Sitting together on our leather love seat and watching the birth and growing up years on video of our two oldest children brought tears and memories to the surface for my husband and I.
It seemed like a life time ago. That very moment our very first baby was placed in our arms, we knew that our lives would never be the same. Yes, we had nay-sayers that would tell us that happiness as we knew it, would never be the same, and this little addition to our family would throttle us into a world of craziness.
Almost all of the predictions were true. We were living a crazy life with a new baby. Our lives would never be the same, and our world had been turned upside down.
But, where the words of advice and precarious predictions over starting a family sparked concern in my heart, they had turned to this unexplainable movement of my mind and my actions to embrace the life of someone other than myself.
We were careful to not raise our children in a child-centered home. We struggled to realize that much is demanded from a tiny person, and even more as they grow.
The one thing we were never told might happen, and the last thing I ever saw coming, was the dying of my self.
Yes, my time and energy were consumed with raising babies and toddlers, teaching and being a wife. But, it wasn’t my spirit or my identity that was dying.
The very center of my own will and selfishness was slowly begin replaced with a love that can only give way to good. Filling in the gaps and cracks that self serving thoughts and actions leave room for.
Raising a family can be one of the selfless acts of love we can live out here on this earth.
Where we are pining for a greater and grander mission, or calling, we sometimes miss the largest mission field of dying to self there is.
It is easy to give our family the weariness and leftovers, because they will always be there. Treading not too carefully on their hearts and assuming that any investment is better than nothing. Sometimes, convincing ourselves that we are doing our best, all while giving back to the world, another mission that catches our fancy or a calling that draws us away from our very first love.
Our families are always watching us give or take. Waiting for us to love or leave? Listening to our preaching or receiving our living.
The day we say goodbye to self and serve a God that gives and takes away, is the day our family becomes our biggest mission.
Imagine if our children witnessed humility in our words and our dedication to our homes? The very act of sacrifice, shown to us on the Cross, was meant for Redemption.
A humble act of dying to self for those that I love the most, might be the choice we have to make every day to show our children Jesus.
What is the spirit of your home? Are you willing to go back to the moment new life was placed in your arms?
Dying to self means giving up the very things that have a stronger grip on us than Christ’s love and all that He created.
God created your family and mine.