Fruit of the Mystery: Love of Neighbor
Love Without Counting the Cost
by Alyssa Steller
Mom. Mah? MOM? MOOOOOM!!!!
As mothers this is the tune to which we all march. Our kiddos are always needing something from us. From cooking to cleaning, to butt wiping… Mothers do it all, but the secret in these moments is that there’s a choice…. To serve with love or to serve without love.
So, how do we choose to serve with love? We pray.
We cannot love unless we spend time with Love Himself. Even a quick saying of His name, “Jesus,” is so powerful and points us back to why we are mothers…
To love tiny humans until they’re saints.
As a first time mom, I was stretched so far beyond my bounds of being able to love. I held my sleep high up on a pedestal that was very quickly stomped down by my babe. She wanted to be held and rocked and nursed all night long, and I really do mean ALL night long.
It went something like this. I would anxiously nurse her until she fell asleep, just hoping that this would be the time that I could finally lay her down to sleep. Then, I would very gently begin lowering her into the crib where she would inevitably awaken, only to start the whole routine all over again.
If we were lucky, we would get 20 minutes of sleep at a time. I knew that babies would wake you up in the middle of the night, but I NEVER anticipated THIS. This level of sleep deprivation and frustration. I didn’t want to be angry at her. She did nothing wrong!
I don’t even think I was angry at her but that I was missing out on sleep. I was angry that these sleep ‘gurus’ told me that I could gently lay her down and she would stay asleep.
One night, I woke up particularly upset to hear her crying. I commanded Jesus to help her sleep and, yet, He didn’t. I remember my husband suggesting that we pray, and crying out, “I’ve already tried that. They aren’t listening!”
But even in that incredibly imperfect prayer, God gave me grace. In prayer that morning, as a gentle and loving father, He spoke to me. I was reading about suffering in James 1, and the words read,
“My brothers, count it pure joy when you are involved in every sort of trial. Realize that when your faith is tested this makes for endurance. Let endurance come to its perfection so that you may be fully mature and lacking in nothing.”
I realized the Father was doing something new inside of me by allowing me to go through this pain. It was through this opportunity to love my baby girl that my heart would be transformed so long as I allowed Him to work, and that has rang true through all parts of loving my children since then.
This is our chance to love without counting the costs, just as Jesus did.
Since I became a mother, “This is my body given up for you,” has a new ring to it…one of the suffering which it takes to love.
These moments in motherhood are the absolute hardest, but, if we allow the Lord to soften our hearts, they are the ones that will allow us to become saints…and great mothers at that!
So remember just this one thing…we are all too weak on our own. Jesus is the only way we can choose to love time after time.
I’m praying for you, friend.
About Alyssa: Hi there! My name’s Alyssa Steller. I am a lover of Jesus, my hubby, and two littles. I recently became a homemaker and am loving having the job of caring for my family and my home first. Some of my favorite things are adventures, coffee shops, peanut butter, chocolate, and competing in board games. I have a big heart for other women and strive to empower them to do dignifying work and live dignified lives through my role as an ambassador with Noonday Collection. You can find me on Instagram here: @with.gratitude.and.grace.