My title doesn’t lie. It happened, folks, and I can’t even pretend it didn’t. It was 11:12 AM, and I cried over a piece of fried dough.
I had been serving my family for approximately two and a half hours, and I was over it…way over it.
I had filled the juice cups.
I had made the eggs and buttered the toast.
I had cleaned up the breakfast dishes and found the lost toy.
I had rescued the baby from the flight of 18 stairs…twice.
I had cleaned the kale, chopped the slaw, and brewed the iced tea for our dinner picnic.
I had turned on the show and answered innumerable questions.
I had wiped a bum and cleaned the counters.
It was almost 11, and I had still not eaten my breakfast.
But at that point, it was all okay.
Because I was holding onto the hope that my chocolate donut (the one that my husband had promised me earlier that morning and the one I had specifically requested) would soon be marching through the doors to offer me a ray of glorious
Now, as some of you know, I don’t really care for sugary treats all that much (I prefer Doritos…yes, even at 11 AM) but for some reason, a donut sounded like a yummy splurge and after a crazy morning of serving souls and meeting needs, I was clinging like crazy to that circle-shaped confectionery.
Don’t judge. It’s the little things these days. Solo bathroom experiences, luke-warm meals, uneventful grocery trips, brushed teeth, clean hair…chocolate donuts!
Anyway, a little after 11, my husband walked in with the goods and immediately, our son bounded to the kitchen table and peered into the box.
“Mommy!! I want the chocolate one!!!”
What did he say? Did he say ‘one’? As in ‘uno’? As in ‘a singular-stand-alone-chocolate-donut’?
I was mad. I was real mad.
Sure enough, in the middle of the box, there was one, stand-alone, chocolate donut in the middle of three, boring glazed donuts.
“Don! Did you seriously only get one, chocolate donut?”
“Yeah. You asked for one.”
“But didn’t you think that he, too, would also want that one, stand-alone, chocolate donut….the only exciting-looking donut in the whole blessed box?!?!?!”
“Well, I got him a glazed one. He can eat that one.”
The last thing I wanted to do was share my chocolate donut and/or eat my chocolate donut in the presence of a meltdown.
Stomping to the kitchen, I returned to the sink while my family ate their second breakfast (remember, they had already eaten the eggs and toast that I had prepared for them two hours ago???).
At that point, I could care less what happened to that single, stand-alone, chocolate donut. I was mad. Oh, was I ever mad.
With his mouth full of boring-Kroger donut, my son asks from the kitchen table, “Mommy, why don’t you like Daddy’s special surprise?”
I couldn’t answer because tears were streaming down my angry face.
Yeah, Jessica. Why exactly are you crying over Daddy’s special surprise?
As I stood at the sink and thought about my ridiculous outburst, I realized that I wasn’t really crying over the dough. No, if I’m being really honest, I was crying because sometimes I’m just plain-tired of this season of sacrifice.
All day long, I serve.
All day long, I sacrifice.
All day long, I put them and their needs first.
And sometimes…well…sometimes I’m just plain weary of sitting in the second seat. And yesterday was one of those days.
I finished up the dishes and headed for my walking shoes. This mama needed some time to clear her head and some space to search her donut-less heart.
I hadn’t even reached the second block from our house when I heard His gentle whisper.
Jessica, do you remember ME and MY example? Do you remember what I gave up for you and the sacrifice I made for you? It was a tad bit bigger than your chocolate donut.
My heart felt heavy as a new wave of tears flooded my eyes.
As I walked, portions of Philippians 2 kept passing through my memory. And what does that passage say?
It says, “3 in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus 6 who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.8 And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
“Have this mind…”
“Have this mind…”
“Have this mind…”
This was the phrase that kept repeating itself over…and over…and over again as I walked.
What mind? Whose mind?
v. 3, a humble one
v. 4, one that serves
v. 5, one like Jesus’
v. 7, one that sacrifices
v. 8, one that dies
Now, I don’t believe that God is suggesting that we never care for us, always forsaking our wants and neglecting our needs for the sake of serving others and meeting their needs. No, He specifically says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others,” acknowledging that we, too, are part of the interest-meeting equation.
BUT… I do believe that He knows that it’s not all that difficult for Jessica to care for Jessica’s needs, and that it’s not all that hard for Jessica to seek Jessica’s interests. No, Jessica finds that pretty darn easy.
No, what Jessica finds to be rather-hard and extremely-difficult is having a mind that looks like His…day in and day out.
Not just a “one-time benevolent act, ” or a “drive-by sacrifice,” or a “one and done sprinkle of love.” No, I’m talking about having a mind that is consistently like His, a mind that is actively seeking the interests of others and regularly dying to self.
In His great kindness, desiring me to be more like Him and less like me, He has literally given me a daily (sometimes minute by minute) opportunity (right in the borders of my home) to have His mind and follow His example.
So how am I to daily follow His example in Philippians 2, continually serving the souls in my home and regularly sacrificing the interests of Jessica during this season of parenting young children?
I lean on the Truth found a couple chapters later.
“For I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.
Praise the Lord that He has not asked or called me to follow or do anything that He won’t equip me to do…chocolate donuts and all.