Today was a day like many others recently - a day of sacrifice. It was also, however, a day of blessings. And, like always, God decided to share with me a little lesson along the way.
The morning started with my commitment to run morning carpool for Mackenzie and friends. It was followed by my commitment to pray one solid hour for those I love. At times I see this commitment as a blessing, but lately, I pray with a sense of urgency to move on to the next task at hand. It's just so hard to sit still and pray when my mind is racing around the millions of things there are to do.
One thing heavy on my heart was the 20 gallons of paint still missing. The store had to order it and promised it would be here weeks ago. As of yesterday there was still no sign of it and now I was worried about paying a painter who in a few days will be ready for a paint that is not there.
The hour ended and I called Nelson to develop a "what if" strategy for the missing paint. I hung up the phone and not one minute later, the store manager called to tell me the paint will be in tonight or tomorrow! God showed me that the little sacrifice of an hour produced a much bigger blessing.
I spent two hours after school heading up Mackenzie's Little Sisters Group. I was exhausted and my leg was killing me. The girls were giggly, loud and as energetic as ever. I was glad I could serve in this way but I was already wondering how it was going to work the bigger I get.
As I was preparing dinner, Mackenzie asked me when I was going to order my t-shirt. I told her I would probably not get one this year because I didn't want to buy one to fit the big belly and then have to get another one next year after the baby comes. She responded with an exuberant, "You're going to do it again next year?! YES! That will be awesome!" Again, the blessing far outweighed the sacrifice.
Tonight my husband gave me some time off so I went to get a pedicure and waxing. As she was ripping the wax off of my eye area, the thought occurred to me about the sacrifices we women are willing to make in order to appear beautiful. Why do we choose to put ourselves through such torture?
Well, I do it first of all because somehow it makes me feel a little better about myself. It gives me the impression that I somehow look more beautiful. I also do it for the reinforcement I get from other people. Little comments about how big your eyes are or how they love your toes or that your feet are so soft go a long way. I guess I also do it because I am female and I feel that somehow, these types of things are expected of me.
It's much the same in the spiritual world. It takes a lot of little sacrifices and at times a few big ones to grow in holiness. And why do we do it? Why do we serve without pay or notice? Why do we take time out for prayer? Why do we sacrifice?
First and foremost, it's what's expected of us. I can here my mom quoting the old Baltimore Catechism, "We were made to know, love and SERVE the Lord." We also do it out of our love for others. Especially as mothers, we sacrifice a lot to ensure our children grow up to do the same. And, the more we do it, the more we begin to realize that most of the time, the one doing the serving gets just as much out of the service as the one being served.
It feels so good when God reveals the obvious. It's a brief window into His vast plan for our lives. For Him, it's all in a day's work. And today, it was for me too.