I’m beginning to notice that God is teaching my new motherly heart to find its joy in the happiness of my child and not necessarily myself.
I can be sure that God is giving me these lessons gradually, for Michael has already determined what my 33rd birthday gifts will be on May 31st – and they are all technically needed items for the care of Baby.
This reminds me of an episode of American Dreams, where a soon-to-be married girl was given a blender as a Christmas gift. She was terribly disappointed, for she could find no joy in the blender except to see it as another necessary tool with which she would need to do work. Rather, she would have liked to have gotten a Christmas gift that was something personal and frivolous or indulgent just for the happiness of herself.
But married life is not about a person’s self.
By its very nature, marriage was designed by God to be a mutual giving-up-of-self that is life-giving. Joy is found in delighting the OTHER person, not yourself. For, at this state of life, we have come to realize the very limited satisfaction of self-joy. Doing something for yourself only goes so far. Doing something for someone you love can have eternal benefit!
Yesterday, Michael gave several gifts to me which were far more valuable than the selfish gifts I normally would crave, such as a new handbag or a new piece of jewelry. Michael’s first gift to me was that he got up early, allowing me to sleep in, since I had spent the better part of the night getting up several times with Macy, taking her outside for the throwing-up and diarrhea she’s been plagued with in the last 24 hours.
Then he went and changed the oil in our cars, came back for daily mass across the street, left again to run various errands for us, came back to mow the lawn, and eventually did laundry for me and vacuumed the whole house. He even finished washing the dishes when I got distracted half-way through, and he prepared a delicious dinner of glazed baby back ribs with a baked potato and snap peas. After dinner, he took me to see the movie called, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” a hilarious and timely comedy about pregnancy for us to enjoy.
The day left me feeling humbled by the quantity of hard work that my husband can produce in one day. All of these tasks were GIFTS to me. He worked hard on boring things so that I might find life a bit easier, a bit happier. God bless him. And, God, please teach me to bless my husband more abundantly!
As Michael and I prepare to add a new addition to our family, it makes sense that God would ask more of my heart – and that He would ask me in particular to find my joy in the happiness of my husband and child. It is time to be taught His subsequent lessons. And I am ready for them!