At the beginning of the year, our regularly contributing authors asked members of our Facebook group if any would like to be guest featured throughout the year on this blog. We had several members express interest. In today’s post, we bring you the first of several guest writers for 2018! We hope her piece will provide inspiration for our readers to perhaps continue living their vocation, or secondary vocation, to its fullest. How do you willingly and lovingly sacrifice in your vocation? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
As a child, I never realized the sacrifices my parents were making for me. They lived their vocation gracefully, working hard and taking care of their family day in and day out. As a child you are just enjoying life, playing and laughing without a care in the world and so much of what your parents are doing for your benefit just goes over your head. It’s not until you become a parent yourself that the reality of sacrifice sets in.
Fast-forward 20 years to the present day and I can finally appreciate what my parents sacrificed to raise my siblings and I. As I sit here trying to type this, my attention is divided between a fussy bouncing baby in my lap, a four year old reading aloud to herself on the floor and a five year old asking me what comes after Easter.
Now as a mom of three young daughters, I have to daily sacrifice my time, my solitude, and my attention. There is no longer silence when I try to reflect, or when I pray or when I write. I have to gather my jumbled thoughts in the midst of whining, fighting, singing, laughing and shouting.
Time spent alone or doing what I want to do is almost nonexistent. I sacrifice my body and my personal space for my children, from bearing them for nine months in my womb to squeezing them into my bed when they can’t sleep. I sacrifice my quality time with my husband as our adult conversations are interrupted by small voices and our date nights are attended by a third wheel in a baby car seat.
I sacrifice my natural desire for order when there are toys scattered about the house, dirty laundry overflowing the hampers and crayon marks on the mirrors. I sacrifice my feeling of productivity when I sit down to work at the computer with a wiggling baby drooling on my arm and a mile long to do list continually unchecked.
All of this to say that I now know what parental sacrifice means. And some days it seems too hard to bear, too much to give up and I wish I had my freedom back. But I have to remind myself that without the sacrifice there would not be the joy. If I did not make the sacrifice to welcome tiny humans into existence and say YES to new life then I wouldn’t get to experience all the moments of parenthood that are better than I could have imagined.
The sacrifice of pregnancy allows me to experience the tiny grasp of my newborn’s hand and to feel that overwhelming love for the baby smiling up at me. I get to hear little voices say “mama” and receive precious little hugs that are only meant for me.
Sacrificing my sense of constant order and cleanliness lets me watch the imagination of my children flourish. I’m able to observe them learn a new skill or help them create an artistic craft. I can watch them play with each other as siblings and see their excited looks of delight when I read to them.
The sacrifice of working from home as a medical biller while raising children lets me watch them grow up and witness their development day by day. I get the privilege of being there for every milestone, every play date, every significant moment in their lives, big or small.
Sacrifice allows me to share in God’s plan . As Christ sacrificed His body on the cross so that we can have life with Him someday in eternity, so I sacrifice my body on the cross of motherhood so that my children can also have life with Him in eternity.
I participate in the work of salvation by teaching my children about God. I witness the fruit of my efforts by watching them sing the “Holy, Holy, Holy” at Mass and listening to them pray to their patron saints at bedtime.
Without sacrifice, none of this would be possible, my children would not be here and my life would be totally different. Would it be easier? Perhaps. But would it be as fulfilling? Most definitely not.
By sacrificing myself and giving up my own desires, God has blessed me one hundred fold in return. He has allowed me to create this beautiful family with my husband and to experience motherhood in all its hardship and glory. To be the only person in the world who these three particular little girls call mommy. And that in itself is worth the sacrifice.
Hannah Christensen is a wife and mom, sipping cups of coffee between loads of laundry and organizational projects. Most days you can find her working from a home office with curly-haired children serenading her with Disney Princess songs. Her favorite days are ones where she is relaxing with her best friend and husband. She blogs about faith, marriage, homemaking and motherhood at lovelylittlelives.com. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Don’t miss out on our other fantastic Everyday Ediths pieces related to the theme of “Sacrifice” for this March 2018: