But sacrifices are so…*inconvenient*

You know what’s a huge pain?  Sacrifice.  I mean the real kind, where you have to actually sacrifice something.  Man, I pretty much totally hate it.

See, I like the kind of “sacrifice” that makes me feel…awesome.  You know, like fasting (but only when I’m not pregnant.  Of course.  See?).  Or getting up super early and powering through my day on very little sleep and saying “look what I accomplished!  Go me!”.  Because those things aren’t, and I’m giving myself away here, actually that hard for me to do.  So I can wear my “Check me out with all my awesome sacrifices” t-shirt and strut all over town without actually having to feel very put upon at all.

But then the time comes for me to make some kind of sacrifice for my family or others that actually inconveniences me and BOY HOWDY do I throw a fit.  Usually not in front of my children (anymore.  Thank you Jesus the power of grace) but in my head all day, and then in the general direction of my poor husband and night, yes sirree.

Like right now.  Right now I’m throwing a complete and utter tantrum in the back of my mind.  Because do you know what sucks and irritates me and seems so unfair and makes me wanna throw stuff?  Having only one car.  UGH!  It’s starting to drive me crazy!  4.85 kids, homeschooling, lots of neat field trip opportunities, classes for the girls to sit in on or participate in and we’re stuck at home. And if it weren’t for CCD at church in the evenings during the school year and the incredible generosity of one of my dear friends here (you know who you are!) who’s willing to come and pick up my big ones and let them tag along with her to the above-mentioned fun events, or another friend who let us use her car to take two other kiddos to a pediatrician appointment, I’d have thrown this fit a loooooong time ago.

Because it’s a sacrifice that I don’t like.  It’s the kind of sacrifice that’s actually, like, a sacrifice.  Have I mentioned how much I totally hate doing things that don’t make me feel awesome?  And see, I know there are so many families who also have just one vehicle.  Or worse, zero vehicles.  There are so many families with one or zero vehicles who don’t have the kind of supportive, generous friends that I have.  And those people might not have beautiful land to play on or animals for their kids to take care of or a gorgeous garden to tend, either.  And they’ve probably been managing it a lot longer than I have.  But because I’m kind of a jerk, I’m throwing a fit about it anyway.

Can’t I just do the hard things that I would choose to do if I had the choice?  Can’t all my sacrifices be totally geared toward my aptitudes and personality so that it will seem like I’m giving something up without forcing me to cope with the irritation of actually giving something up?

The other day my daughter was frustrated by a math problem.  She’s very strong analytically and academically, so she rarely has to manage frustration or set-backs when it comes to school work.  Everything is supposed to be easy.  She gets it done quickly.  She does extra work.  She pats herself on the back.  So when this happens, these “I have to stop and think and learn something new before I can move on” moments, it drives her crazy.  And I said “It’s good when things are hard.  It means we’re being given a chance to grow.”

Pot, meet kettle.

Here I am with this perfect chance to grow, and it’s driving me crazy.  I just want things to be easy and for this to be over quickly.  I promise I’ll do some extra work, even.  You know, right before I pat myself on the back.

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Dwija Borobia lives with her husband and their five kids in rural southwest Michigan in a fixer-upper they bought sight-unseen off the internet. Between homeschooling and corralling chickens, she pretends her time on the internet doesn’t count because she uses the computer standing up. You can read more on her blog house unseen. life unscripted.

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  • Ha!  In the middle of a cranky cleaning session, where I was feeling very grouchy about how I seem to be the only person in the entire house who finds living in squalor unpleasant, The Jude runs up to me, says, “Mommy?  God like to kick your butt,” and then runs off.
    So yeah.  I’d like the sacrifices that I hand picked for myself.  I don’t want the Divine Butt Kicking.  
    And yet there it is…

  • Have you read The Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux?  She was one heroic soul!  Until I read it, I didn’t even KNOW you could make yourself like sacrificing.

  • I’ve not read it, Paula.  Birthday present idea a ‘brewin’!

  • And THAT is why God gave us children.  Priceless.

  • chaco

    Maybe I’m looking for “the easy way” here but I’ve expanded my definition of sacrifice; I’m pretty sure it’s root means sacri – Holy  &  fice – make (make -Holy). For 40 some years I thought it only dealt with pain & self deprivation, but check out these scriptures; Eph. 5: 2  “Walk in love…a sacrifice to God…a sweet – smelling – aroma”   Psalm 116: 17  “I will offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving…”     Heb. 13: 15  “…sacrifice of praise & giving thanks.”    I’ve drilled into my kids the acronymn; J.W.T. – Joys/ Works/ Trials  to remind them of the different forms of sacrifice. Eucharist means thanksgiving and no one will argue that it’s a sacrifice. I’ve also, along with drilled P.O.P. into them; Passion Over Pain, to emphasize how offerring our JWTs, in union with Jesus’ offerring of His, is how we implement Jn. 16: 33 into our lives; “…you will have trials; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  And if you can stand 1 more, C.O.G. – Capital (bank) – Of -Grace; This is the phrase Fr. Kentinech; founder of Schoenstadt (worldwide family apostolate)  uses for what happens to our “Deposits” of sacrifices. In this way, I spare my kids the torture of a sermon; 3 syllables say it all; J.W.T – P.O.P. – C.O.G. [ So as not to “Go-Overboard ” with the trial-sacrifices, which can make ; “Be of good cheer…” rather difficult, Sr. Lucia (witness to Fatima revelations) has instructed that the sacrifice required by God is 1) our daily duties  &  2) live in accordance with God’s law & those of His Church.]

  • Micaela

    We are a one car family right now, too, Dwija. I am in an urban environment, though, so it’s definitely not the sacrifice you are experiencing. But still, I hear ya.

    Love this post, mostly because I am the exact same way about sacrifice. Thanks for the sympathy and the reminders.

    Oh, and Cari, that Jude is one awesome little dude.

  • The Story of a Soul is available for free on Amazon. You would have to download an app to read it on another device if you don’t have a Kindle.