battling selfishness

another excerpt from jean flemming's "a mother's heart", a follow up to "mother's rights?"...

"to be selfish means being "concerned chiefly or only with oneself, without regard for the well-being of others."  selfishness attacks all of us.  we may face shortages of natural resources, jobs, and food; but we never lack selfishness.  and now needs to learn selfishness because it comes naturally...
... sometimes a child's need interrupt my bath, reading a good book, a sewing project, or an interesting phone call.   the interruption may be in the form of tears, a bloody nose, an argument, a piercing scream or an explosion into the back bedroom.  whatever form it takes, i resent it.
how often i've resented these violations of my "rights", when i should have thanked God that I could be there when my children had a need.  recently i found a diary page i wrote during a time of discouragement some years ago.  my complaint was entitles, "what bothers me about being a mother"

  1. the demands on my time
  2. serving them over & over
  3. never finishing my work
  4. i'm frustrated by not knowing how to handle problems {should i discipline or comfort, make them play alone or do something with them?}
  5. no time for my interests
throughout the years, when my children were still at home, these five complaints continued to pinpoint most of the struggles i faced.  perhaps you can identify with me.  but have you noticed that four out of five of these complaints are "me-centred"?  only number four is truly concerned with doing what is right for them.
but learning how to love others as Christ has loved us means putting the needs of others above our own."


  1. I so feel you on this theme, especially lately when I am burned out and exhausted and trying to figure out who I am and what I'm doing in the midst of all the noise and enabling other people in my house to go out in the world and be awesome. I am good at sacrificing myself for the good of others, particularly my family. The problem is that I think sometimes I'm too good at it, and that I lose myself too much in their needs - not that I don't want to meet their needs; I do. But I also know that if I don't protect my time a little bit in certain areas - time to sew, time to create, time to run, time to think - that everyone loses. Because that's also my time with Jesus. It's where I talk to him most clearly; hear him most clearly; where I am the most "still" despite hands or legs moving. If I don't protect that time, at least a little bit then even though I put their needs above mine, I'm not really loving them the way Christ loves me. I don't do it with grace or joy, I drag myself through it. My family deserves more than that; better than that. I love them too much to not give them the best that I can. But it feels like such a catch 22 - I want to give them everything, all that I have to give. But I can't do that very well unless I save something for me too? I don't know. Bah.

    Sorry for the novel - you struck a chord.

    Been thinking about you lately - hope you are well! xo.


    1. awe, i love your "novel"! it's the other side of the coin if you will. i totally agree... there is no use in doing anything if it's not done in the grace or love that comes from Christ himself. and the only way to get the grace & love for those little interruptions is to spend time with Him. i think i am not as good at sacrificing myself for others or occasionally feeling unfilled in my 'stay-at-home mom' lifestyle. i get angry at all the sacrifices sometimes, instead of seeing them as gifts. this is why i found jean flemming so refreshing. i can be fulfilled right where i am. i don't have to get angry at the sacrifice if i willingly give it as a gift of love. giving out of frustration & worn-out-ness is never a good scene. but giving out of overflow is something that can only happen when you spend time with the Source.
      i think my struggle is in the lie that t.v. & chocolate will restore your soul, instead of realizing that He is the one that restores my soul. i need to be more militant in guarding both my time with the Saviour & making sure i get out in the world too. that i invest in me. that i am healthy, happy mama who is fulfilled in anything i put my hand to. even if that's diapers at 6 am. i read somewhere the best thing you can give your children is two happy, healthy, crazy in love parents who are passionately pursuing the King & His kingdom. and so there it is... receiving as you give is the motto.
      love you Christy! xo