I stood at the gas pump, stressed and overwhelmed. It had been a crazily busy day. It was way past the kids’ bedtime, but they hadn’t had a proper dinner yet, the pile of laundry waiting to be folded was beginning to look like Mt. Everest, and I had hours and hours of other things I wanted to get done while Joshua was out of town.
Suppressing a sigh, I opened the van door. As I sank into my seat, a sweet chorus of little voices called out, “We love you Mother dear!”
Tears sprang to my eyes and the stress of the day faded into joy. The kids thought their “surprise” was hilarious, so the rest of the way home alternated between saying “We love you, Mother dear!” and “Happy Birthday” and then bursting into fits of giggles. [It’s nowhere near my birthday.]
An hour and a half later, tummies were filled, the kids were tucked in bed, a few urgent things done, and the laundry mountain was tamed. And it was time for bed. The hours of other things I really wanted to do would have to wait.
Embracing the Sacrifices Motherhood Demands
Each day seemed to end with the list of things I wanted to do growing, not shrinking. Even with the sweet echo of my children’s voices ringing in my ear, I struggled with feeling sorry for myself.
Motherhood is delightful, but it also demands sacrifice. As a mom, your time, your figure, your sleep, and your money get sacrificed for your children’s sake. Often your hobbies drop down the list of priorities to about the same level as scrubbing the shower.
It’s easy to resent the need for sacrifice.
But sacrifice is at the heart of life as Christians. Whether we’re single or married, mothers or not, our time and figure and sleep aren’t really our own anyway.
Paul couldn’t have made it any clearer when he wrote, “You are not your own. You were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” and “present your body as a living sacrifice”. (1 Cor. 6: 19-20 & Rom. 12:1)
If mothering little ones is how God has called us to serve Him in at the moment, then that’s where we will be called to sacrifice ourselves. And even when it feels like we’re sacrificing a lot, just a glance at what Jesus sacrificed to redeem us, makes any sacrifice seem hardly worthy of the name “sacrifice”.
Sacrifice and Joyful Motherhood
I’d be the biggest hypocrite ever if I claimed to have this sacrifice thing down. I don’t. I like my sleep (and when I don’t get enough sleep, turn into a grouchy monster — or spend every moment praying for grace not to.)
The point of sacrifice isn’t that it’s easy, but that it’s what we’re called to as we follow our Lord Jesus who sacrificed everything for us. Looking to Him and embracing the sacrifices He’s asked us to make frees us to be joyful mothers, even when we never seem to have time for “our” to-do lists.