Ash Wednesday is a week away. Now is the time to determine how our Lenten preparation time will be spent. Before having a child I was always focusing on what I should "give up" for Lent, trying to embrace the idea of loving sacrifice as I withheld chocolate for forty days.
As a mother, everyday is a sacrifice of love. With a few hours of broken-up sleep, a sick baby, tantrums in the grocery store, and the daily demands of home and family, there seem to be constant opportunities to sacrifice with a smile.
While giving up Diet Coke for forty days was certainly difficult as a caffeine-addicted college student, I'm not sure how much it taught me about love. It was sleepless nights, and days pacing the halls with a difficult baby entrusted to my care that finally made me understand the Love of the Father and redemption through suffering. It's hard. The hardest thing you'll ever do. You'll doubt that you even have what it takes to get through, and yet, you would have it no other way. With exhaustion and frustration fading away, love always remains.
God gives us this example of children so we can understand His love for us. Christ's sacrifice for us was a Sacrifice of Love. He asked for His cup to pass, yet, wanting to do the will of God, would have it no other way.
With an older child now with days filled with fun and laughter, I can hardly use Luke as a sacrifice (please don't suggest coffee). However we sacrifice, may we always remember the Great Sacrifice that was done for us. All for Love.
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