Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Becoming a Happy Waitress

When I was a little kid, I thought being a waitress was glamorous. Ok, maybe not glamorous. That's not the word I am looking for. Maybe, fun? Yes, I thought being a waitress had to be the most fun job on the planet. I wanted to be one. And a waitress I became during my freshman year of college. I continued to be one as I went to school and got married. I joyfully quit the year I began my student-teaching. Notice I said, joyfully. Waitressing was not the fun I had thought it would be.

Now that I am a mom, waitressing is just a part of my past. Or so I thought.

During dinner dish-up, our oldest said with the same excitement she says most things, "I have a great idea, mom! You should pretend you are a waitress when you give us our food."

I laughed. I balked.

Then I shook my head in distaste, thinking of those long 8 hour days spent on my feet, juggling towering tray and 20 second refills and the cranky hunger growls of patrons. Those were the days when my shoes would curl from the kitchen grease, and the days when my eyelids grew heavy at the end of the night, and I would be absolutely buggy and would unintentionally draw out the counting of the money and the cleaning of the line and the filling of the salt shakers. Days when I would pass my husband on the road to work, needing to be okay that day with just a wave from our cars. And nights when my legs ached from being so long on my feet.

"No way," I say, and I mean it. And the game that could've been, never was, and we go on about our dinner.

I think about this the next day.

And the next.

And still a week--two weeks later--it haunts me, though I keep brushing it away.

This is a home where we have fixed rules for dinner time:

1. I am not a short-order cook

2. I do not want to be a short-order cook

3. You are not allowed to ask me to be a short order cook.

I don't think those are bad rules, but those rules were born out of my distaste for serving and I staunchly stand behind those rules, to a fault. The other rules for meal time include obtaining own water/milk and silverware.

So today, I break my own rules and I make it fun for the girls and I show them how to not be so set in ways that we can't bend and have fun every once in awhile. Since when did I become so narrow?

They get a choice and they love it and they circle with happiness and wait expectantly. They are happy and grateful for this change and to see mom having fun being the waitress.

Why would it be so beneath me to waitress to my young girls? Why would I let a precious moment slip so quickly away? A moment I could model being God's servant, however imperfect. A chance to show the girls how to graciously put others before ourselves, cheerfully because it's fun. Never before had I thought of serving as fun. I realize now that I need to change this old way of thinking, and instead see the fruit that could bear because of these acts of humility. As a mother, I have the best opportunity of anyone, to show the girls that serving can be--and is if we make it--fun.

Thank you God for the chance to be a waitress again. Thank you for allowing me the freedom to have fun as I work. Thank you for commanding me, in your Word, to love.

Matthew 25:40

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Thinking of how to better serve Him via The Holy Experience Community:

holy experience


Amy Danielle said...

What a lovely, very inspiring post. :)

christa said...

Oh my goodness Jen, I don't know if you know me...I met you at Jonie's shower, but I just have to break out of my shell on this one and tell you how much I've loved reading your posts. You are such a fun mom and I truly admire your creativity and determination to live Jesus out to your family and precious girls. You are inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing!! :)

Keri said...

It's so true what you say about mothers having the best opportunities about showing how to serve. As mothers we can have this heart-itude in all of our many jobs!


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