Sacrifice and love
Mother’s Day is tomorrow in case anyone needs that reminder! I was joking with my husband that I finally knew what I wanted for Mother’s Day - a clean house, delicious meal, adoring children and husband, and to lose 10 pounds, all without me having to put forth any effort for any of it. Now before you start nodding in agreement to this Mother’s Day magic, let me tell you why this actually isn’t the best thing.
At first it really does sound perfect. The end result would be amazing right? You would be sitting at your kitchen table in your immaculately clean home, eating a delicious meal, having uplifting conversation about how much you’re loved and appreciated. Oh, and that meal and dessert you just ate doesn’t add a single pound to your body! What’s not perfect about that?! It’s the “not having to put forth any effort” part that’s the problem. It’s a problem for two reasons: one - because it’s fantasy. This simply isn’t how life works. And two - because if we never had to put forth effort, how much appreciation would we have for the gifts and blessings we receive?
St. Maximilian Kolbe states, “Let us remember that love lives through sacrifice and is nourished by giving”. He reminds us that love (and we could also include other words such as purpose, joy) flows out of our ability to sacrifice and to give. In other words, when we sacrifice and give effort, love flows out! If this is true, what would the inverse be? When we don’t sacrifice and give, what is flowing? My guess is a lot of things that don’t quite measure up to love, things that leave us feeling empty and longing for something more.
This ties in beautifully with marriage. Marriages that are full of love are also marriages that are full of sacrifice and giving and putting forth effort. This is especially observable in the counseling office. I’ve been able to see a couple come in with little love, purpose, and joy, and have sat with them as they do the hard work of fighting for healing and reconnection, and the end result is incredible. It’s usually these couples who say their marriage was better than it’s ever been. Why? Because they sacrificed.
So what’s my takeaway? For Mother’s Day you deserve to have all the aforementioned things. And it’s ok to allow your family to love and pamper you if that’s what they want to do out of love for you. This is their giving and sacrifice. My point is this - the day after Mother’s Day and every other day, remember how good it felt to be loved and appreciated on Mother’s Day and remember that that love flowed out of your sacrifice and giving. And keep on putting effort into being a wife and a mother because it’s in this sacrificing that you can truly experience something magical.