thoughts on sacrifice

Ever since becoming a parent, of course you realize what the word sacrifice really means. Sure, there are other times in your life when you sacrifice things… social life for good grades, getting a new wardrobe to pay bills.. but having children is just different. It’s sacrificing your whole life for another. It is the ultimate form of service. And it lasts long after the children grow up and move away.

We decided when we first got married that when we have children, we really want to make it top priority for me to stay home and raise the children instead of working. It was a very personal decision, but something that was incredibly important to both of us. When we got pregnant about 3 years later, reality hit us hard and had us believing that it was virtually impossible to do so. The economy is bad, raises weren’t sufficient, gas prices were through the roof, and when we did the numbers – they didn’t add up. Alex’s income alone wasn’t going to support our little family. I was devastated. Really, I gave up all hope.

Then we started thinking… well… we could sell one of our cars. We could get rid of our gym memberships. We could trim any unnecessary debt. We could lower our grocery budget. This could happen… if we sacrifice. We did what we could, and left the rest up to Heavenly Father. I think I did the hardest praying I’ve ever done up to that point. (Since actually having Aurora, it’s only elevated.) ;)

It occurred to me that I really didn’t need a lot of temporal things to be happy. I was willing to sacrifice, happy to. After we had her, a whole new brand of sacrifice entered the picture. Late nights, the ease of a carefree social life (as now my life lives and dies by planning), the emotional burden of constant worry, my alone time with Alex.. all of it.

I have come to a point where I don’t even realize the sacrifices most of the time. You get so used to it all. But every so often I marvel at how far I’m come as a person since we began this journey. Sacrifice is such a blessing. Heavenly Father sacrificed His Son, Jesus Christ sacrificed His life. And in the heavenly calling of motherhood, I see the blessings that have come from making our own sacrifices. I see it every morning when I hear little groans over the baby monitor telling us that Aurora has awoken from her slumber. I see it when Papa’s face lights up after work when he’s finally home and gets to be with his girls. And even when baby girl doesn’t quite want to go to sleep, but instead wants one of us to rock her just a little bit longer.

It’s a sweet, beautiful thing that I wouldn’t trade for the world.