the meaning of Sacrifice.


{I’m linking up for the next few weeks with Blessed Is She – which is fabulous, I can write stuff in advance! This week’s prompt is simply “sacrifice”…or so it was at some point. Apparently this week’s prompt changed to “marriage” and “sacrifice” is now on March 5, so I’ll just flip flop these…}

I’ve been thinking a fair amount about sacrifice lately, especially with Monkey’s due date mere weeks (less then 5!) away. No doubt I’ll sacrifice for her, things like sleep, showers, my hair getting done, etc., but that’s only a type of sacrifice.

In a lot of ways my own personal definition of sacrifice changes. At certain points in my life sacrifice has looked more like giving up something, i.e. soda, chocolate, etc. At other points, sacrifice has been more about my heart, my desire, my plans being laid at the foot of the cross for the sake of His heart, His desires, His plans. This year, right now in the beginning of this Lenten season, sacrifice is a beautiful and frustrating mix of both of those things.

I wrote a few weeks ago about the difficulty of going to Mass and not being able to pray in the way I’m used to because pregnancy prevents kneeling/standing/sitting/etc. But as the pregnancy progresses, and little Monkey pushes more of my organs to new places, not only is Mass difficult, everyday life becomes a challenge. Putting on shoes that need to be tied (a la tennis shoes) is something I can’t do without help. Not to mention that my feet swell, so a shoe that confining is no good for all day wear anyway. At work I’m quite used to chasing after, playing with and picking up kids. I love their joy and energy, I love the way they run up to give me a hug with every ounce of love they can muster. But lately I can’t chase after them the same way, picking the bigger ones up is more of a challenge (plus Monkey does NOT like to be any more crowded than she already is), and sometimes when they knock into me with their glorious hugs, it takes my breath away.

Needless to say, I’m finding this all more frustrating than I imagined it to be. I can’t pick up books or move things around the building like I’m used to. I don’t mind asking for help, but its frustrating to feel like I’m not doing my job to the best of my ability (even though I am). I miss the days when I could barrel down the hallway when I heard a kid crying because I wanted that kid to know they are loved and will be okay. Instead I have to settle for a speedy (haha) waddle as others try to console the crying child. I miss the days when I would get home – even after a 12-14 hour day – and be filled with joy and energy from being around these sweet little souls. Instead I’ve learned to simply enjoy making it home, content to pass out in my bed mere seconds after walking in the door.

In this sense the sacrifice of motherhood has begun earlier than I anticipated. Sacrifice at present looks like giving up my idea of what I should be able to do in favor of what I can do – which is much more limited. But sacrifice is also laying down my desire for the sake of His plan. My desire is to continue moving and being active, practically as if I weren’t pregnant, as if there wasn’t a 5ish pound baby crowding my lungs. More than that, sacrifice right now looks a lot like laying down my pride, my biggest crux as of late. I spend my days at work increasingly tired, unconsciously (and slightly consciously – but I ignore that part) knowing that I’m pushing myself too hard. Then I go to the doctor’s appointment and make it seem like everything is just dandy and grand.

It is hard to look at the word sacrifice lately and not instantly be reminded of my pride. I don’t want to go to bed early, I want to stay up late watching Criminal Minds until my eyes bulge out of my head. I don’t want to take it easy at work or admit that I need help, I want to trudge along and get ALL THE THINGS done before Monkey is born. My pride says that if I don’t want to do something, I shouldn’t have to do it. My body says otherwise. Therein lies the sacrifice: giving up my pride, laying it down, picking up my own cross and embracing His plan – even if it doesn’t match up with mine (does it ever?).

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