As a full time midwife and a single homeschooling mom of three teenagers, I’ve noticed a recent reoccurring emotion.

I feel like I’m perpetually on the giving end.  The person in any and every given situation who does the most, sacrifices the greatest, works the hardest, and stretches the farthest.  I do so much for others with much less help and support than everyone else gets. Whether it’s the parenting, the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry, the shopping, the scheduling, the school work teaching and grading, the driving people around, the budgeting, the bill paying, the car maintenance, the yard maintenance, the honey-do list I do for myself, the working to make a living for my family, the life and death 24 hour on call responsibilities of my profession, and most of all (dramatic sigh), the going behind others to fix what wasn’t done well.  With so little appreciation.

Because really, you know, I have to do everything myself.

On Maundy Thursday while taking communion, I tried to focus my mind off of my never ending to-do list and on the elements and all they represent.  Taking the reminders of Jesus’ blood and His broken body was a sharp contrast to my stressful week.  As I struggled to focus on the Last Supper and all Jesus suffered and sacrificed, I suddenly had a beautiful thought. 

Jesus gave so much, much more than I ever have, for me, and for everyone.  He sacrificed more, suffered more, loved more- and surely has gotten much less in return from every person he made that sacrifice for, even the most appreciative.  I cannot “one up” Jesus.  I cannot play my martyr card in the face of the One who died for me- who gave me more than I could ever give Him- who did for me more than I will ever do for Him.   

I felt peace in the revelation that everything was not, after all, up to me.  Everything does not begin with me getting up in the morning and hitting my to-do list with a running start, and end when I fall exhausted in bed at night.

Because actually everything began with Jesus.  And He ever so perfectly finished everything on the cross and with His resurrection.  Without my help. 

Or going behind Him to fix things. 

Because the redemptive work of Jesus in His life, death and resurrection changed everything.