Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sacrifices By Default

Happy Mother's Day!

Those were the first words I heard from my children this morning.  This is the first Mother's Day that that has been the case.  We have a bad habit of, "Mom, I'm hungry" being the first thought on our minds!  We should probably try to break that- it was quite wonderful for that to be the second statement of the day :)

The cards were on the table along with a little box wrapped in shiny paper, and the kids were anxious for me to open everything.  I read the cards and opened my gift (a pretty necklace and earring set- it didn't match what I was already wearing to church that day, but had it been a big upset, I would have changed immediately!  I'm held to a promise to wear it tomorrow!), and was presented with a card and gift that Awesome McAwesome had made at school.  He's been holding that bag in his backpack for a few days now, and every time I touched his bag, he would panic over the thought of me seeing his surprise! 

Church was filled with "Happy Mother's Days" and construction paper cards from every class, and Hubby preached a great message (he always does!).  As we stood for the invitation, he said that being a mother means making sacrifices.  Oh, yes, of course it does, I thought.  But then it occurred to me, What sacrifices am I making?  Sure, having children means I don't have much 'me' time, but, really, I'd be bored out of my mind without them!  I don't get to (or want to) go out in the workforce and stress myself out trying to succeed in a world where you can't possibly make everyone happy.  I don't mind those sacrifices at all.

But what about the little sacrifices?  How about the times that I've been needing a new pair of shoes, but the boys need new underwear and socks?  How about the nights that I go to bed exhausted, just wanting (and expecting) a full night of quiet sleep, but one of the kids wakes up sick and spends all night in and out of your bedroom and the bathroom.  What about those sacrifices?

Sure, I make them.  I have to make them.  I call them sacrifices by default. Those are the little things that mothers are praised for somewhere along the line, but I wonder how many of us are happy in those moments.  Oh, I'm sure looking back, every mother will say it was worth it to give up her own comforts for the sake of her children, but how many of us are actually happy to do it at that very moment.  Hmmm...

I know, not me.  Not all the time. 

But I want to be.  I want to always be joyfully willing to make any sacrifice needed for my children.  I don't want to sacrifice by defaultWhat kind of sacrifice is that?  But even more, I want to see those times, not as sacrifices at all, but as wondrous opportunities to show my children the love that I have for them!  Even more than that, I want to be a small example of how much our Lord has sacrificed for them.  His loving sacrifice on Calvary is the ultimate sacrifice.  Was it a burden to Him?  A bother?  An unfortunate necessity that just went along with creating mankind?  Did Jesus Christ sacrifice Himself by default?
 I think not.

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