Several years ago, after speaking on the topic of family at a large church, we participated in a Q & A. We responded to the standard questions about raising children, resolving conflict, communication, etc. Then, the question, “What have you had to sacrifice personally to have the family you have today?”
Sacrifice: surrender something for the sake of something else; something given up or lost;
Sacrifice. When we were 25 years old and Christine and Jessica were three months old, we were offered what looked like the opportunity of a lifetime at a large church on an impressive campus with a prominent television ministry and a famous pastor. After spending several hours with the pastor, his wife joined us. She walked into the office, sat on the corner of his gaudy desk and said, “Now, we have realized we will have to sacrifice our family for the sake of this ministry…….” Sacrifice. That was the last thing I remember hearing. I couldn’t wait to get out of that office and on the plane back to Tulsa and to our babies. Decision made. We would NEVER sacrifice our children for that large, impressive, prominent, famous ministry or any other. Sadly, those pastors lost their family and their ministry.
We made a decision to invest in Christian education for our four children from kindergarten through college. Consequently, we drove our cars until they couldn’t be driven anymore (the infamous Corsica), we had mediocre wardrobes, and we put a piece of plywood under the cushions of our powder blue sectional to keep from sinking to the floor when we sat on it.
Dave and I had regular date nights–every Tuesday and Friday and most Saturdays, sitting on metal bleachers cheering for our children as they played basketball, baseball, soccer, softball, ran track, sang in the choir or played in the band. With video camera in hand, we were there.
Each member of our family individually embraced the calling to care for others. We spent many Thanksgivings feeding the hungry and most Christmas Days at a nursing home loving and being loved by people who weren’t going to have a visit from family. It wasn’t noble and it wasn’t a sacrifice. It was fun, and it marked our children.
Our vacations were trips to Idaho to see our grandparents and all of the aunts and uncles and cousins. Lapwai isn’t a vacation destination unless you want to cut sod, build a dam in the “crick,” learn to drive in the sod field, ride the school bus with Grandpa Dan, drink Grandma Weezie’s gravy, or camp on the Selway. Who wants to go to Disney when you can go to Lapwai?
What’s our hobby? Our kids.
Are we VIPs? We are to Braden, Taylor, Lillian, Emma, Hunter, Wilson, Reagan, Landon and Smith.
Are we wealthy? It depends on your definition of wealth.
What have we sacrificed? Absolutely nothing.