From "Quiet Talks on Home Ideals" by S.D. Gordon:
"A lady was calling upon a friend whose two children were brought in during the call. As they talked together the caller said eagerly, and yet with evidently no thought of the meaning of her words, "Oh! I'd give my life to have two such children." And the mother replied, with a subdued earnestness whose quiet told of the depth of experience out of which her words came, "That's exactly what it costs!"
"Yet there was a gleam of light in her eye, and a smoothing in her manner, that told more plainly than words that though she had given much, she had gotten more, both in the possession of the children, and in the rare enrichment of her spirit."
This little story so caught my attention when I read it last night. I have been struggling with the sacrifice that motherhood requires lately. Training four children is no walk in the park, especially when one's own flesh is so alive with impatience, self-centeredness, intolerance, ignorance, and the such! Since Noah was little tiny, I recognized that children in general, but MY children specifically, were God's mighty refiner's fire for me. I have been really feeling the heat lately! Raising children, training and teaching children, unselfishly loving and caring for children really does cost nothing short of my very life. It does certainly require a sacrifice to the point of death for it is indeed my flesh that must die, so that I might live. It must die so that I might live and love those whom the Lord has blessed me with.
But how does that play out in every day life? An every day life full of laundry and dishes, sibling spats and unkind words, scraped knees and runny noses, selfish hearts and bruised feelings? I mean, dying to one's self sounds lovely, perhaps even a bit romantic, in theory. But Jesus is not impressed with theory. Nor is He glorified in romantic notions. He is waiting there, where the rubber meets the road called Motherhood. He is waiting to see if I will die to MY expectations, MY timelines, MY to-do lists, MY selfish intentions, MY lofty ideals, MY hopes and dreams. Raising these children WILL cost me! I am a fool to think it won't. But I am yet a bigger fool to think for one moment that the privilege of mothering is not worth the price I must pay.
"....though she had given much, she had gotten more, both in the possession of the children, and the rare enrichment of her spirit."
Mothers, "let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Gal. 6:9). Oh, how I need to be reminded of that!