Oh this heart of mine, so crafty and tricky, dressing up so nice and making me think it is so pretty.

VBS is this week, and I know it will be hard on Matt. He has been working SO hard for SO long, and now he has this five day marathon of ministry dealing with kids and volunteers and families, managing all kinds of schedules and melt-downs and thrills. This is really the home stretch because we are looking forward to our vacation next week, and we just have to make it to Saturday.

Earlier today I sent Matt a quick message while I was at work to say that I was praying for him and hoped he had a GREAT day, and I was going to say “let me know if there’s anything I can do” but I didn’t bother because I knew there really wasn’t. Short of skipping work to go to the church (which wasn’t going to happen), my contribution to his day was going to be minimal, so I accepted that. But I decided maybe it wouldn’t be so outrageous for me to go by the church after work and get a drive home with him. VBS would be over, but I could hear about his day, and I figured he would really appreciate the gesture; I can’t do much, but I’ll do what I can do.

And as I walked to the church from the bus stop I thought how great the weather was (it’s been pouring, SLOSHING down rain on and off, but this was an off time), and how pleased I was that I had decided to meet Matt instead of going straight home.

Fast forward a couple hours to when I realized that while I thought I had pure and loving reasons for going to the church today, I mostly wanted to feel good about myself, to prove that I could put Matt before myself. Because everything was pretty good when I first arrived, but the longer it took to leave (it takes a long time for the camp director to leave after the first day of VBS), the hungrier I got, and the more bored I got, and finally at the very end, all my good intentions faded completely away.

Leaving me hungry and bored.

And exposed.

It turns out I am just as bad as the people I complain about who “want to help” with VBS but only on their own terms, so they never manage to help much at all. Today I discovered that my attitude is exactly what has been driving me nuts in others – the “service” I want to give is not what is most needed, but what suits me best.

I have caught myself doing this before, stressing myself out over housework because I want to be a great wife/woman whose home is clean and welcoming and comfortable. The thing is, this goal keeps backfiring because I end up with a cleanish house and a miserable attitude (NOT welcoming, and NOT comfortable). Matt doesn’t care if there’s stuff on the coffee table. Killing myself to keep the coffee table clear doesn’t serve anybody.

And this is important to keep in mind because I am going on a youth retreat next month that involves sleeping in tents, and I have never done that for real before. I have slept in a tent in the backyard (and had orange juice in the kitchen the next morning). I hope I really love camping. Matt loves camping, and I love Matt, and I would love to love camping with Matt SO much…

But even if I don’t love it, I am committed to camping on this trip for two nights. And if it doesn’t go great (I hope it goes great!!), I need to remember that self-sacrifice is not a hobby to pick up when I feel like it and abandon when it becomes tiring. I need patience and humility and God’s grace for all things, but especially for when my heart runs out of steam for acting pretty.

Pin It

Leave a Reply