When No One Notices or Says Thank You {Matthew 20}

We can grow bitter when no one notices our faithful service in mundane tasks, but we must remember why do it, and that it is about service, not self. #Biblestudy #Matthew #WomensBibleStudy #GoodMorningGirls

As I walk into my daughter’s bedroom, I pick up dirty laundry from the floor. I carry it to the bathroom chute and drop it in, then hang some towels and wipe up a toothpaste mess. I proceed into my son’s room for some straightening and then to my own. Downstairs, I empty 2 trashcans and a laundry basket and a suitcase from my husband’s business trip that week.

Thousands of times, I’ve picked up dirty laundry, straightened towels and emptied trash cans – virtually unseen.

Of course when I don’t do these things – everyone sees the overflowing trash can and overflowing laundry baskets and the overflow seems to whisper, “you are failing – you are not keeping up – the whole family can clearly see this.” and I get discouraged.

Elisabeth Elliot writes:

“All mothers are a quiet servant of necessity, doing the work no one would notice or thank her for – no one, that is, except Him to whom it could be offered as a daily sacrifice of love. “

Daily sacrifice.

Of love.

We live well by dying well.

I’m reminded of Matthew 20:20-28.

The mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons and asked Jesus for a favor.

Jesus said, “What is it that you want?”

She answered: “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”

Uh Oh mama Zebedee – I sense a competitive spirit here.

And it does not sit well with the other disciples.  Verse 24 tells us, when the other 10 disciples heard this, they were indignant!  They wanted those seats of greatness too!

So Jesus calls them together and says:

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.

It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

GMG Matt 20-28[4]

This mother was seeking greatness for her boys.  Perhaps this was even self motivated because it would have made her look like a great mom.

Jesus says, this is what Gentiles seek after.  Self promotion, high honors, and greatness in the eyes of others.

Then four times Jesus references service as the way to greatness in God’s kingdom.

Service is the way to greatness.

You won’t read that in the self-help, self-esteem, and Self magazines published these days.

Self. Self. Self.

It’s not about self!


It’s about service.

How many times have I welled up with bitterness when no one notices or says thank you…and then I read this and I see – I am right in the center of God’s will.

All that unseen work – all the trash can emptying, toothpaste wiping, dirty dish cleaning and laundry folding …all that unseen work…that is the way to greatness in God’s eyes.



A dying to self.

And Jesus is our ultimate example.

He did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for US!

Jesus – came – to – die.

May we follow His example in our home, workplace, church, and community.

No more complaining about our workload. No more anger over not being thanked.  No more bitterness about being unnoticed. No more self-pity.  No more self-promoting.

No more.

God sees your workload. He notices.  He values your hard work.

Let’s value what God values and call great what God calls great.

Walk with the King,


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  1. Yes! So many times, as I’ve picked up shoes left on the floor or washed dishes left in the sink, “This is what a mom does.” Haha, it’s job security. 😉 I do train my children to help, but the best moms I know are moms willing to serve their families. It’s so sweet to see.

        1. This was funny tonight – they have never commented before and then out of the blue- right before bedtime the kids were giggling and I was like “what’s going on???” and my son had already posted his comment and my daughter was working on hers. Too funny! Guess I can’t complain I don’t get thank you’s now. Lol!

          1. Aww…so sweet! This post really spoke to me…I’ve been in that place SO many times in the last 22 years as a SAHM! Thank you so much Courtney, I really needed to hear this today! <3

  2. Thanks courtney you dont know how muvh this has help me tonight! This like God speaking to me! I was just praying to him about this thank you so much. Your such a blessing to many wife and stay at home moms!

  3. This REALLY spoke to me tonight. I do tend to get in Eeyore mode sometimes. “Woe is me.” And often I clean up the same messes over and over and over and…ungratefully until I snap and start yelling. This is definitely an area I need to pray about and change. Thank you for the gentle encouragement. And it was SO sweet to see your kids’ comments. 🙂

  4. Hi.. my name is Amy and i am new to GIG.. I have enjoyed the week so far, but i hate i have missed the facebook time with yall.. I also feel resentful toward those in my home who do not notice the little things, but, I am seeing it in a whole new light now.. Service can be done in so many ways, there really are no rules.. amazing how Jesus teaches us that after so many times i have been to the same addresses in His Word.. Loving this, and i dont have many friends who are Christians besides my P31 OBS group.. so i love knowing i am accountable for my quiet time every morning… Great work here, thanks a million…

  5. Hi Courtney, how did you know I was just sitting here complaining to myself that today, my day off, will consist of picking up shoes, clothes and other things not in their place before I get anything else done?!! Then I read your blog…I thank you for your down to earth, real life posts every time that always bring me back to Gods Word!!I’m 57 years old and wish there was someone just like you around when I was homeschooling 4 kids and trying to balance it all! But there were not even computers back then!! LOL!
    Seriously, thanks so much for following The Lord and being such an encouragement to those who read your posts!

  6. Oh my! Is God trying to speak to me on this one or what? Woke up this morning and immediately tripped on a pile of clothes dropped on the floor two feet from the hamper and began grumbling to myself. Then sat down to start bible study and these verses jumped right out at me and I started laughing at my attitude. Then I pop online only to read your blog post about the same verses and just had to laugh out loud. God certainly knows how to make himself heard! A great message, and one I need to remember 🙂 Thank you for your post and for everything you do! 🙂

  7. Thank you Courtney! What a needed reminder and an encouragement for me today! It’s too easy to fall into self-pity and bitterness doing those jobs over and over while no one notices. The fact that those acts of service are the way to greatness in the eyes of God is humbling, and hope-inducing! All those mom tasks are worthwhile, they do matter!

  8. More times than I can count, I have had the ‘woe is me’ attitude when cleaning and doing laundry. This post really made me see that not only am I working for my beautiful family to bless and nurture them, but I am also serving God in the process by serving my family. How beautiful is that?!? Courtney, in your book you talk about how you pray for each family member as you make beds and straighten rooms. I have started doing this and it has become my Prayer Walk! Thank you for sharing this wonderful message today. 🙂

  9. It’s funny how this reminds me of my mom and how tirelessly she worked to keep our home spotless and our tummies full and our bodies clean!! You never fully appreciate your mom and all that she has done until you are a mom too – caring, cleaning, and cooking for your own family. I grumble about the messes in my home – to my shame – and thankfully, God has been working in my life to show me what a blessing to have this service! Awesome reminder! And now I need to call my MOM!!! 🙂

  10. Thank you Courtney for all of your amazing posts. This is something that I have been trying to do more of recently, but it can become very difficult at times. I will have repeat that verse to myself whenever I start to complain!

  11. Yes, I too have been guilty of this when recently the Lord helped me to see that in my trying to decide what church to attend/join it was based on what they could do for me, on what I would be able to receive instead of ways I could give and of how the Lord would want me to use my gifts in service to His church!?

  12. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is the final push and words I needed to hear. I have been stuck in a rut for some time now having my own little pity party. As a stay at home momma to a 2.5 year old and 10 month old, A LOT seems to go unnoticed and unappreciated. But you are so right that God notices every little thing I do. He kept dropping me hints through other articles and things I have been reading. I just haven’t wanted to listen and understand. But now I know to turn my ear to Him and relish in His glory. Thank you for the encouragement, Courtney! 🙂

  13. Thank you so much for this post. It was just what I needed to hear. Self, self, self…it IS what we hear all the time and see on the front of magazines and books. Dying to that is so hard when we are bombarded with it daily.

  14. Ahhh what a fantatic post. I need to print this out and put it somewhere so I can re-read it for perspective and encouragement. So many times I’ve had a pity party and my poor hubby gets to be the honoured guest at the pity party! I have found when my focus is too on myself and not on God I tend to have more pity parties! Thankyou Courtney for your God inspired words. It was gorgeous seeing your kids post!!

  15. I’ve been thinking about this same topic and blogging about it myself this week. This was timely and a great perspective building off of what I”ve been studying in Colossians. So appreciate this blog, and this article. So often I find myself on my knees after reading here.
    “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23 – 24 (NIV)

  16. Yes Courtney, a dying to self. We are called to take up our deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Him. For me it’s a minute by minute denial of self. And to think I used to begrudingly deny self but today (well most days anyway) it is an honor for me to put other’s interests and needs first. Thank you for the encouragement that He sees.

  17. Thank you very much for the ‘much needed’ reminder.I think very often us moms tend to feel that we do so much and no one cares and that we are even taken for granted at times.But when we focus on Christ and his attitude of service, our thoughts begin to change and we see all the work we do in a different light ! God bless !!

  18. This is a great reminder. I get discouraged every day when I come home from work and my house looks like a tornado barreled through. It’s disheartening and I often find myself resentful or telling myself that I hate my home. I know this isn’t the case, but when the one dirty sock becomes a huge monster of a laundry pile, it gets a little scary. Your words will help me tonight as I walk in the door, prepared to clean up a big mess before my hubby gets home. It’s not about the piles and messes, it’s about making our home a sanctuary for our family. And if I can do that for them, then I am happy.

    PS. The comments from your kids give me hope. 🙂

  19. Sometimes I also feel like I give to other people and in return I get to feel unappreciated..
    But on the other hand I feel better moving, doing, serving other people…Even if I get no feedback…Lately I have been a slug and feel awful about it..
    With that said, when I make another person’s day it makes my day 🙂

  20. Hi 🙂 I love the sentiment of this. I know men (and kids) are known to just not see what we do but my question is, how does one see the difference between normal frustrations of serving a loving family and the empty bitterness of dealing with an abusive husband? My family and church say ‘you chose him so get some sort of happy pills so you can smile through everything he says and does. If you leave you’ll go to hell’ it makes what I do at home feel empty and dark. Does this reflect on how God sees my service to him? I know I should leave but the justice system is hell on earth and I’m trying to have everything in order before I do

    1. While it may look hopeless, it is not! God is with you! There is a difference in frustration and abuse. If you feel abused, you need to seek help now ! If you are just frustrated and not feeling appreciated by your family, then you need to ask God to help you serve Him by serving them. God loves you and will be with you and I will be praying for you!!!

  21. I feel like this way too often. When I’m washing a huge pile of dishes or folding a pile of laundry, I think to myself a little Thank You would be nice. But then I remember, without me this house would be a mess and the kids wouldn’t be as happy and joyful as they are. We, Mothers, keep our households balanced and moving forward. At the end of the day I am proud to be called Mama or Ma. People tend to ask how do I do it with 3 little ones and one more on the way. Faith, Patience, and God by my side. And a little help from the Hubby too!

  22. It was helpful to me find the balance between spoiling them by doing everything for them and training them to do things they need to do for themselves and not wait for someone else to do them.

  23. woah a great reminder! I often feel like I am always running behind the kids & hubby and would appreciate a thank you. So glad I read this!

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