We had missions conference at our church last month, and that always gets me thinking about sacrifices. I could so be a missionary. I could go somewhere else, travel and serve and make disciples in some place far away without even really putting much thought to it. However, God hasn’t called me to go anywhere or to do anything on a far off mission field.
Instead, he calls me to something that feels far harder for me and certainly requires a lot more faith. He’s called me to be a homeschooling mom, and we trust in God for provision as we feel that it’s not in his plan for me to try and work and homeschool right now, just for my husband to provide. That means passing up on a lot vacations, new clothes and jewelry, and things that I’ve often felt really deprived to do without. I’ve felt sacrificial as I give up my spare time to tell stories, to patiently explain over and over again how we count to 20 or why 5 +6 does not equal 10 and to often sit on the couch cuddling with a child when my head thinks of all the things “I want” to do.
I’m not a saint or especially patient or kind. In fact, I’m far from it, and many days I feel my own sin more than anything else that I feel–especially after a bad day with one or more of the children, when I model an adult version of a temper tantrum. Even though I often feel like I blow it far more often than I succeed, I find that God continues to give me the opportunity to grow and to change long after I would have given up on myself or anyone else that comes across my path.
I find myself, as I ponder taking great comfort and feeling great empathy from a Sally Clarkson quote that I encountered a couple of years ago:
I always wanted to be a hero–to sacrifice my life in a big way one time–and yet, God has required my sacrifice to be thousands of days, over many years, with one more kiss, one more story, one more meal.
I find myself hoping that this small life that I live, the one that is often not at all heroic, will one day be a testimony of not just my love to my husband and children, but to my love and obedience to my Savior. I want my children and the other people that I share my life with to be able to look at my life and say that I feel Christ’s love in the way that she loves me and in the way that she cares for me. If I were to save the whole world, but those who knew me the best didn’t see Christ in me, what would it profit?
I’ve still got a long way to go, but I know that He who began a good work in me will continue it until it is completed. I can only pray that I will sacrifice more of myself to show more of Him as I take each step in the journey.