Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Blessing in Serving: Lessons Learned at Tea Parties

The clock read 3:55pm, and my do-list still sat there untouched.  The kids would be downstairs in minutes, and I needed to make the most of my final free moments.   Sitting down with my computer, my hands were poised over the keyboard when I heard the cry-

"Mommy, mommy, mommy!"  she shouted urgently from her room.

I sighed.  Water?  Potty?  Toy needing batteries?  Hand stuck in the closet door again?

I sat there for a few minutes, desperately trying to remind myself of the truth I knew in my head but didn't quite believe in my heart.

It's better to give than to receive.  There is blessing in sacrifice.  Your priority is your children.   

Those truths compelled me to march up the stairs, but in the moment, duty triumphed over delight.

I opened the door to her room, where her pink table was adorned with plastic plates and tea cups.  She sat in one chair and beckoned me to the adjacent.

"This is my restaurant, and I made this food just for my mommy," she informed me.  "Can we please have lunch together?"

I took my seat next to her slumped-over doll, and smiled down at the plastic hotdog on my plate.

She bowed her head and recited a prayer she had heard countless times: "Dear God, thank you for our food, and please help it to stay in our bellies."

My heart warmed to hear her words, and I wondered how I ever thought that typing away at my computer for an extra five minutes was more fulfilling than a tea party with my daughter.

We nibbled our hotdogs and enjoyed our tea talked about her dolls, her day, and her love of puppies.  It was only a few short minutes, but I came down the stairs smiling.  Energized.  Blessed.

The reality of God's truth had intersected that small bedroom and my heart had caught up.  I had chosen to serve.  But in the end, it was she who blessed me.  God's Word is always true. 

Sometimes the reward is immeadiate -- the blessing is found it sweet smiles and pretend tea and encouraging words and visible fruit.  Sometimes, we will not see the reward until heaven.  But our lavish God declares that there is blessing in sacrifice.  There is beauty in service.  There is reward in giving.

Put away the computer.
Enjoy the blessing of the tea party.

Serve others, and be blessed.

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