Sunday, December 4

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”

1 John 3:18 (NIV)

It’s not about me. It’s not about me. It’s not about me.

Sometimes, though, at 2:00 a.m., I want it to be about me. Even if it’s my sweet little kiddos waking me because they need something.

Before I became a mother, I had heard other parents say they didn’t know the depths of their own selfishness until a child entered their life. I had heard them say that, but I still didn’t get it . . . until I got it.

Take last night, for instance. The first wake-up came from my son’s sneezing fit. As I dragged myself from beneath the warm covers, exasperation at myself for forgetting his allergy medicine blended with compassion for him and his suffering nose. After another couple of stirrings to refill my daughter’s water cup and comfort dreams of monsters, I was tuckered out.

Every time I have to get out of bed at 2:00 a.m., I know my body and mind will pay for it in loss of energy and clear thinking the next day. I wonder how I’ll be able to get things done that need doing.

However, through the blessings of family, Jesus is growing another blessing in me—the ability to experience Him providing for me as I provide for others. When I release my frustrated moments to Him, trading them in for a quieted heart, He proves Psalm 23 to me. He miraculously calms me and spreads a table of abundant mercy before me. He smoothes the day, and toxic, selfish emotions don’t suffocate my limited resources. As hard as selfless giving can be, heart growth is a sweet experience.

As He blesses me, He is making me a blessing to others. And while I have a long way to go, I can’t help but be thankful to be stretched.

Faith Step: How did Jesus model selfless living? How is “selfless loving” redundant? See 1 Corinthians 13:1–13.

—Erin Keeley Marshall