Just a quick forewarning, my very preachy side is shown in the article below. I am not claiming to know the path to Heaven, I am only trying my hardest to be the best mother and wife I can be. If you want to know more about meFeel free to leave your comments too, as we are on this journey together!
Motherhood has taught me so much! I have only been a mother for under two years but my life has changed dramatically. And even more radically once my husband, John, and I truly became involved in our Catholic Christian community. Ideas that are so basic have become more clear to me, and I am thrilled to learn more and more on this pilgrimage towards Christ. Recently the idea that has come up multiple times in homilies and discussions with friends is living a sacrificial life.
What is a sacrificial life?
When we claim to give our life to Jesus, it must be all of our life, not just the comfortable and easy parts. This process takes time, as you slowly open up more to Him and allow Him to come into your life. And if we are to be like Jesus, we should embrace our sufferings as He did. He did not have a luxurious childhood, rather, He worked with His earthly father as a carpenter. As He grew up He had no possessions and relied on the kindness of strangers. He embraced His suffering, 40 days in the desert, a crown of thorns, and dying an agonizing death on a cross. And through it all He loved us. When we look at our Lord opening His arms for us on the cross, we must feel compelled to respond. He took our place on the cross; He took that pain upon Himself instead of allowing us to go through it. We are to offer up our lives as sweet incense to Him giving Him thanks for all we have; because from the car that I drive to the hair on my head, it does not belong to me. If we are to be like Jesus and follow in His footsteps, we will need to make sacrifices too. An idea that is so counter cultural today. Why sacrifice, when the world tells me I can have it all?
How does it change you?
Living a sacrificial life gives EVERY action a purpose. And when all of your actions have a purpose behind them, they are done with more love and kindness and fervor. From cleaning the house, to making dinner, to singing to my baby girl as I change her diaper, these actions are not meaningless or small, they are steps that mold me more like Christ. They are little sacrifices I give back to Him, giving Him thanks through every breath.
And regrettably, I was starting to feel self conscious about my growing body through this second pregnancy. How quickly I fell into the trap of thinking I need to be a size 2 to be beautiful. Is not our Lord the most beautiful person who walked the Earth? Not because of His outward appearance, but because of His great sacrificial love. My body and my fertility are not my own, they have been gifted to me at a great price, and I am called to use them for the right purpose. There is a sacrifice behind every pregnancy, the emotions, the weight gain, the 9 months of discomfort and nausea, the sleepless nights. But through this sacrifice new life is created, just as Jesus gave us new life through His sacrifice on the cross. We are merely to follow in His footsteps, and our crosses are minuscule compared to the tremendous cross He carried.
Motherhood and Sacrifice
I’ve been a Christian my entire life but only through motherhood did this revelation come to me. And even more clearly as I think about the sorrows of Jesus’s Mother. If His own mother had to ride on a donkey 9 months pregnant, give birth in a stable, suffer as others commented and sneered at her young pregnancy, only to see her Son die on a cross, why do I flinch at the thought of giving up an ounce of comfort? My days are happier and more fulfilling as I know there is a purpose behind my actions, no matter how big or small, I am saying Thank You to my Savior with every breath. Every day we are either taking a step closer or further away from God, in every action you can say “I choose You Jesus over myself”.