The snare of self-pity

Thanksgiving has taken on a whole new meaning for me as an older parent. When I was younger, I celebrated at my parent’s houses and all I was expected to do was show up. As our children grew in number and stature, we became the hosts. Now, our children are the ones who show up.

Parenthood gives perspective doesn’t it? Our eyes take in a broader view of life and it’s realities. The phrase, “You’ll understand when you’re parents,” finally rings true.

Thanksgiving is over. The kids have come and gone. The cleaning, shopping, cooking, and dishes are done – and I’m exhausted. I know all the preparation was worth the effort. It was a good day. We opened our home to family and new friends, almost all the food was served hot, we gave thanks to God for his many blessings, and we have leftovers.

I have so much to be grateful for, so why am I tempted to feel sorry for myself?

Can you relate? After serving others, do you tend to feel unappreciated? Do you judge others for not noticing all the work you’ve done on their behalf? Oh Lord have mercy – I’m such a Martha!

“Martha, Martha,” Jesus said. I can hear his compassionate voice, his gentle correction. “Nicole, Nicole,” I hear him speaking to my heart with the same loving redirection, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one.” (Luke 10:41ff NIV)

Jesus is like this isn’t he? He meets us where our hearts linger and gently moves us with his love to gratitude. He reminds us of his presence. Jesus does this for me when I’m tempted to allow my thoughts to dwell in self-pity. His sweet voice reminds me of his concern for my good and ultimate joy.

I run into Christ’s arms and hear him say, “I see you. I hear you. I love you. Follow Me.”

So, this morning, I’m refreshed. My perspective has been redeemed by my Redeemer. And God’s living word speaks gently to my heart – and perhaps to yours as well…

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms…so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (I Peter 4:9-10, 11b NIV)

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Barb Freed says:

    Dear Nicole,Thank you so much for sharing your devotional. My self-pity was because of having Casey & the boys gone. But God redirected my heart and thoughts to praise Him that they are with Isaac…not only for Thanksgiving, but for his birthday today! They arrived safely, and Isaac has worked hard to prepare a new temporary home for them. I’m so thankful that Kelly & Jarrett are still with us, and from the incredible joy of living with Kelly on a daily basis…so blessed! And…Clarke, who has few vacation days, has most of today off! And…even though it was a quiet Thanksgiving, we were able to bless his folks, grandma and brother. God is so good.Love you,Barb

    Barb FreedPiano & Brass Teacher & Tutor freedfamily@verizon.net863-647-2445

    1. Thanks Barb. I hear you my friend. RPG is a reminder for me to Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. and Give thanks in all circumstances. I Thess 5:16-18

  2. Susan Holt Simpson says:

    Nicole, you wrote this for me, I think. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

    1. A common struggle I believe. I’m thankful for you Susan.

  3. Valerie Arena says:

    Thank you, Nicole. Blessed, reminded, rebuked, refreshed on so many levels. NO traditional Thanksgiving here in Alaska, just lots of new snow! We did, however, get to bless a young couple who need encouraging. I echo Barb’s sentiments and I thank our Father for Jarrett & Kelly’s Florida family! I’m SO thankful our Father watches over each of our dispersed children and families. Love to you and yours!

    1. Hope you enjoy the season and have more opportunities to bless those whom God has placed on your path. Stay warm my friend! Thanks for the encouragement.

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