When I was a little girl I always thought it would be so romantic to be a servant, to serve faithfully and joyfully even when your master is cruel and mean. Even more romantic was the story of a girl who lived as a servant but was truly of noble blood. (The Little Princess was my favourite story ever!) I thought it would be so beautiful (and easy, because it’s so romantic) to just do what you’re told even when you don’t feel like it, to do the yucky jobs, work hard with little rest, and receive no appreciation. I may have even prayed that I would be a servant someday. If I did, that prayer was sure answered! But for some reason it’s not as romantic as I always thought it would be, or at least not as easy.
Every wife is a handmaid, a servant, and every mother is as well. I always wanted a house full of babies and children, and now I’m getting a pretty good start at it, and LOVE it, but, it’s hard. It is hard. I don’t even have a mean and cruel master (in fact I even like him. A lot!)Plus I get pretty good rest, and a lot of appreciation. But it’s still hard. It’s hard when you don’t belong to yourself, when you can’t even use the bathroom without your 3 yr. old sticking his foot in the toilet while you’re away, when you can’t leave for a moment while they eat lunch because it might mean water in the jelly jar. It’s hard to wake up every 2-3 hours to feed a baby that’s way too (adorably) chunky to possibly need it anyway. It’s hard to be the presiding referee over dozens of squabbles a day, to discern who’s the liar, to clean up after the many *kinds* of messes 4 young children can produce, and be doing laundry or making supper when you’d rather just have some “me” time. It’s hard.
And yet, it really is beautiful, too. Not in that idealistic way my young mind used to ponder, where the little maid was only so happy to be such a martyr, but in such a greater way. Because, in truth, we are serving not only our husbands, not only our children, but the King of kings Himself! and that is beautiful. We are His daughters, yes, with all the privileges that come with it, but we are His handmaidens, too, with all the duties that go along with that.
Being a gift to your husband, and being one of the greatest influences in a child’s life and using it to direct them to the Lord Jesus, is a beautiful vocation. Why, that’s even lovelier than a princess servant scrubbing dirty stone floors for an abusive mistress!
And now, I must go, for my youngest is awake, there’s laundry to do, and bathrooms to clean (especially the children’s! remember that thing about “yucky jobs”? Yes, that is…one of those.)