The beauty of dying.

8 Oct

If marriage and motherhood have taught me anything about myself it’s that I’m extremely SELFISH.

In so many ways, I’ve had to get over myself and step up to the plate.

I absolutely NEVER, EVER feel like doing laundry, making supper, doing dishes, cleaning bathrooms, washing down beds after a night-time accident, carrying a child who doesn’t feel like walking anymore, or giving baths and brushing teeth for anyone other than myself.

But – I do it. Every single day.  Multiple times a day.  No vacations.  I just suck it up and do it. I have to.

And then there are other areas where I secretly wish I could overcome my selfishness, but I relish my own desires too much to do get over myself.

And because it deals highly with my children and I’m their boss — there is nothing they can do about it and I’m in total control.

Is that the reality of life?  When you’re a child you are forced to listen to, obey and tolerate the desires and behaviors of those in charge of you, but then when you’re an adult you can unleash the chains, spread your wings and do everything however you want, only to get married and have children and shackle them in the chains of obeying you? (and your selfishness?)

There is this mom who has four children and they are awfully similar in age to my four children.  She has two at home during the school year just as I do.  This year, she’s doing preschool at home.  Everyday on Facebook she posts an arts and crafts project, story, song, the whole shebang and it’s always incredible.

When I look at her stuff, I bounce back and forth between feeling like she’s an inspiration and like she might be one of the most annoying people I’ve ever met.  (Entirely from jealousy of course.)

I can do everything she is every single day.  Except for this one thing.  Selfishness.

I don’t want to have that much patience.  I don’t want to give up my computer time.  I don’t want to do play with them all day long and then do laundry, dishes and other chores in the evening when I feel like lounging on the couch doing nothing after the kids are in bed.

However —

This morning I did take the time to look at the beauty of Autumn around us with them.  This is what we found.

001 001 002 003 004

And I talked to them about why everything is changing colors and that God created everything in all it’s beauty.

And it hit me.

I’m feeling like the reality of my selfishness is disturbing.  And I remember the beauty of Autumn comes solely from the dying process.

And I know, it’s time to enjoy the beauty of dying to self.

Practical Application –

Accept the reality of how detestable our sin is – be it selfishness (or whatever you’re struggling with — pride/addiction/idolatry/etc.)

And I know, it’s time to be flooded by the beauty that comes from dying. The realization, confession,  steps to laying it down, forgiveness, and freedom is oh so beautiful in the eyes of our Lord and in the way we can finally look at ourselves.

I need a dying makeover. I need to feel beautiful again. You?


6 Responses to “The beauty of dying.”

  1. Jenn October 8, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    Huh…absolutely. There is never a time when I lose it to selfishness and take control of my household (in the wrong way, by anger) and think, yes Jennifer, that was the right thing to do. Never. Often times our day gets caught up in the “have to” things. Dinner has to happen, homework has to happen, baths, teeth brushed, etc. But do we play? Do I take Saturday with them and just do what they want? Sometimes, sometimes not. Because there’s always an excuse: cleaning happened on Saturday, football happened on Saturday, grocery, organizing, etc. Then by 7pm, I just want to sit. It saddens me to think of it. When I recall even just one day last week, I’m glad to see their independence sitting side by side coloring when I didn’t even get it out for them, however, the need for ME will go away, and it will go away soon. I need to give more floor time, lying in bed reading, asking them to go outside, rather than them asking me. Thank you for this! My kids need ME, and so does my husband.

    • Kayla Gulick October 8, 2013 at 11:25 am #

      You’re so welcome! Hopefully we can both do some beautiful transforming in the months to come 🙂

  2. Gleniece October 8, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    Kayla, I had a beautiful teaching moment with my 9 yr. old daughter this morning. An ad for clothing came in the mail where girls with snooty expressions and grown-up poses (and outfits) were displayed. I related how attitude matters to God (lofty eyes and proud necks, etc.) , how our choices in clothing mean something, how God loves a humble heart, and that spending $46 on one simple dress is outrageous. I normally just throw out junk mail. It’s a lot easier. But I thank God I didn’t cave into my default mode (read: selfishness) and miss this great opportunity. Love to you, Kayla. Thanks for your insight.

    • Kayla Gulick October 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

      Good job mama!! Every teaching moment matters. Your daughter will appreciate this so much, even if she didn’t show it immediately 🙂

  3. justme October 8, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    Very nice and real Kayla! And don’t feel bad about the crafty stuff, for years I thought I was THE ONLY mom that didn’t cry the first day of school! Instead I was pushing them out the car door as fast as I could! Ah for the days of schedules, knowing who was where and what they were going to eat! 😉

    • Kayla Gulick October 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

      I took the time to do leaf impressions with the kids today. It was good. It didn’t take long, and it was something simple for us to be together.

      I’m never going to be the mom who spends the whole day with glue, markers and pipe cleaners — but if I can just set aside 30 minutes every day to give them my full undivided attention– we’ll all be a lot better off 🙂

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