Finding servanthood regardless.

I realized I had dozed off while binging Modern Family with my husband when I was startled awake by the theme song blaring. I shut off the T.V., told my hubs to get up and drug myself to the bathroom. After brushing my teeth, I climbed into the cold sheets. My husband had already climbed in and fell back asleep. As I tossed an turned trying to get comfortable on my 10 year old pillow, I heard the slow rumble of my husband snoring already. I gently shook him. “Honey, your snoring.” He stopped so I again wrestled with my position trying to get my neck to relax. Humpfh, psheew. He was at it again. “Babe! I exclaimed. “Your snoring again.” Nothing. I pushed his shoulder until he rolled over. Ugh this pillow. I picked up my phone and typed in mypillow.com. I’m buying a new pillow. Tonight. I was elated to find out I had cheated the discount system and scored $30 off my new pillow! It only cost $19 bucks! I set my phone down and rested my head back. I had a moment of buyers remorse and then couldn’t get comfortable. I reminded myself of my super discount and decided I was satisfied.

Humpfh, psheew. Ugh. My word man. I thought about putting my pillow over his head then burning the evidence. I hated that pillow anyway and my new one was already on its way. But I remembered I love him and I don’t want my kids being raised by someone else, if I can help it, so I tried shaking him instead. “What?” He groaned. “Babe! Please, I’m exhausted, stop snoring.” I expelled.

By this time I was no longer drowsy. I was alert and irritated. I shuffled around, antsy, until 1:30. In a half-forced day dream state I hear my 3 year old crying. “I have to go potty!” I flip off the covers and fumble in the dark to her room. When I lift her, she feels like a rock. I lug her to the bathroom and crouch down to let her pee. My knees strain under my weight and I stand back up, dizzy.

She finishes her business and I put her back in bed. “Lay with me for 5 minutes, please mommy.” She sweetly begs. How can I not?

I crawl into her bed, tuck her in, and struggle with the flat $4 target pillow under my head. I wonder to myself if I don’t actually get some sleep at some point, if I will die of actual exhaustion. I wait until she’s still and slip back out of her room. I crawl back into my bed, cold sheets again. I snuggle in and work my pillow until I feel at least semi-comfortable. Humpfh, phsheew. “Alright!” I yell. Nothing. “Babe!” I say eyes blazing with anger. “Sorry, am I snoring?” He mumbles.

“Ugh!” I close my eyes and will the sleep to take over. I begin to pray. That will either help me doze off or jump start my reeling thoughts. Worth a try. “Oh God, my God I need you, oh God, my God I need you now, Lord I need you now. (Like right now) Oh rock oh rock of ages….as I sing my prayer, and visualize rocks raining down silencing the snores, and my mind begins to drift.

“Mommy?” A little voice whispers in my ear as my toddler touches my arm.

“Ugh, come on baby.” I pull her into our bed. Without thinking both of us shift our pillows to make room for her and I snuggle her into me. She fusses with the cover. “I want the soft one on me.” I pull down the sheet and kick it to the foot board. “I’m hungry” she squeaks out. Oh brother. “I’ll get you a gogurt.” I say trudging to the kitchen. I decide a squeezie is less messy in bed and grab that. “Here honey.” I say as I hand her the pouch. “Not that one! I want a gogurt.” She starts crying. “Eat it or nothing, I’m not getting up again.” My patience is gone.

I lay down and as I drift to sleep finally, I hear it. Humpfh, phsheew. “Babe! Get out of this room right now. It’s 3am and I haven’t even slept yet! You better figure out how to stop that snoring if you ever want to sleep with me again!” I bellow out.

Resigned, my husband grabs his pillow and heads to the couch leaving the door open. I think to myself, I will hear him still. But instead of getting up to close the door myself, I take my chances. “Where’s daddy.” The 3 year old asks.

“He’s been sent to the couch to snore. Go to sleep or you’re going out there too.” I snap.

I kiss her sweet, soft head and sleep finally comes.

The next day is long. We go to church, eat lunch. I spend some time writing, my husband does a few outdoor chores and we spend the afternoon with an ice cream party and playing outside. I muster up the last of my strength and make tacos for dinner. I bathe my younger girls while my husband cleans up dinner. Ah, finally. Bedtime. After my 12 year old showers, she asks me to paint her nails. Currently, in the middle of digging trash out from under her sisters bed, I say I’m too tired and tell her tomorrow. She persists. She begs. I say no, again. I explain I had a long night and I’m tired. She persists. Persistence turns to whining and arguing. I snap! “I said I’m too tired! I was up until 3 am! I had 4 hours of sleep! Please stop making me feel guilty! I can’t do it!”

She finally walks away, defeated. Now I feel guilty. I didn’t have to loose my temper but I did. Again. I put my other two to bed as I mentally beat myself up for being a bad mother.

Finally they are settled. I walk into my room to find my 12 year old turning on a show.

“Did dad say you could watch something.” I ask. “No…I just thought I would.” She starts. Cheeky. Fine. “Go ahead.” I say.

I walk into my bathroom to get ready for bed so I don’t have to do it later when I surely doze off to the T.V. and remember the polish. I grab it and paint her nails. We don’t talk. She watches her show as I think to myself, I used to do this professionally and dream of the day I would pamper my little girls. Now I’m too tired to pamper anything but baby butts.

I watched my daughter admire her painted nails and felt a tiny bit proud that I found the energy to do it for her.

That was the moment I needed. That was the moment I understood what Jesus was doing when he washed the disciples feet.

“After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”

John 13:5

Jesus was doing 3 things when he committed  this act. But I am looking at the first. He was displaying his servanthood and humility in doing this act for his disciples.

Jesus was probably quite tired and full of thoughts of what was to come in the next days. He could have been exhausted. He was probably a little stressed and scared, thinking of his impending death. But he knew that he had come from the Father and to the Father he was going to return. So he loved. He put it aside. He gave the disciples what they needed in that moment and it has become a symbol for all of Christianity to humble ourselves, even when we aren’t in a good mental state, and paint our kiddos nails because it’s not the painted nails that she needed, it was me. So I gave myself to her, emulating Christs example of servanthood. 

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