What can I do?

"It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to heaven", replied our children when asked what the homily was about on Sunday. "Yes, but what else?" "We should give up everything we have". "No...that was the rich man in the story...what else? What should we ask?" "What should I do?" "Teacher, what can I do?" "Yes...we need to ask Jesus: Teacher, what can I do?"

What you can do may not be what He asks me to do. How do I know? I'm not very good at hearing what God tells me. Well, actually I'm not very good at listening. I really started thinking about this. "Teacher, what can I do?" When I stop to think, He's spoken loud and clear: You can be a mother, a teacher, a nurturer, a servant. I don't really have to listen very carefully to hear this. I do however have to remind myself constantly that He's called me to be these things and that I am blessed to have the opportunity and I should act like it more often.

Recently I was ill for about 5 weeks. The first three were just irritating as I coughed non-stop, the next two were incredibly challenging as I also felt terrible, had no energy to speak of and felt like i couldn't even function. My doctor finally gave me an antibiotic, lidocane patches for my incredibly sore ribs, and two kinds of cough suppresants when x-rays showed some pneumonia. I had been in Scottsbluff for four days prior and had help with the kids while I wasn't feeling so well. When I returned home and didn't feel any better, I quickly became disappointed by the fact that my role was expected to continue despite the challenge of finding the energy to accomplish that. Even though Tim and the kids pitched in, no one checked in on me, no one offered to do extra...bottom line, no one doted on me and it was disappointing. Why? Because that's what I do when anyone is sick...continue my job in addition to "doting" on them. Where was everyone when it was my turn to be doted on? I had a really hard time with this. What would they do if I died?? They would be unable to function beyond peanut butter and jelly and take out!! I wanted (needed?) someone to say, "Mom, what can we do for you? What do you need?" No one did that, and I was hurt.

Jakob was sick last week, and I really did take pleasure in taking care of him. He made it somewhat easy...he is not dramatic, not high-maintainence, just sick and laid back about it all. I was happy to tuck him in, run a bath for him, make him chicken noodle soup and a chocolate shake, bring home 7-Up for him, let him watch TV and not do any chores.

Tim is sick this week and I thought, "Here is my chance to take care of my husband and our family with a kind heart." i really am happy to do it, but I find myself after two days becoming resentful: "When I was sick, I had to get up to get everyone up. I still made sure everyone had what they needed. I still took care of the kids. Nobody let me sleep all day long, shower, eat and go back to bed. Oh, sure, I got to sleep when everyone was gone, or after the baby went to sleep...blah, blah, blah!!" What is wrong with me? Jesus, what can I do?? While I'm sure He's calling me to be a servant, I don't think he means one with a resentful heart. I guess what I can do is take up this cross. I mean, I don't think He asked the rich man to give up everything he had because that was the easy option. I'm sure I need to be nurturing, not just to our children, but to my husband as well, and with a happy heart.

Well, there is tomorrow, and all I can do is pray that God gives me the strength to lift this cross and serve my family with a happy heart and that they can see His grace in me.