Written in April 2009…
Sacrifice. I don’t think I had any idea what that word truly meant until I become a mother. There are days when I am reminded that my life is certainly not my own. I am constantly needed, my attention is relentlessly demanded, and my schedule continuously revolves around when someone else needs to eat or sleep with seemingly no care as to when I will do either of those things myself. Oh, the joys of being a mom.
Back in December when my son was only 4 months old, my husband and I planned to have an Open House for our entire MGBC church family. We planned it to start immediately following the 2nd morning worship service and last well into the late afternoon. It was an ambitious undertaking to say the least, but it didn’t intimidate me one bit. Why, you ask? Because my mom and mother-in-law only live 45 minutes away.
The morning of our open house, they both arrived bright and early with smiles on their faces. In their arms they carried freshly baked Christmas goodies, serving trays and a chocolate fountain with all the trimmings. That afternoon they kept plates full, the house clean, and my baby fed while we mingled and entertained. As if that wasn’t enough, they stayed well into the evening to help clean up and relieve us from baby duty while we attended a meeting. Twelve hours after they arrived, my selfless mothers finally headed for home with some energy left and smiles still spread across their beautiful faces.
A few days later, I was having “one of those days”. I was exhausted and getting increasingly frustrated with my little guy. I found feelings of resentment and entitlement slowing starting to creep in. Doesn’t he know how tired I am? I’m just trying to help him, why can’t he cooperate? Will I EVER get a “thank you”? I deserve more than this!
As always, God patiently and gently spoke to my restless heart and reminded me of my moms’ sacrifices a few days before. They gave of their time, money, and energy to make my day special without getting any credit and nothing in return other than the satisfaction of knowing that they helped their kids. Why were they willing to do it? Simply because they love us. Period.
God further convicted me as I read Guess How Much I Love You (one of our favorites) to Isaiah that day. Throughout the story, Little Nutbrown Hare tries to show Big Nutbrown Hare how very much he loves him. Each time Little Nutbrown Hare tries to measure it, however, Big Nutbrown Hare always seems one step ahead of him. I’m realizing that no matter how hard I try, I’ll never love my moms as much as they love me. It’s a special sacrificial love that only a mother or father can give and one that I’m striving to emulate with my own son.
“I love you this much,” said Little Nutbrown Hare, stretching out his arms as wide as they could go.
Big Nutbrown Hare had even longer arms. But I love you this much,” he said…
As Easter season comes and goes, don’t forget the One who stretched out his arms as wide as they could go for you…and died. He was willing to give His own life in the ultimate sacrifice just to show how incredibly much He loves you and me.
“…Hmm, that is a lot,” thought Little Nutbrown Hare.
Let’s think on that today.
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” – Ephesians 3:17-18