Sacrifice

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See that? That’s my man…changing diapers. Which he considers his duty when he’s home from work because it’s one of my least favorite things to do.

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And this? This is him grocery shopping with me because I did not want to go alone tonight. Sacrifice.

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And these pictures are of precious women who watched our children so we didn’t have to take them out in the cold and so mommy could have help. More sacrifice.

Oh, and there is a story of a man who graciously took time out of his morning to come plow our driveway. A gift.

Today, I am choosing joy not only because of the incomparable sacrifice that Jesus made for me, but also because I am on the receiving end of other  people’s sacrifice in a tangible way.

I am so thankful for the way these people sacrificed their time and energy to love me today.

I needed it.

We all need it.

The examples of these people today made me think about the life of my friend Shannon. She passed away from cancer a few months ago. Even though I did not know her for a long amount of time, she taught me a significant amount about offering yourself to others. We knew she was in a battle with her body, in pain because of the treatments she was undergoing. This did not stop her, however, from bringing a snack (that she baked) to small group every week, or from making sure you knew she cared about how you were doing. Even in the midst of a day of pain, she sacrificed her comfort to bring us dinner after we had our second daughter. She made sure the spotlight was on you, not on herself. After she passed, I received a book in the mail unexpectedly. It was a book her and I had talked about in one of our conversations about what we liked to read. A conversation I had forgotten about until I opened the package. I was blown away by her intentionality to love me well. The joy I felt was heavy. The way Shannon lived her life has taught me so much about how I hope to make others feel.

My desire is that I live my life in such a way that I sacrifice for others. Sacrifice my time, money, and energy for the sake of those around me. Even when I don’t want to. Even when I don’t feel like it. Because I know the truth, “It is better to give than receive.” And I know how loved and cared for I feel when other people lay themselves down for me.

Whose sacrifice has made an impact on your life? I would love to hear and be encouraged by your stories!

 

 

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