Hi, friends. Did you enjoy the end of our recovery series by the new edition to Share His Peace, the lovely Maggie? Friends, she is a profound champion for Christ. I can’t wait for you to get to know her better. But for now, you’ve got me, so….
WELCOME to the beginning of our new series on SACRIFICE! We selected this particular theme because Mother’s Day happens to be this Sunday, and “mother” and “sacrifice” are near and dear to one another, yes?
And since I’m a mama, this post should have been a breeze for me to write, yes?
Confession #1: This particular post is a rather doozy one for me. In fact, this is my third try at getting it “right.” I completely scrapped two other drafts of this post.
The first draft focused on Mary, the mother of Jesus. My plan was to point out some of Mary’s sacrifices (her reputation, a “regular” courtship and newlywed relations, JESUS-duh), and then follow-up with how little (maybe even how insignificant?) the sacrifices I make for my children actually are.
The second draft was an extended prayer for mamas-ALL mamas-the good, the bad, and the ugly; my friends who are hardworking, tired mamas; my friends who want so badly to be a mama but aren’t yet/can’t; my friends who have lost their mamas; my friends whose mamas are lost in their own hurts, habits, and hang-ups and don’t know Jesus.
But, no. Neither of these was “right.”
You see, friends, one of the many lessons I keep having to learn is that He wants me to write my story, and putting just a little bit of “me” in one of my posts just isn’t enough. He wants me to put in all of me! So….
I spent most of the Friday before my sinus surgery on my knees with my face on my living room floor, boo-hooing. And these weren’t tears of repentance or heartbreak, friends. God allowed me to see myself through His eyes, and these were tears of JOY and HALLELUJAH!
I saw a broken but abundantly loved girl doing a lot of “right” in her life. I saw a girl who despite her fears of never getting “it” “right,” stepped out in faith and love and obedience (yes, even obedience) to create platforms for herself and others to connect with God, with others, and with their own godly purposes. I saw a girl God could use, was using, and still is using in spite of her hurts, habits, and hang-ups (control and worth). And perhaps most importantly, I saw that He was pleased with the work we were doing together for His Kingdom! BAM!
“Hallelujah” doesn’t quite do justice to the magnitude of this revelatory gift from God. It was a day of sweet victory, friends! My life forever changed!
Confession #2: I am incredibly selfish, especially when it comes to sacrificing (“an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy”) my time, bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness…. Double BAM!
Yes, friends. Let that sink in.
Because of his love for me, my husband, David, took my boys on a trip to visit his mother, and he left me at home to get some much needed rest and time to myself and to get some school work done. (Do you remember that I’m an instructor?).
Friends, I couldn’t wait to brag to others about my much deserved time-out from wife-ing and mama-ing (or mommy-ing as my boys would say).
“I’m flying solo this weekend,” I gladly shared without prompting to, well, everyone, coupled with a big cheese-ball grin.
While they were away, I felt that I was making good use of my time. On the first day, I got my hair done. I took a nap. I had a long dinner AND dessert with a close friend of mine. We shared some of our hopes and dreams about life and talked about God. We prayed several times.
On the next day, I praised and worshiped God at church and heard a much welcomed sermon on how Satan uses culture sometimes to steal platforms. I grocery shopped and purchased items to make a special dinner for my man (and my kids lol). I took another nap. And honestly, I mostly happily anticipated the return of my crew. (I even turned down a friend’s dinner invitation so I would be sure to be home when my lovies arrived).
And then…World War III. David and the boys returned and within ten minutes things got ugly. So. Very Ugly.
You see friends, they were all tired after a big weekend of spending time with their cousins, aunt, and “Poco,” which had meant late nights and tons of energy exerted both outside and inside; and frankly, although I was happy they had returned, the guilt of not having gotten any of my work done (which I so desperately needed to do and had promised my husband I would do by the way), left me irritable and way too close to the ledge.
So when the fight over the balloon ensued and Caleb plowed his head into the refrigerator door David had just opened, and David Lawrence continued his pursuit of the balloon Caleb held, David’s self-control greatly withered and mine very shortly followed suit.
Yours truly panicked because what I thought (keyword here) I saw in the dim light of the kitchen was an indention in my “baby’s” forehead! I snatched him from David with a “Give me my baby!” while he threw away the balloon (It was the balloon’s fault after all.) and yelled at David Lawrence to “FORGET ABOUT THE BALLOON!”
And now we get to ugly. David and I turned on each other. The words, the tone, the body language….
What were left were two crying children, one crying wife, and one fleeing husband.
I eventually fed the boys boring sandwiches; bathed them; and tucked them into bed, not especially lovingly; and David eventually returned home…. But…. I. Would. Not. Let. It. Go. The “How dare them spoil my time” thoughts. The silent treatment. The sleeping in the baby’s bed (which is pretty uncomfortable I might add). The looking behind you, beside you, through you, NOT at you.
And I carried it all over to the next day.
Sigh…. Had God not just a month ago revealed goodness and obedience in me?
Friends, I know that I am a great sinner, incapable of perfection, or on just about every day, anything even remotely close to it. I know that I will often do what I don’t want to do versus what I want to do (Romans 7:15, NIV). In my heart I know that I’m a good wife and a good mother who happens to have very “human” days. And I even know that God loves me as much on those days as He does on other, let’s call them less “human”, days, so I am not wearing a cloak of shame and condemnation as I write this. It’s very important that you understand that I’m not sharing this to get a pat on my back and a, “We all make mistakes sometimes.” And I’m not wallowing in “I’m such a bad wife/mother.” I may go there to wallow sometimes, friends, but I no longer live there. Recovery has helped with that.
What’s important, friends, is that you begin to understand the heart of my story.
Hint: The series is on sacrifice, so my story has to do with sacrifice. 😉
Maybe you have a similar WWIII story to share? Comment below, and join me for Faith-Full Friday, friends, where I’ll give you the end of my old story and the beginning of my new one.