the blasted empty toilet paper roll

The Lord uses empty toilet paper rolls to make me more like Christ. Sounds silly, but it’s true. It almost never fails that I am the one to change the toilet paper to a new roll. Even when I am not at my own home it seems I end up using the last of the toilet paper and am tasked with not being that person who doesn’t think about the person behind them (no pun intended). I am reminded to do the right thing when no one is around and to not be lazy and selfish. I even put it on the way my husband likes it to unroll, though when he used to correct my way, I have been known to reply with, “I CAN PUT IT ON HOWEVER I WANT BECAUSE I AM THE ONE WHO IS PUTTING IT ON THERE!!!!!” See, there is this frustration about the toilet paper roll because it feels like I am the only one who pays attention to this. It seems that I am the only one who goes that extra step or two to make sure the next person to use the bathroom isn’t left in a bind. 

This line of thinking can follow me throughout most of motherhood. Am I the only one who remembers to switch the laundry? Am I the only one who can empty the dishwasher or the only one who doesn’t leave my dish thrown in the sink to never think about again? Am I the only one who has to decide what is for dinner every. single. night.? Am I the only one who knows how to clean a toilet? Am I the only one who notices all the stuff piled on the stairs and can take it upstairs? I have been known to holler out, “I AM NOT YOUR SERVANT.” It never feels exactly biblical to yell that at my kids, but I think you know what I mean. Motherhood is made up of serving. Over and over and over again.

I read an article by Rachel Jankovic on desiringGod.org entitled, “Motherhood is a Calling: And Where Your Children Rank.” I was quite convicted as I read her words. She asks if we feel like motherhood is a rock-bottom job? She cautions us to not view motherhood as a hobby to be picked up for a short time to see if you like it and thrown to the side when it isn’t fun anymore. She also reminds us of the gospel, of the laying down your life part of following Jesus, of the death to self that should mark being a follower of Christ. I loved her words about death: “We, of all people, ought to know what follows death. The Christian life is resurrection life, life that cannot be contained by death, the kind of life that is only possible when you have been to the cross and back.”

And this is where I found myself today—-Do I believe that God sees me? Do I believe that life comes after death? Do I believe the person who loses their life is the one who actually finds it? 

When no one is impressed that just today I worked out, went to the grocery store, unloaded all the groceries, made egg&sausage&cheese muffins for this weeks’ breakfast, made rice&beans&beef mixture for the kids’ lunches this week, put a roast with potatoes and carrots and onion and mushrooms for dinner in the crock pot, completed several loads of laundry, cleaned the windows of my car, and made a list of upcoming tests and quizzes to help Mack succeed, will I just be joyful that motherhood and serving my family are offerings of obedience to God? Will I be content that God is pleased with how I am spending my days, no matter how mundane? Will I be thankful for health to move and work around my home? Will I be deeply appreciative of a hardworking husband that encourages me in the work my hands find to do? Will I quit looking for affirmation outside of my relationship with God? I must. 

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, Who, being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage, rather He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:3-7)