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When you’re just plain tired of the sacrifice…

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“I’m sorry, this momma is done for the night.”

I had had it.

I was done with a capital D.  So much so that I even let the words slip out of my mouth in frustration to one of my kids.

It had been one of those weeks. One very sick little girl had spent three full nights awake with a high fever.  She was kept company by a brother who kept waking up claiming that he “just couldn’t sleep” (which I’m sure was legit, but oh.my.goodness).  Another was seriously trying my patience in the obedience department, and the fourth sweet child just wanted me to listen for hours on end to the long list of inventions (mostly involving jet propulsion and duct tape) that had been forming in that brain of his that never stops.

Jesus help me.

I signed up for this, I know full well.  And I am blessed beyond measure to be sure.  And truly, all these years later, I expect the unexpected and the sacrifice that comes with kids.  I really do.  Oh, I know it in my head, but when my flesh and my heart are weak, Jesus help me.  In my flesh, I’m not naturally built to handle this kind of sleep deprivation on a regular basis and still practice any resemblance of patience at the end of a long day.

At our weakest moments, if we’re completely honest, I’m guessing that we’ve all been here about something at some point in our lives. Deep down in our core, we’re just plain tired of the sacrifice.

Maybe you’re the honest, loyal employee who fails to get recognized while others cheat their way to the top.

Maybe you’re the church worker who has faithfully, quietly served behind the scenes without an accolade in years.

Maybe you’re the caregiver who provides selflessly, or the patient who fights endlessly.

Or maybe you’re the friend, daughter, sister, wife, mom… who always seems to be on the giving end, but rarely on the receiving one.

Maybe, you’re just really, really trying to live for Jesus, and the giving up of the things of this world seems like an overwhelming price to pay.

The world and a thousand self-help books will tell you to quit. That the sacrifice is too much. That you should look out for you.

But Jesus came with a counter-cultural message that would change the world.  And He didn’t just preach it.  He actually lived it.

He served in the suffering…

When Jesus gathered with His disciples at the Last Supper, He had every right to demand to be treated like their King. His body was surely tired from some of his last grueling days of ministry on earth. He had selflessly served – over and over feeding the poor and healing the sick - yet the Jews continued in their unbelief that Jesus really was the Messiah, even after witnessing miracle after miracle.  This man of sacrifice served even with the knowledge that some of his closest followers would soon betray and deny Him.

No other King in history has given more and received less. But then again, He wasn’t just any other King…

And if that all wasn’t enough, in the midst of His serving, He carried the heavy weight of His imminent death. And He could have cried out, “Father, I’m done. The sacrifice is too great.”

But instead, he put Himself aside, and He humbly stooped down to wash the feet of sinners. Oh, friend, don’t let the repetition of this story or the simplicity of this act distract you from the profound mystery that is Christ. Instead of wallowing in the dark days which were upon Him or demanding recognition for saving the world, Jesus demonstrated that he came not to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28).  He would even kneel down and serve the very one who was about to hand Him over to be killed. That is unthinkable in human terms. It was far from a job fit for the King of Kings, but it was a profound example of how those of us who are in Christ should live our lives.

You see, in Christ, everything looks different. 

Those sleepless nights, and those hard days when I’m just plain tired of the sacrifice?  It all looks different because of Jesus. And with His strength, I can serve instead of seeking to be served.  I can sacrifice even in the midst of suffering, and I don’t have to wait until I’m appreciated or in a good season to initiate love, encouragement, and generosity to others. I can humble myself and not expect earthly recognition, knowing that it is far better to treasure Christ.

Why does the Last Supper matter?  Because it begs us to take our eyes off of ourselves, and to NEVER FORGET the willing sacrifice that Jesus made for you and for me.  And when we really remember deep down to our core, then we can say…

No sacrifice is too great.

Father, not my will, but Yours be done…

 

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

~ John 13:14-15

At His feet,

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Comments

  1. Wow, such a powerful message Whitney!

    This is my first time joining a Bible Study in years and I thank God for this opportunity to be refreshed by His Word. I just feel so touched with each day as this study progresses.

    Thank you!

  2. Andrea M. says:

    Boy, did this ever speak to me today! At times I feel simply overwhelmed by all that’s on my plate every day. But Jesus calls me to serve even when I don’t feel like it, and I am never more like my Savior than when I’m stooped down at the feet of those in need. Thank you for sharing, Whitney! God bless you and the GMG team!

  3. Thank you Ms. Whitney for sharing your soul so clearly and honestly.

    I believe every mothers as ‘been there’. I know I have, 1,2,3…..times everyday. If we don’t feel the need for God’s grace and guidance we would not find the time to talk to Him.

    It is only in God that our “…bow abode in strength, and the arms of [our]hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob” Genesis 49:24.

    May we remember, as you always remind us at the end of all your posts, to stay at His feet.

    Peace to all.

  4. So well said. I know those feelings..and your post is such a great reminder to not get too caught up, but remember what is really important! Thanks!

  5. I join with the others and thank you for such a powerful message today! This is also my first time doing a GMG study and it has already been a blessing.

  6. JoLynnH says:

    Boy, God NEVER ceases to amaze me. The late afternoon and evening we had in our home last night was such that I said the same and said it out loud for my 4 yr old daughter to hear, “That’s it. I’m done. Mommie’s not putting you to bed tonight. I’m done.”

    We went to the park late afternoon and did not return home until after 5 o’clock which is not the norm. A friend wanted to meet up and instead of turning her down, I decided to take the chance thinking it would be O.K. Why don’t I listen to my mother’s instinct sometimes? Really, it’s God whispering in my ear…why don’t I listen? So, my daughter and 7 mos old son had been pushed past their limit and were over-stimulated and extremely irritable (uh, me too) when it was time to leave the park. Major public 4 yr old tantrum ensued followed by two wailing babes in the car on the ride home, proceeded by much the same until both were conked out two hours later.

    I let the words slip out while my daughter was sitting in a time out and as I said them, I walked away from her and into my bedroom to calm her wailing brother and closed the door. I didn’t even go in and say good night. Just let my husband take those reigns and wiped my hands of it (if not my mind) for the day.

    Needless to say, I was wrought with guilt and still am over my 38 yr-old tantrum! Especially after that same daughter greeted me with enthusiasm this morning, like nothing ever happened, and then proceeded to apologize to ME for yelling and being unkind to me last night. Well, if last night’s episode didn’t work, God certainly brought me to my knees with that one!

    Like I said, I totally was there last night and TOTALLY needed this post this morning. God really is amazing and full of unending, awe-inspiring grace. Lord, please help me to listen to you and accept where I am in life and serve my children with the grace you bestow upon me. Amen.

    • Oh wow Jolynnh, your story really touched me! Thanks for sharing and being so honest and humble about it – may the Lord keep on blessing you and taking you from glory to glory!

    • Thank you for sharing this because this was ME as well last night! I feel like I easily get overwhelmed trying to do do do with my boys instead of just being. I had a similar “tantrum” in buy buy baby and my 3 year old looked at me and asked to go play with my aunt instead of me. Man, that was a reality check. He realized mommy was melting down and he wanted to get out of the way. Later he asked me if it was “ok for him to talk now”. Talk about guilt! I felt horrible! But kids are amazing in the amount of grace they have, especially for their parents. Every day my son is a better example of God’s grace towards me that I could ever demonstrate to him. Thank you for sharing your story and letting me piggy back on with mine as well.

    • SaraCulbreath says:

      Thank you so much for being transparent. So many times as women, we feel the need to be perfect thus hiding our imperfections (or so we think). I have been in your situation time and again. I am so thankful for the grace my kids grant to me. I pray I give them that same grace and pour myself out to God first and then them as a drink offering. Your post speaks volumes to me. Thanks again for sharing! -Sara

  7. Catalina friesen says:

    This is soooo very hard for me! I am a servant and yet lately I feel like I’m not getting anything!!! I know I need to serve and not look to be served so please pray for me to serve as Christ has served me!

  8. Jen Hasseld says:

    Spot on message, Whitney! I think you’ve actually written my family’s mission statement for me! I’ve been kicking around lots of thoughts and phrases, but I think you hit the nail on the head: “With Christ’s strength, initiate love, encouragement, and generosity to others.” That just sums it up perfectly. And of course, it’s a great reminder of what *I* should be doing every day in my home. Thank you for your insight!

    • Jen – thank you for highlighting this “gem” in Whitney’s wonderful post today! Struggling with this myself lately and these specific words are just what I need to guide me daily in sacrificial and joyful service to others!

    • Yes!! I loved Whitney’s post, and I’m thankful to see how you pulled that out. I’ve wanted a mission statement that wasn’t too wordy and this perfect! Just think how we could change the world for Christ if we’d all make this our families’ mission!

  9. Melissa says:

    I want to live as God’s example. :-) Thank you for this message.

  10. Thank you for the encouragement Whitney! I can really see the love of the Lord in your life.

  11. Beautifully said! I needed to read this. As a grown child involved in eldercare, I often feel as if I just need someone to encourage *me*. Thanks for the challenge and encouragement in this post. Isn’t it neat how God shows us things about ourselves so we can use them to encourage others?

  12. Linda Munoz says:

    Wonderfully said

  13. Thank you whitney for walking in the Spirit of God. I appreciate that sensitivity because, when I was reading this, I was getting a little distracted from the repition of the story –but then, suddenly you just stopped and brought it full circle. Thanks for doing that! It really helped put things into perspective. I really enjoyed this post…..I read the title and I sighed a sigh of relief! Like, “ahhh…..something I can relate to!” I am a 23 year old mother of 2 very small children. Girls. A 2 year old and a 4 month old, I am a stay at home mom and on top of that my husband serves our church as the Sr. Pastor. He has had that position for 3 years but not at the same church. We have been at our current church for one year, the first 2 years at his first pastorate were the hardest so far. I was 20 years old when I got pregnant again (3 pregnancies 2 babies. (miscarried at age 18)….it was his first pastorate so there was a lot of apprehension and adjusting. At 21, I gave birth to our first daughter, spiraled into post partum depression for 10 months. He had to work full time, multiple jobs, plus go to colleage, plus do the pastor thing. He helped out as much as he could but it was ineveitable we were all in a bind. At that point in my life I felt like I was sacrificing so much of myself that I felt like I was just dying from the mental and physical exhaustion so much to the point that I literally planned to end my life in the parsonage when my husband was preaching one sunday night. My daughter was around 10 months at the time. I cried out to God one morning and fell to my knees asking for forgiveness at that morning he saved my life. Since then, it has been an uphill journey for me . One blessing after another has occured and I am so glad I chose to choose living for God rather than self. In this new season of minitstry looking back (it’s always clearer in hindsight) God showed me the reasoning behined why I was feel so exhausted and it is clear, I was not relying on the holy spirit to rule and take control over my emotions and my being. I may have been sacrificing things but it was all in vain and was not fruitful because I was sacrificing for all the wrong reasons. I was constantly trying to draw attention to myself and became angered when no one seem to notice what I was doing, I became bitter and angry and frusturated. I am happy to say, those days of my life are over and that shirt is now burned. I feel in this season of life, I am learning to sacrifice with joy and for the right reasons. I have been going at it a year, and I see a huge difference in me, my kids, my husband and friendships most importantly my relationship with Jesus. Every area has improved by leaps and bounds but only because of the Holy Spirit. If we are not allowing the Holy Spirit to take control of our being each day, and we weren’t walking in that we are just setting ourselves up for failure. As courtney puts it at the end of her posts, we MUST, “walk with the King” and yes whitney, stay at his feet. We need to be giving God not just our time but our selves. He did so for us and didn’t complain as whitney so eloquently wrote about, so why should we? Hoe COULD we? After the great sacrifices Christ made everyday? If we give God our selves, he will give us our time. Rest will come, but that’s what the sabbath was designed for. Don’t grow weary in well doing and press on! Motherhood is a blessing, and if we are willing, we can experience those PRECIOUS hidden treasures in our role and our job, and only if we are willing to give more than we recieve. Thank you whitney for this eye-opener it is very timely for me, and much needed! God bless all of you ladies and you seek to put HIM first each day!!! Prayers go out now to all of you and your families and households you are trying to care for! May Christ’s sacrifice be our motivation!!!! :D

    • To keep things honest, I read the first part of your comment and skimmed the last part, but I love how you shared when you fell to your knees crying out to God. Like Hannah when she was crying out to God at the temple. I am so plased that you love the One True King! *big smile*
      I married my beloved when I was nineteen, six years later he had his degree in engineering and his first job – away from everything we knew – and we moved. We also were blessed with our son, now comming on nine years old. So many changes all in one pop and without Christ I would have gone completely crazy! Who ever thought it would be great to have services where children were to be seen and not heard durring a baby’s feeding or nap time is beyond me, and meeting new people with children in tow is not an easy task. Now we are richly blessed with two growing blessings, a son (the almost nine one) and a daughter who just turned seven. We home church meaning we train up our children and have church at home daily making it a specail sing song night once a week where we sing praises to God for I don’t know how long. *smile* We do this for many reasons, but that is another thought completely. *big smile* My point is that now we focus on sharing Jesus everywhere we go no matter the place an no matter the people and we are trying to live as we understand Scripture tells us to live. We have visited many churches in our area and have gone so several many times, fellowship is very hard to find so we invest in our neighbors, family, and witnessing and now and then we get to have fellowship when and where we don’t expect it sometimes. *big smile* Keep serving Him and remember to pray always. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

  14. Mary Ellen Black says:

    So well stated, “In Christ everything looks differently.” I recently spoke at a conference on the issue of spiritual health and that is where God led me … the putting on of compassion, humility, gentleness, patience, kindness and forgiveness and binding them together in love all takes on a different meaning and outward expression when we view others through the eyes and actions of Christ. And, since I am hearing this again today through you – I can only assume God is really speaking to me about this – so thank you for sharing – for being His voice to me and to so many others that need reminded of this truth. “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Gal 2:20

  15. Jesus washed all the disciples’ feet- knowing they would all desert and deny Him; even the feet of him who had already betrayed!
    Even in His last hours, Christ pushed aside any fear, anxiety, exhaustion, and maybe even disappointment and again, poured out Himself for others. Anything I experience or face in my day to day pales in comparison and yet I use all of these as excuses to call it a day and at the very least steal my joy. Oh, that I might see all things in light of the Cross!

  16. Around Christmastime last year, we went to see a Christmas Pageant at a local church. Afterwards, I asked everyone to share their favorite part. With the exception of Rachel, all said that the end when Jesus had risen was their favorite, when he was in heaven with the angels singing in his glorious purple robe. Rachel? Her favorite part was when Jesus washed the disciples feet during the last supper. I asked her why, and she said, “because he loved them.” This article spoke to my mama heart that sometimes gets tired and grouchy and just plain “tired of the sacrifice” some days. Take a minute and read it. So glad that Jesus never said, “That’s it! I’m done!” So thankful…

  17. As I read this entry aloud to our two growing blessings who are joining me in this study, I asked them, “Has you Mommy ever acted like that to you?” In their honest (praise the Lord!) eight and seven year old ways said quite timidly, “yea, sometimes. Like once or twice.” They are so gracious, for I don’t think I can count the number of times I have failed them on two hands. Growing in the Lord is very humbling to be sure and I am thankful for the opportunity to be humbled. I only hope that when my time comes to meet Him He will be able to say to me, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” It’s my end goal. I know I get to go to heaven, so my goal is to make Him proud of me in the way that I grow in Him. I am so sinful and don’t deserve to meet Him, but when I do … … *small smile* … … I hope He is pleased with His little girl. *big smile* Keep growing in His ways remembering to pray always. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!

  18. My eyes are swelled with tears!!! For the first time I’m not alone in this thought. Just this morning I broke down with the words, “I’m so tired!!” My husband called me right in the middle of my tears. He is stationed in another state as of five days ago. I remained with the kids because of school and other reasons. It hit me hard today as to how much I do to keep our family healthy, spiritually, physically, and mentally as well as myself. The sacrifices I’ve made. I’m worn out! My husband lives his life as he so chooses. I want him to sacrifice just like me, but that’s never going to happen. My kids are great. I hate feeling like this. What a sigh of relief! Thank you!

  19. We all go throughout our mommy adult tantrums. .. but I realize that I want to be alive in His words. Sometimes I feel I am just walking around not knowing how I can do it BUT when I read the Scripture today I asked am I allowing the Holy Spirit to live in me. I pray today that He leads not me leading alone. Thank you for this blog post.

  20. {{sorry my comment was so loong!!}} lol

  21. christen says:

    This is such an amazing truth what you’ve written! I am so thankful for this study opportunity. It is the first time I am doing with a group of women. I’m not just being encouraged in Christ, through truth, but seeing first hand how it’s impacting our group as a whole. Believe you me, God is moving in within my circle of influence and couldn’t be happier to see it through His eyes. I am so thankful for how this study in it’s beginning is serving me, seeing it serve others, and motivating me to walk in truth and love more now than I ever did before! May your day continue to be a blessing, more than you have blessed me!

  22. Debbie Smith says:

    Praise alert, My name is Debbie and this is my first session with you all. I have been going through a very tough time of late and haven’t felt like much of a person lately let alone someone well enough to serve.Until this morning. I will keep it short by stating that your message was the finishing touch to what has been a wonderful word to Deb day.Thanks for the gentle reminder that we, no matter what we are going through will never really know what it means to fully sacrifice. Thank you Jesus I love You

  23. Awesome!

  24. WOW! Seriously. A slap in the face when I am tired of sacrifice…And I am tired. One tired momma. But so blessed and thankful for His sacrifice. It hurts me (really) to know Jesus’ story of the cross and wiping away our sins.

  25. Rhonda W says:

    This study is blessing me already! Glad I found GMG!

  26. Anonymous says:

    This devotional hit home today. I didn’t read it until just before 4pm but earlier today I was really struggling with the feeling that I am NOT happy. Moreso with my marriage and my relationship with myhusband because it seems so one sided and I don’t feel that we have any emotional connection at all. I kept taking the thoughts captive running the lyrics of a chorus I sang as a teen through my head, “Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy are the people whose God is the Lord.” And the feeling went away as I got busy with other things. I SO need to remember the sacrifice of Christ and that he kept on giving and giving.

  27. Wow. What a relevant message today. I am trying to have my quiet time and my 11 YO twins keep coming in for one more reason not to go to bed.

  28. Jennifer Wallace says:

    Whitney,

    God is amazing! This message spoke directly to me and right when I needed it. Thank you for the encouragement!

  29. Thank you Whitney!!!! Wonderful post today.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] 3. When you’re just plain tired of the sacrifice… @ Good Morning Girls {Beautiful encouragement for the everyday sacrifices we make…} […]

  2. […] 1: Why the Last Supper Matters Monday: Nothing But the Blood… Wednesday: When You’re Just Plain Tired of the Sacrifice… Friday: Why the Last Supper […]

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