Moment by Moment

by Jamie on April 18, 2011 in Faithfulness, Inspiration in Child Rearing, Servanthood

Sometimes I love the insights God shows me. But other times? Not so much.

Turns out, I’m really selfish.

How do you do it all?On the outside, maybe it doesn’t look that way. Sometimes friends express wonder about how I have the time to do all the things I do, and they certainly don’t think they have it in them to adopt a teenager, for goodness’ sake!

To hear them tell it, I’m pretty awesome. 😉

But… it’s God who sees my heart, and it’s God who has shown me my selfish nature.

For a while, I didn’t recognize this selfish nature. I spent years sinning some BIG sins; God has worked in me over the years, and I am truly not the person I once was. He has brought me such a long way, and I praise Him for that. But because of that, I often overlook the “small” sins.

But at the heart of those little things is the same selfishness that once caused me to sin those big sins.

Parenting can be exhausting, and my children don’t like every decision I make. There are many un-appreciated moments in my life as a mom, and quite frankly, I don’t like those moments. It’s more fun when people like me.

That un-appreciated stuff often carries over to homemaking, too. My family has never once applauded me for cleaning a toilet. (To be fair, they do often thank me for a good meal.) Often I end up doing many chores myself rather than hear the complaining that would come if I asked my children to do it. That’s just my selfishness, too: I’m called to train my children well even if I don’t like to hear the grumbling it may bring at first.

There are so many things I could list here that all boil down to selfishness.

I don’t always say the encouraging words I know I should say to my husband or my kids, simply because I’m still annoyed about something that happened earlier in the day, and I’m holding a silent grudge about it. Selfishness.

If you’ve read this post and this one on my blog, you know that my husband and I have recently made the decision to enlarge our family. Saying “yes” to God is really scary. What if He does give us the kids we’re praying for? Can I handle it? Will I even have time to sleep, much less blog? How will I manage to do all the things that need to be done — like grocery shopping and house cleaning — with more children to care for? I know plenty of people do it every day, but I’ve never done it! I was raised as an only child, so what in the world do I know about big families?

I nearly gave myself a panic attack about all this more-kids stuff one night recently.

Then again, what if He chooses not to give us the kids we’re praying for? Will I be okay with that?

“All God’s plans have the mark of the cross on them
and all His plans have death to self in them.” EM Bounds

Turns out, it’s not all about me.
In fact, it’s not at all about me.
God is God, and I am not.
He is Lord of all of my life.

Dying to self is not something we do just once, when we first decide to follow Christ. I’ve heard it said that choosing to pick up our cross and follow Christ is a decision we must make anew each and every day.

As for me, I’m going to have start doing it…


Jamie is a wife, homemaker, and homeschooling mama in a blended family that includes three kids: one by birth, one by marriage, and one through adoption. Her thoughts are always more coherent with a steaming cup of tea in hand, and she knows she can accomplish nothing worthwhile apart from the treasure of Christ within (2 Corinthians 4:7).


Jamie is a wife, homemaker, and homeschooling mama in a blended family that includes three kids: one by birth, one by marriage, & one adopted as a teen. Her thoughts are always more coherent with a steaming cup of tea in hand, and she knows she can accomplish nothing worthwhile apart from the treasure of Christ within (2 Corinthians 4:7). Find her at See Jamie Blog -- or "tweet" with her: @jamieworley.

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Mrs. Zwieg April 18, 2011

This is wonderful! Just in time for Passover, thank you!

Wendy Clark (MamaHen) April 18, 2011

Thank you, thank you. Wonderful post.

Nancy Libby April 18, 2011

Thank you for sharing. It is in the moments. I pray you continue to find God in those moments. I am fighting to as well. I have a family of five children and a hubby. We each had one daughter coming in to the marriage and three between us. It is scary and wonderful to pray for more children. May God bless you!

Christin April 18, 2011

Can I join you on this moment to moment cross bearing? Because that is sooo where I’m at right now.
Why is it so hard to say “no” to the flesh?

Grace April 18, 2011

Painful post. You must be sneaking peeks into my home. We too are awaiting adoption number four and I have panic attacks about whether I can do it, will I get enough sleep, how will I homeschool, what about the therapy for my special needs child??? Will you look at that same word over and over in my thoughts…………”I”. Selfish. I never realized how selfish I was until God started giving us the children we prayed to have. I love my children so much but I have allowed selfishness to rule my heart this year. I am not sure when my heart turned but it has and it has driven me to my knees. (right where God wanted me) You obeyed by writing your thoughts and sharing with us. “Let us not grow weary in doing good, in due season we shall reap.” Blessings on you Jamie.

Danielle April 18, 2011

Yup… I look good on the outside too… I fight selfishness… a lot. Why? That whole dying to self thing doesn’t really go along with wanting to be in control:-) Thanks for the reminder on this Monday morning!

Je Nee April 18, 2011

Amen! I think we would all like to overlook how pervasive the sin of selfishness is. I thank God each day that I am His and He is mine. I am also thankful that little by little he is changing my heart so that it is in alignment with His and that His Holy Spirit helps me to take one step further on the road of sanctification.

Jessica April 18, 2011

This is exactly the kind of attitude I’ve been trying to capture in my home.

Michelle April 18, 2011

Jamie…You have written my thoughts! I’m constantly being reminded of my selfishness. I love that you pointed out that not taking the time to teach our children to help us clean up is wrong, too. It is so much easier and faster if I just do it myself…but that is not what I am called to do! Thank you for your words today!

Cheryl @ Finding the Beauty April 18, 2011

Oh my. Selfishness has definitely been a theme in my refining process. Ever since I became a mother, God has been relentlessly purifying my heart. It has been a difficult journey, but one that I am truly thankful for. Thank you for this post.

Rebecca April 18, 2011

Jamie, That is such a great post. So many times we look at others and think they really have it all together or are incredibly awesome…and forget they are human….and people look at us and do the same. It is always good to edify others, but remember, we are all human, we are all going to fail in something….I do every day. It hurts when you reveal those failures and seek forgiveness….and the person you are seeking forgiveness from hits the high road…..but, still you have to pray that God will help you with your sin and that the other person will see…’re only human…..that’s me….just human….able to put my ‘best face’on my blog and share my heart….being human and with flaws…yet, able to massage the words into something not quite as ugly.

his.talmidat April 19, 2011

You wrote that so well. “But… it’s God who sees my heart, and it’s God who has shown me my selfish nature.” Becoming a mom dropped the blinders off my eyes that were hiding my selfishness from me, and wow, was that ever an eye opener! So ugly, so ugly. This parenthood thing has refined me so fast and furiously in these last 4 years… I’m a different person. I’m in awe of a Father who would love me so much to allow me to see my selfishness and guide me along the path to serving Him through serving others. What a gift He is! Thanks for this.

Sara April 19, 2011

Excellent blog. Really hit home. In my struggles, I have come to realize my selfishness and self-centeredness is really a form of self-idolatry. I’m loving ME more than my Lord and more than my neighbor.
How marvelous the grace of God and His long-suffering with me as He patiently works in me to purge the dross of SELF from my life.

Malinda @ vintagehomesteademporium April 19, 2011

A beautiful post! Thank you for your transparency and hope.
I was just thinking about this very thing last night:
Dying to myself.
The longer I am a Christian and seek the Lord, the more
I see my ugliness of selfishness and the more I desperately
desire to “decrease that He may increase”.

Under His Wings,

Jeanne April 19, 2011

Thanks for posting this today! I am a working FT mother to a blended family of 6 and we are adding a dibling group of 5 to our family we have three already and their two sisters are coming soon. At first it was a no brainer and then someone mentioned “is in not an injustice to add that many children to your family”? Well first of all all of my children are grown except for 1 who just turned 13 on yesterday. So basically there is just one child at home now. So adding 5 more at this time should equal 6 at home there is no difference than before. But I feel God pushing me to do this that I can handle this. Its tiring but the three older one will be girls and well they should be able to help out a bit also if I train them up right. So I am impressed that your are taking God’s words to heart by adopting or as he so calls it looking out for the orphans and widows… Thanks you , thank your so much for sharing, because if more christians stepped up to the plate and took just one we WOULD NOT HAVE THIS PROBLEM!!!!!

Cassandra April 19, 2011

I agree with you on this post and I think you are definitely not alone. Thanks for sharing your struggles/triumphs. Cheering you on and taking what you’ve written about and planting it in my heart. Moment by moment seems to be a trend among many Homeschoolers – and I think that makes us pretty awesome – the sheer fact that we’re striving for it, I mean. Just sayin’. 😉

Kara at The Chuppies April 19, 2011

My favorite part about this post is that last section…moment by moment…because that truly is real life. I found myself writing about this on Sunday…the battle to die to self and let it be “Christ in me” (my only hope of glory). There’s that tension between God who is at work in me and then my role in picking up my cross.
That’s why I’m so encouraged by your “moment by moment”….in this moment, in His strength, I can choose self-LESS.
Thank you Jamie. And I’m so happy-excited-scared-full-of-jow for you about another adoption! Every time we consider starting the process again, I have these “freak out” moments at the thought of adding another kiddo. I get it that part of it too…

Jame April 19, 2011

I can SO relate! Thank you so much for writing with such honesty!

Kathy Carlson April 19, 2011

“Turns out, I’m really selfish.”

That made me laugh! How many times have I come to the exact same conclusion about myself? I can’t count that high. Dying to oneself is never really accomplished. We’re sinners. We love ourselves. We only get glimpses of how evil and disgusting our sin is. Every now and then we get good, long looks at ourselves, but the awful images we see of ourselves fade fast from our consciences. But we trust in God and keep turning to Him and persevere in terms of serving Him. We are free from our burden of sin, we just have to repent constantly not only to be right with God but also to remember not to bear those burdens.

Stay strong Sister, Christ carries us through it all!

Diana Johnson April 20, 2011

Very good

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