Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sacrifice



Tonight I am tired and really don't feel I have much in me to write, but I WILL blog this day #3...

Sacrifice...

Tonight I reflect on my parents--who have sacrificed their entire lives...

They sacrificed in order to raise five children.  They could have decided that kids cost too much money.

They sacrificed to invest in some foster children--and any friends their children had who needed a place to stay.

They sacrificed when they were young and had their first couple of kids, and my dad had such huge health issues that--I'm sure--it cost them everything they had and more to get him diagnosed properly.

They sacrificed to coach their five kids in t-ball and little league and to drive us all back-and-forth to one game after another:  baseball, basketball, band, football, wrestling, track, and various other school and church activities.

They sacrificed to stand apart from mainstream society and to expect proper morals from their children (not perfection, though)--even if it sometimes meant embarrassment on their kids' part when they had to confess, to apologize to a teacher, to take the consequences for actions that we wish we would have rather not confronted...

They sacrificed when they told some of us who were near adulthood (or already arrived) that we must live by their rules, while living under their roof, or find someplace else to live.  Sometimes love is TOUGH!

They sacrificed when they explained to one child under age 18 that all people live under someone's authority--whether that is a parent's, a boss's, a teacher's, a principal's, or even God's--and that they would hand the authority over to a police officer if that juvenile refused to live by his parents' authority.  I still remember being in the car, crying, and begging my brother to make the right choice.  I didn't want to lose him.

They sacrificed when they discovered my dad had cancer in 1994 and was told he had four months to live.  It has now been 19 years.  Sometimes doctors don't know everything.  He defied the odds--with medical treatment, nutritional supplements, and God's grace and provision.

They sacrificed when my dad was diagnosed two more times...and as he now fights his long, lingering battle with nonhodgkins lymphoma.

They sacrificed as my dad fought alcoholism and made choices that hurt himself and those he loved, as much as he hated that.  They finally won the battle almost ten years ago, when he was freed from his addiction.

They sacrificed to remain married when it would have been so much easier to just walk away.  Life can be so tough!


Through all the sacrifice, I haven't heard grumbling, accusation, or words of bitterness--just voices claiming God's goodness and provision.  They probably don't even consider these things a sacrifice--just lives spent doing what they knew best to do.

Next August 7 they will arrive on their 50-year journey of marriage...I contemplate what gift to give, what item would mean something to these two people who mean so much to me.  Nothing can ever repay them for their sacrifice, their love, their support.

I am truly blessed.

12 comments:

  1. Thank-you for sharing a bit of your heart tonight. Your parents are incredible people.

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Becca! Yeah, I AM blessed!

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  2. I'm glad you wrote, even when you didn't want to. :) I find these are often the conditions for writing with raw truth.

    I'm wondering

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  3. OOPS! Comment Part 2...

    I'm wondering if you could do something with your words as a gift to them. This post is beautiful (stop rolling your eyes!) and could be the anchor for an anniversary gift.

    Ruth

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    1. You know me well...Gary often asks me, "Are you REALLY rolling your eyes?!" Maybe I've been around middle school kids too much! ;) Thanks for commenting! The word gift is a great idea!

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  4. The first thing I thought of was "This post would be a great gift for them!!!"
    This is beautiful, Shelley!! So well written!

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    1. Thank you, Christie! It's so easy for me to feel like what I have to say is "dumb" or that my parents already know how I feel. The power of words is so surprising! Reading comments from each of you on the blog reminds me of how we each thrive for verbal recognition of our efforts! Thank you for taking time to read and respond!

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  5. I hope you take Ruth's advice and share this as part of a gift for your parents- your parents sound like remarkable people.

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    1. Thanks, Tara! I think I just might have to follow through... Thanks for taking the time to comment! I cherish the feedback!

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  6. I agree that this could and should be your gift to them///sharing their story with us...with others...so that we too can be witness to the power of love and tenacity...or as my dad offered...endurance.

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