Good morning! Today is MONDAY MOTHERHOOD MATTERS! Let me start by telling you a little something I remember about my dad.

My dad always liked buying things from the door-to-door salesmen that frequented our home when I was little. I remember a knife set, a couple watches, books for sure, a vacuum, etc. He said that he liked to support those who are trying to earn a living.

I remember for one of my birthdays, maybe I was 11 or 12, he gave me a pair of earrings with my birthstone, that he had bought for me from a salesman. It always meant a lot to me when my dad would buy me a gift, himself. And I put those earrings, still in their container, in my jewelry box. I don’t know when it was that I noticed the price tag on the back of the earrings. But I remember the amount. Those earrings had cost my dad $40. Maybe it was because I was the oldest girl in the family, but I saw the financial strain my parents were under, and I knew how much $40 would have meant to them. And I tried to think of ways I could somehow earn $40 on my own, and hide it in my dad’s sock drawer, so that he’d find it and there wouldn’t be that strain.

Today, though, I only feel gratitude for the sacrifice my dad made for me that birthday. He used to duct tape his shoes together for work, because he couldn’t afford new shoes. But he bought me $40 earrings.

And I felt loved.

What $40 earrings can I give to my own children, to show them my love? What sacrifice could I make, and would they recognize? Money isn’t something that we have had to worry about since the children were born. What would truly be a sacrifice, though?

And this “$40-earrings sacrifice” isn’t meant to be comfortable. That is the gift of the sacrifice.

But it is meant to be intentional. And it is meant to lead me toward a situation that I want – a life that I want, and the person that I want to be.

“The currency for success is discomfort.”

So, what could it be for me? As a mother, I want to be the version of me that offers “good gifts” (Matthew 7:11) to my children. What does that look like for me? What could be my $40-earrings sacrifice?

  • TIME. My children know that I am busy during the day time, and anxious to go to bed at night time. It would be a sacrifice for me to go to each of their rooms each night and sing a song to them before they fell asleep.
  • PRIDE. Sometimes I am more worried about how the children make me look than what they are going through, themselves. It would feel like a sacrifice for me to, when they have done something in public that would normally bring on punishment, sit with the child and ask the child questions and hug the child and validate the child.
  • THE KITCHEN. This sounds funny, but I’m absolutely serious. The kitchen in my place – it is my refuge and where I create and serve and think and love. When I allow the children to experiment with their own recipes in my kitchen, it feels like a $40-earrings sacrifice to me!
  • SLEEP. The children have always gone to Bry’s side of the bed at night, when they’ve needed comfort. Bry’s idea. He does better on less sleep, and he worries for me. If I were to invite the children to my side of the bed, it would feel like a sacrifice. But I would get to feel the love that I have for them when I am holding them in my arms. That sacrifice would be a gift to me.

And if it is uncomfortable sleeping with the children at night, or if it is uncomfortable sharing the kitchen with little ankle biters, if it’s uncomfortable putting my own schedule and my own agenda aside to purely and wholly care for their’s, then that, my friends, is the negative part of the 50/50 that I want! I want the discomfort of intentional progress!

And I hope that my children will accept the gift offered. But whether or not they do, I do it because it is who I want to be, and it creates in me an unselfishness that doesn’t come naturally to me.


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