Friday, April 18, 2008

Indispensable?


She looketh well to the ways of her household...
Prov. 31:27

Welcome to Family Fridays!


In the past, on Family Fridays, I have posted thoughts on family activities, frugal ways to have fun together, and special messages for my family. Today, I'd like to take a slightly different turn of thought.

Some time ago, I heard very valuable piece of advice, about daughters relating to their family. For the past few days it has been rolling over in my mind again and again.

"Make yourself indispensable to them."
Hmm.

Have you ever thought "if I left this household, nobody would even miss me!"? I confess that I have. Of course, at the time, I was put out with my family, and feeling sorry for myself. I didn't realize that, by what I was saying, I was actually showing how much at fault I was.

So my family doesn't value me? They don't pay enough attention to me? Nobody would miss me if I left? Why, pray tell?

Well, the messy answer was this: I wasn't doing anything they would miss!

My time was filled with my projects, my work, my goals. I talked about what I was working on. I did chores, and that was about it. I didn't do extra. I ate at the same table as everybody else, and slept in a bedroom with my sisters, but I wasn't very interested in their lives.

So, if I left, what would they have missed? A listening ear? Hardly. A sister who helped them with their work? Not at all. A daughter who asked what she could do to further the interests of the family? Nope.

I really wasn't a vital part of the family. I was a part, to be sure, but not a vital part. I loved my family, and I knew they loved me, but at the same time...they didn't need me.

When I came to that realization...I was hurt. I got a little angry. But I finally had to admit that it was my fault. And, Lord helping me, I determined to change.

When I leave this home, as I believe I will someday, I want to leave a HUGE hole. I want my family to miss me. I want them to have to sit down and figure out who's going to do what I've been doing. If they don't have to sit down and plan to cover for me, then I haven't been doing my job.

I find it interesting that, in Proverbs 31:27, the phrase "she looketh well to the ways of her household" is immediately followed by ""and eateth not the bread of ildleness." Work!

Of course, when I say I want to leave a hole, I'm not speaking about just chores. There are other kinds of work, too. Running errands, playing secretary, caring for the garden, watching my younger siblings, giving hugs (though that's not really work!), lending a listening ear, planning surprises, encouraging, teaching, helping with my siblings' school work....just anything that I can find to do.

I have been so pleasantly surprised to find that I do not feel "unfulfilled" by focusing on other people's needs and goals. Instead, I feel so....vital! I'm an insider. I've got a job to do.
That's not to say I'm the perfect daughter and sister. Sigh. No indeed. Just this week, I found myself sliding into the "me,me,me" mentality. I felt myself loosing contact with one family member in particular. And I've had to do a great amount of praying and reading, claiming the grace of Jesus to correct my attitude. But, bless His name, He does help me! Don't we have a wonderful God?
We have a God who put us on this earth to serve. So, let's get busy, and make ourselves indispensable!

1 comment:

Mary said...

Wow! What a blessing you must be to your mother and father. Just the fact that you are considering those thoughts is encouraging to a parent.