playing kind of guy." Tonight I saw myself in Caleb. Maybe you can see a bit of your reflection in him as well. We often use Caleb's excuse of "its hard for me" and then we fill in the share my faith, to serve in the nursery, to have people in my home... whatever it might be. So often we become angry, jealous or even apathetic towards the way others seek to bless others and serve because we feel like it makes us look bad when standing next to them. The awesome news for Caleb and for us is that God has gifted us all to serve Him in different ways. Joshua has a great work ethic, he is diligent, he is creative and whatever he finds to do he does it with all his heart. When something is important to Caleb he works hard and doesn't let up. Right now we are praying that God would give Caleb a passion for others and for the desires of others instead of only having a self-centered passion. Maybe some of us need to pray this way. Maybe we need to take our focus off of self so that God can give us a passion for someone else. Have you ever heard the phrase, "that's just how I was made and I can't help it." Your right, you can't help it, but the power of the Holy Spirit within you as you seek to know an awesome, powerful God can help it. The problem with this phrase is "that's the way I was made" is acknowledging that we were created with a sin nature, but neglecting to recognize that our God of redemption is in the business of changing lives as we surrender to Him. Comparing myself to others and becoming bitter about the things God has called them to do to bless someone is a poor response and excuse for not doing those things myself. God wants each of us to learn to be a blessing to others. Each morning as my children leave for school I say to them "Be a blessing to someone today." I want that engrained in their hearts and minds. Let's get self out of the way and learn to be a blessing to someone. I will be honest, I still struggle with this some weeks when my flesh decides to live large. Oh, I am still blessing others, but with an attitude that stinks, thus robbing myself of any blessing and even worse, grieving my Savior as I obey Him with an unhappy heart. I was blessed by Joshua's act of initiative as he reorganized his drawers. I was even more blessed to be able to take the sinful response of an 8 year old, and lead him to a place of repentance and action. It is a work in progress, but it has been acknowledged and guess who cleaned out their drawers today? Not to Joshua's standards, but to quote this hard working 5 year old, "He did pretty good on 2 drawers. The other 3 still need some work, but he'll get it. Maybe he just has too many clothes." To which Matt yelled out a hardy Amen. I leave you with this question....Who will you bless today?"

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