Family Life Lessons: Meet Amy

Wednesday September 7, 2011

Welcome to Family Life Lessons!

Come sit with us. Grab a mug of coffee or a cup of tea. And meet some friends.

I've asked some blog friends to share what God is teaching them about their family or family life.

Today's guest of honor is Amy Sullivan. When I got this inspiration, I thought of Amy immediately. I'm a big fan of her blog, her book idea, and her family's mission.

Enjoy Amy's offering. And go see her here.

When the Scale Tips My Way
and a Lesson on Crowning Myself Leader

A year and a half ago, my husband and I asked ourselves a question: Could we move from addicted to ourselves to devoted to others?

We wanted to discover what serving looked like in the everyday, and what serving looked like to us, an average, middle class family.

As months passed, my enthusiasm for this idea grew, and my husband’s enthusiasm faded. One day, I decided to give my husband a few gentle reminders about his involvement in our family’s goal. These gentle reminders sounded like this:

“Do you even have a passion?”
“This shouldn’t be about me forcing you to care.”
“The only thing you think about changing is the channel on the TV.”

You see, the delicate who-does-more-in-the-Sullivan-house scale tilted in my favor; clearly, it was my job to point that out.

Maybe I spouted these words because over the last five days, I kept an imaginary list of all the ways in which I gave in our home. I made every lunch, kissed each real and imagined hurt, and waded alone through the pits of potty training. In my eyes, I served our family more, and therefore, I crowned myself sole leader in our family’s goal of serving others more.

Then, I stomped off because I do that, and he sulked off because he does that.

But as my I’m-better-than-you-attitude bubbled, I started to wonder if maybe I missed my husband’s efforts because I was too busy praising my own.

He spent his day off with that lonely high school kid. He drove three hours to offer help.
He talked on and on about the human trafficking speaker. He gave up Monday through Thursday afternoons to coach.

And that’s when I reminded myself (again, again, again) the changes we strive to make for Him are never led by us.

What about you? Have you ever been guilty of doling out gentle reminders of your own? Share, share.

Image credit link:

Thanks, Amy! (I'm ever-so-guilty...and thankful for your reminder, friend.)


Kristen said...

What a kick in the stomach this morning! I've been guilty of doing this exact thing - keeping score in my head - lately. But rather than give "gentle" reminders, I let it stew and I end up frustrated and upset. Such a timely reminder to open up my eyes and get rid of the scale.

Unknown said...

Oh my I must call myself what I am - guilty. I have a tendency to keep score and love when I'm in the "lead". What revolutionized our marriage was when I realized the real competition was to see who could draw closest to the heart of God. There I receive abundant grace that flows over me and covers my score card.

Slamdunk said...

Thanks Laura and for making me think Amy.

I def struggle with keeping score when the focus should be on Him and allowing His will to work through me--no matter who gets the credit.

Amy Sullivan said...

Oh, yes, letting it stew is another speciality of mine!

Amy Sullivan said...

Thanks for adding your voice to the mix today. I think the reason we feel good when we "lead" is because we are relying on ourselves, and we are doing like crazy.

Amy Sullivan said...

Thanks for hopping over to Laura's! Good point about looking at who receives the credit.

Melody said...

Totally guilty of this, I am. (not sure why I turned all Yoda sounding...when I'm in the presence of great writers I feel the need to be formal...or Yoda girl) And I'm not always gentle or sublte about it. Sometimes not even aware of the invisible list I keep. Great post Amy and glad to see this blog too!

Unknown said...

Guilty. What can I say? We all need a reminder that we are doing it for God's glory not for our own, because we will always fair badly in comparison.

Unknown said...

It's so easy to see where someone else can change, too easy sometimes. I find myself more on the page of thinking my husband should react the same way I do when I really wouldn't want that if it happened. I'm thankful he's stays even when I don't. I need to remind him that I'm thankful for that, too. Thanks for reminding me we all follow Him differently :)

HopeUnbroken said...

okay, ouch, again. yes, i think i just did this last night, although i had enough restraint not to say it. but i sure was thinking it, which wasn't much better, if any. sigh. too many times i hold my thoughts in then blurt them out at such the wrong moment. . . and am so far away from gaining what i so want! farther away than when i started. a dose of kindness, added to a huge amount of humility and prayer would be a much better prescription. not to mention just good ol' silence many times. the Lord is so much better at working out this stuff in my husband's life than i am :-)
great write, Amy.

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

My mom always said, "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar." So true!

Kim Turnage said...

My gentle reminders often have the unfortunate effect of pushing people -- and my relationship with them -- in the opposite direction of my desire. Thanks for this food for thought, Amy. It's so good to remember that I don't have to be the leader ... God's got that job covered just fine.

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