Do you ever wonder if what you do matters to anyone? No? It's just me?? Surely not!
I have to admit, I do wonder that. I taught school BK (before kids), and I KNEW that I was making a difference to at least some of those kids. I invested in them and loved them and I could see close to immediate results in their attitudes or behaviors or grades. I loved those kids who were "at risk" and at least for the 9 months that I had them, I knew that they knew they mattered to someone. And I bet some of my former students look back at their 4th grade year and have good memories. I bet some still list me as their favorite teacher. And that makes me proud. And I felt important. I got sweet notes and colored pictures from my students. I got encouraging emails and fun gifts from parents. I got constant feedback.
Fast forward 7 years....now I spend my days washing, folding, sweeping, wiping, dressing, bathing, reading, reminding, fussing, helping, cooking, fixing, correcting.... Does it matter?? Will my kids look back 20 years from now and know how fiercely I love them?? How, even on my worst, most selfish days I do what I do for them? Will they know that even on my most frustrated, least patient days that I would not trade one second of being here with them? Does my husband know that now? Do any of them care that a magical unicorn does not put their t-shirts in their drawer or wash their favorite sippy cup? Does it matter that I'm the one here picking up spilled Cheerios and wiping fingerprints off the doors? Will they realize that when I fail completely as a mother and a wife, I do it with good intentions? Does any of it matter?
I'm a big fan of positive reinforcement, and ya know, with 4 young ones, I just don't always get it! So, as I was having these super-encouraging, not at all self-pitying thoughts one day, this song came on the radio:
Do Everything by Steven Curtis Chapman
You’re picking up toys on the living room floor for the 15th time today;
Matching up socks and sweeping up lost Cheerios that got away.
You put a baby on your hip and color on your lips and head out the door.
And while I may not know you, I bet I know you wonder sometimes does it matter at all?
Well let me remind you it all matters just as long as you
Do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you to do
Every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do
One little verse and chorus to one song changed my whole perspective! Who cares if my family never realizes any of that? I have completely had my focus wrong! I should not do what I do for my family, or even out of my great love for my family. I should do what I do for HIM and out of my great love for HIM.
I'm not saying that I never want my family to appreciate me (or reward me with a pedicure every now and then), but I know that when I serve my family as a way to serve my God, my need for constant approval will be diminished, and I will be content knowing that I am bringing glory to the One who made me!
Have you ever felt this way? What helped you change your focus?