Ever since we started this nightly routine of having the entire family congregate for stories, Scripture, and backrubs in the boys' bunkroom (formerly the master bedroom), I've realized something about my kids: They want to be needed.
They show such tenderness towards one another (in ways that aren't always apparent throughout the day) or in taking care of their mom and dad, rubbing feet, stepping on legs (it's a technique, believe me), and brushing momma's hair. As I sink into my chair while four out of six of my boys fuss over serving me, I can't help but wonder,
"Who are these kids? And where were they when I so needed them to serve me by picking up their rooms without arguing with each other? Where were they when I needed them to do their schoolwork efficiently and expediently? Where were they when I would've been so blessed to sleep in a little bit longer?!"
Well, among the many answers I could thoughtfully give, one rises to the forefront of my mind. And that is this: Expecting is not the same thing as needing. When expectations rule...entitlement, discontentment, and impatience follow quickly behind.
"I deserve well behaved children," is what expectations speak.
"I shouldn't have to train my kids in the same things again and again!" is what expectations declare.
"It should be easier that this," it convinces us.
But needing is different; it takes the position of humility, desiring help, and truly appreciating blessing.
Being needy is not weakness. The Apostle Paul knew something of weakness before man and strength in God, and he reminds us...
...in 2 Corinthians 12:10...
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
...and 1 Corinthians 1:25...
For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Perhaps my children respond so lovingly to bedtime backrubs for momma because that is the time that I so willingly receive their blessing and count it joy for them to bless. So much of what comes from my lips can often sound like a woman who is always right, who knows best, who never tires, who always stands her ground...who isn't so needy as she is expecting.
How do children bless a mom who is too demanding to be surprised by a blessing?
And so, I'm learning a lesson through the simple routine of sitting still at the end of a long day, with a boy on my lap, and a few others surrounding...that a needy momma is a blessed momma indeed. From the place of weariness, humility, inability, repentance, and limitations, our Father makes himself strong...and often uses our children to dispense the blessing we would be so ignorant to receive otherwise.