Baseball season has begun in our house. Our oldest son plays in a park district league for 6 weeks. This year my husband is helping out on the field with the kids when he is in town.
It really is a fun time of year for me. I find joy in watching my son play, be a part of a team and really enjoy himself. I am also enjoying watching my husband encourage other young players and put himself out there as a role model and helper.
Recently my husband asked me if I was going to stay home during the next game and put the other 3 kids to bed since the game won’t even start til after 7pm. The thought had never crossed my mind.
And then I started to tear up.
It was the first time I realized that I may have to miss some summer baseball games. I have 3 other small kids under 4 who need love, care and attention. Their rest and wholeness is just as important to me as being present for my son.
Part of me feels sad. I want to be at the game and enjoy my sons bliss as he does, cheer him in success and comfort him in failure.
Part of me feels selfish. My other children are just as important to me, why does this occasion prompt me to perhaps test and stretch them beyond their small selves capacity so I can be where I want to be? Yet, my intentions of presence come from a place of love and love is not self seeking.
Part of me gets caught in the lies that I sometimes believe about my role as “Mom”. Why do I feel like the simple “needs” of my children are such a huge sacrifice on my part? Yet, I love them deeply and just the fact I am thinking this thought gives me hope.
As I think of these things over the dishes my thoughts wander to the Garden. That Garden. The one Jesus prayed in and sweat blood in.
That place where His sacrifice was His life. Where He was willing to give it all for His disciples. A moment where He knew His love for them and the people of the world far outweighed any experience He might have in the future.
And I am humbled. I am moved to silence. Peace overwhelms me.
What feels like a sacrifice is really a gift.
I am not sacrificing myself on the altar of motherhood but instead I am gifting myself to my small children who need rest at home. I am not sacrificing my “need” to be with my son but instead I am gifting him time, experience and memories with just his dad.
And my sacrifice is nothing compared to what has been given to me.
Lord willing my children will grow older, bed times will get later, summer baseball games will happen again. This season, this time, is short. It’s significance is small in the big story of life.
And I begin to understand. I begin to see Jesus praying and crying. The sweat becomes blood as his heart wells and overflows with the deep love He feels for His people. And ultimately, He is willing to sacrifice it all.
All the future maybes are put aside for the ultimate forever with a single life.
I am the beneficiary of that sacrifice.
Today, I see my small insignificant sacrifices and pray that all the missed games and little kid bedtimes and hard choices will point my kids to the one Gift they really need. May my life be full of small gifts that point to this garden moment. This Jesus.
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