Thursday, February 26, 2015
Every Day Sacrifices
It's day four of a whole family stomach bug and I'm still trying to wake up. Thinking about Laura's chapter on annointing the sick (Everyday Sacrament: The Messy Grace of Parenting ) while getting up again and again in the night when I hear my name called. A little voice echoes down the hall and I push myself up over and over, stumble through the dark to be the answer.
I say it after a sleepless night on the couch holding the feverish three year old close. "Today I just really don't want to be the Mom." I'm exhausted and all they want is me. It feels like sacrilege in spoken syllables, but in this moment it is the truth.
It's normal to resist refining. To shrink before it, knowing the path of difficulty that comes next. Bravery isn't just doing the hard things you want to do. Courage isn't about being completely fearless. Both are about trusting that even the hardest things we do can reap bountiful blessings not just for others, but ourselves as well. While in the midst of this mess it might feel like I'm just giving and giving until I give right out, I'm gaining character. Strength. When I choose selflessness even when everything in me is in opposition, the choice becomes practice. And the hard work of practice is, as we all know, a mainstay on the path to perfection.
This Lent I've been looking for God. Wondering how it looks in my life to draw close to Him when I feel 100% of my time and effort is spent on others. Feeling used up and poured out but not refilled. I finally get a full night's rest and wake up with an answer.
All of these things, all of these times when you chose to set aside what you want for what someone else needs - those things refine you. The large and the small. God knows this and expertly weaves spiritual growth right into daily life - communing with you in the very moments that you think drag your focus from Him. He is present in every act of compassion, each time you put comforting another over your own desires for convenience.
He grows me even when I'm not focusing completely on Him, using the life He's given me to disciple my heart closer.
It's a lesson I'll learn over and over again. Maybe for the rest of my life. Putting myself last puts me in lock step with the path He chose. And to walk closely with Him, that's the very first step.
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