This morning my 3 boys woke me up by coming into my room with a cup of hot coffee for me. They greeted me with “Happy Birthday!” in their sing-song voices and big smiles on their faces. Jeff had already gone to work, so the coffee greeting was all on their own – best thing I ever did was teach my 7-year-old how to use the Keurig!
I then drank my coffee while sitting up in bed listening to the activity in the kitchen. “Go snuggle with Mommy so she doesn’t come out of her room,” my oldest directed my 5-year-old. So as I sat drinking my coffee and snuggling with my youngest, I listened to my other 2 trying to decide what to make me for breakfast. “Do we have any waffles?” “What about cereal?” “I don’t think she likes that cereal.” “How about toast?” “She likes toast.” So they settled on the toast. I hear the chair sliding over to the toaster. “Mommy likes butter on her toast.” “Where’s the butter?” They must have found it, because the 2 of them paraded into my room proudly presenting a plate with 2 pieces of toast covered in what must have been a half a stick of butter.
I can’t think of a better start to my 39th birthday! My boys’ acts this morning were ones of love and devotion filled with the desire to make me happy. And they did make me very happy. I’m still smiling thinking about it.
But here’s the thing, their “gift” to me was full of flaws: 1. They first came in 10 minutes before my alarm was set to go off (which was even earlier than normal today because I had a MOPS meeting) – if you know me well, you know I am NOT a morning person and sleep as long as I possibly can. 2. My MOPS meeting has a delicious breakfast buffet filled with fruit, breads, muffins, quiches, hot casseroles, so I NEVER eat breakfast before a MOPS meeting. 3. If I was going to eat breakfast, I definitely wouldn’t have put a half a stick of butter on the toast. 4. Ideally, the boys would have put the chair that they used to stand on back, put the bread away, and put the knife in the sink or dishwasher.
But none of that matters… I saw their heart and I am delighted. To me, it was perfection just the way it was.
I then left to go to my MOPS meeting. (What a great way to spend a birthday morning, with 63 other women!) The topic of our meeting was service. We made blankets for Project Linus – an organization that gives home-made blankets to hospitals, food pantries, homeless and domestic violence shelters to give to children. We then had group discussions about ways to serve. I started thinking about what keeps me from serving more. Beyond the obvious of time and money, I realized that I sometimes get tripped up on wondering what I should do.
This verse reminds me that we are created to do good works. But I sometimes think the part about “God prepared in advance for us to do” almost immobilizes me. I over analyze trying to figure out what God wants me to do. And in spending so much time wondering what I’m supposed to do or how I’m supposed to do what I finally realize I’m supposed to do, I end up doing nothing.
But then I think of my boys this morning. Their desire was to serve me and make me happy and they did what they knew how to do. If they would have asked me what I wanted them to do, I probably would have given a different idea. But I absolutely loved what they did, flaws and all. Because of their hearts. Perhaps, then God, being a more perfect parent than I am, is delighted whenever my actions are a result of my desire to please him, no matter how flawed my actions may be.
I’m not saying that I shouldn’t be prayerful about how I serve, I’m just saying that perhaps I need to stop worrying about what I’m supposed to do and focus on doing things that I know how to do, full of love and devotion for my God, filled with the desire to make Him happy.
♥Becki, imperfect servant