31 August 2011

denying myself is hard

This last weekend we went to a little church by the sea with my in laws.
I have to be honest, I dread church every single week. I dread it because Eddie and George have yet to grasp the concept of quiet and our church doesn't have a cry room or a nursery. So we spend every service trying to distract them, quiet them, walk with them, and usually end up embarrassed and exhausted by the end of mass. 
But my in laws' church has a cry room, in addition to other nooks and crannies we can escape to when the boys get a little boisterous. 
But this week a crazy thing happened:
the little ones were actually manageable. 
I'm not saying there weren't cringe worthy moments when they could be heard throughout the sanctuary, 
but I actually heard the pastor teach.
And that is a miracle. And the message was timely. 

Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Matthew 16:25

I urge you, brothers and sisters, 
by the mercies of God,
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and pleasing to God, 
your spiritual worship.
Romans 12:1

I had never experienced the true meaning of these verses until I became a mother.
Being a parent is a constant laying down of self. And not just laying down,
but denying.

When I don't want to get up at 5:15.
or wipe up the food that's fallen to the floor at every. single. meal.
or do another load of laundry.
or change another bed.
or listen to another complaint, whining session, or the injustice of who gets which toy.
or whatever.

What does it matter if I can do it when it's easy? It's worship when it's hard. 
When it's a sacrifice.
I find who I am meant to be when I deny myself. 
And that is so so true. 
Because on the hardest, most exasperating of days,
I am blessed. 
There is always more good than bad. There is always so much abundance to be thankful for.
God is so good, so faithful, so gracious with us.

The message was so timely because I really needed to hear it. 
Most days have been exasperating and exhausting, but how encouraging to hear that there is so much purpose in it all!

I had no idea what God was gonna do when He put these little guys in my life,
but it teaches me something every single day.
And I am grateful for it.


  1. I loved this! "it's worship when it's hard"....so true!! And yes even the most exhausting days are a blessing. And I think it's an even greater thing when we acknowledge that. So beautiful! thank for you this!

  2. What a beautiful and insightful post. The kids will "get it". Our parish doesn't have a cry room either. But God calls ALL to worship, even the little children. Your rewards will be great. You'll see.

  3. oh, carina! thanks so much for this post!
    our church situation mirrors yours. wearisome. so thankful jesus holds us up!

    you nailed it. praise jesus. these scriptures are the key to mothering, i think. seeing every moment through the lens of worship unto the lord. that denial of ourselves and offering up each task-for HIM and his glory. we have these precious little disciples he has blessed us with. surely he gives us the grace to bless their souls. even by scraping smashed peas off the kitchen floor.
    be encouraged.
    i ADORE you. xo

  4. When it's hard. Yes. Right now I'm working on doing it with a lot more grace, rather than the muttering-angrily-under-my-breath-at-my-husband style. Because I am twice blessed and I need to remember it. This was great, thank you!
    P.S. I can't believe there is no cry room at your church! Brutal.

  5. It's worship when it's hard-what a powerful statement. I love that!

  6. wonderful post! and so true. this has been a difficult week with my whiny, exasperating, teething toddler... I needed to read this. thank you!

  7. Loved that second reading from Mass that week too. :) And your reflections are beautiful. Thanks for sharing. <33

  8. I totally get the "dreading Mass" thing. When I go alone I love it, I crave it even. But bringing The Boy along is an hour of "Please, hon, no talking." "Turn around!" "Lower your voice, love." Oy. He's only 5, but I swear by the end of the service I've broken a sweat and am in need of a Zantac.

  9. i guess i never commented on this when i first read it, but i have to tell you... i think about this just about every day and say to myself, "when it's hard, it's worship." amen!