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.