“The more I do, the less they see.” ~ Nicole Johnson
The dishes have been washed, dried, and put away. The living room has been dusted and vacuumed. The floors have been swept and mopped. Everything sparkles until… the kids and husband come inside. The take-your-shoes-off-at-the-door rule has long been forgotten. I watch as mud hugs my living room rug. I watch as fingerprints leave themselves on my newly cleaned furniture. I watch as socks and shoes fill up my living room floor. I watch as cup after cup get filled with soda and left sitting around the living room, kitchen and bedrooms. I watch as silverware caked with food fills the sink. I watch as dirty dishes pile up on the counter. All within a matter of minutes my hours’ worth of housework has been destroyed. Did anyone thank me for what I had done before the mess? Nope. Did anyone thank me for cleaning up their mess – a mess I did not create, yet am expected to clean? Nope. Did anyone stop to thank me for simply being? Nope. I am the invisible maid, cook, laundry attendant, butler, nurse, teacher…
As a stay-at-home mom of three I feel very much unappreciated. I do so much that gets ignored. The above story is my daily story. I do not have much time for anything else since I am always cleaning up after people and making sure everyone has clean clothes to wear the next day. My house is over 60 years old and there are no indoor steps to the basement where my washer and dryer are. Therefore washing clothes is a huge task within itself, especially when it is 100 degrees and humid outside or when there is snow and ice. I have fallen down the steps too many times to count. In other words, washing clothes in my house is dangerous!
Often times when I am feeling unappreciated I remember Leah (read Genesis 29:15-30). She wanted to be loved by her husband Jacob greatly, but his love was for her sister Rachel. Leah gave Jacob seven children. Leah felt in her heart that since the Lord saw how miserable she was He allowed her to have a child so that her husband would love her (Gen. 29:32). Yet Jacob still loved Rachel. Leah was still unappreciated.
Even though Jacob did not appreciate Leah, the Lord sure did. It was from her line of descendants that Jesus came! She may have been unappreciated by her husband, but she left a legacy of descendants.
So when I am feeling unappreciated by my family, I can remember Leah. I can also remember who I am to the Father and that He appreciates me even if I do not feel like cleaning. I need to stop trying to impress everyone else and stressing about making others proud of me. A clean house is great, but it does not make a perfect mom or wife. Sure it makes me less stressed out so that I can give my family a less-stressed me, but it does not change who I am in God’s eyes. “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)