Being a mama all day to three energetic tiny tots can be quite exhausting.  And with a husband who works many hours, it can be all the more exhausting without that end of the day reinforcement.  So as I finished up dinner tonight with the kiddies, everything in my wanted to hide away with my laptop, and leave them to themselves to do…whatever. But instead, I somehow managed to put ‘me’ aside, and decided to enter into their world.

Up until dinner time, the girls were delighting in the new coloring books they each received  today.  So much so, I had to ask them to put the books down numerous times during dinner.

So while much of me wanted to escape, I decided to delight in what delighted them.  I grabbed some crayons, asked for a page to color, and joined in their fun…and it was fun!  And I could tell that they loved having Mama color with them.

After I finished my pages – tired from completing my masterpiece – I had the privilege of engaging Alexander in two of his favorite activities, tickles and flips.  I smiled and laughed in amusement as he giggled, laughed and squealed in delight as I alternated between tickle torture, and flipping him upside-down….only to hear him say ‘again, again.’

Instead of a stressful evening, selfishly wanting to be left alone and inevitably getting annoyed with them for interrupting my selfish mindset, we all had a delightful evening. Everyone was happy and having fun.  All were smiling and laughing – right up to bedtime, which concluded without fuss.

Why am I so thick-headed sometimes.  What I know to be true still conflicts with what I selfishly want

Time and time again I am reminded that when I act on my selfish desires, everyone is more miserable…me most of all.  All wrapped up in me me me…what I want, my time, my desires, and anything (or anyone) that intrudes on that is a source of frustration and anger.

But, when I give of myself, lay aside my own desires and invest in others, everyone is all the more joyful…including me.

So why is it that I still struggle at times with that tension between selfish desire and unselfish giving?

‘Oh wretched woman that I am, who will save me from this body of death?’