on sacrifice

There was a discussion in Sunday School last week about how Christ, a perfect being, needed to take upon himself a physical body in order to work the ultimate, miraculous sacrifice of the atonement.  Not only did he suffer for our every sin, but he physically felt our every pain.

My tired, achy physical body is on my mind all of the time right now, as many of you know (sorry again about all of the whining).  I’ve thought about how He designed this amazing human body — every cell, every organ, every physiological process.  Wondered at how without much help from me, it knows how to produce a human child.  I have also wondered (I’m sure I’m not the only one) why God couldn’t have made this procedure a little easier on the woman.  Had He wanted to, He could have sent children to us in a twinkling, with nary an ache or a pain.

And certainly, the very physical nature of motherhood does not end with pregnancy.  There is the impending pain of childbirth, the act of breastfeeding a baby, and the subsequent years of little children crawling all over you all of the time.  Even older children occupy a mother’s physical space on a regular basis, with sometimes uncomfortable proximity.  All of this physicality seems a burden now, but I can only imagine the pain that ensues when one’s children begin to strike out on their own, ending this physical era of mothering.

As I have pondered all of this, I am reminded that though we are ultimately spiritual beings and our spiritual life is what matters, our experience on earth is a physical one.  This tiny discomfort I am in the midst of (many women, pregnant and otherwise, suffer far more than I do), is a sacrifice that is required of me in order to receive another child, and is part of my earthly experience.  I don’t know why God requires this sacrifice of mothers, but I do know that His wisdom is infinite.  And I am willing to pay this price, not only to bring a child to our family, but as His servant.  For although He loves me, and as my Father would not wish me pain, I know it is His will for me to make this small sacrifice, and that by doing so, I may draw nearer to Him.

Now will reminding myself of this each day make the next three months of discomfort easier?  I’ll let you know.


6 thoughts on “on sacrifice

  1. kate

    I’m sorry your pregnancy is so hard. I can’t imagine. As weird as it sounds I’m jealous. And I guess my motherhood experience so far hasn’t been felt so much as physical aches and pains, but instead emotional aches and pains. And those are hard too. And I guess I need a few more kids and a few more years as a mother to get tired of children crawling on me. I’m kinda liking Charlie all over me. Especially last night at 4 am when he wouldn’t sleep but would snuggle right up against my chest and sleep. I live for cuddles like that. He doesn’t give them very often. I hope the last three months are as easy as possible for you and your body!

  2. kira

    I always appreciate your pregnancy thoughts…helps me keep perspective. I’ve started enjoying some sciatic pain. Maybe all those aches are to remind us to take care of ourselves too! :)

  3. Robin

    Hmm, interesting. Andrew and I just went to see Into the Woods at the Hale Centre Theatre last night, and I’m seeing some interesting parallels. If you aren’t familiar with the show, it has a lot of themes about parenting and the difficulties of raising children, and actually has the main couple going to great lengths and sacrifice in order to be able to have a child. Then, in the second act, they start going through challenges that almost make them wonder if the sacrifice was worth it. We make so many sacrifices as parents, physically, mentally, socially, etc. I think, though, we do it because the very definition of sacrifice is giving up something that is precious to you in order to obtain something even more precious. You know, though, I think you ought to look into getting a maternity massage. They do them at a lot of spas, for a fairly reasonable amount, and they are safe and from what I’ve heard, absolutely heavenly in the last trimester. With four kids to deal with and another one on the way, you deserve a little pampering!

  4. Pauline

    I can totally relate to the aches and pains of a fourth or fifth pregnancy. It DOES feel like it will never end doesn’t it? I just had my fifth a few months ago and I have to say – it was just plain hard. The first couple of times were so special and meaningful. At this point though, it is means to an end. Hang in there! You’ll love him that much more! Oh, and I just found your blog and have read your entries. Just love your candidness. Makes another mother of five feel normal. A lot of blogs written by moms of larger families seem like super spiritual, super domestic and wifey. You brought some realness and normality to it all. Thanks!

  5. liz Post author

    As Kate knows, I appreciate her words and am reminded to appreciate my situation. I can’t wait until this baby is snuggled up to me, instead of kicking my bladder.

    Kira, sorry about the sciatica. I’ve had that before — not my favorite. It helps to commiserate, doesn’t it?

    Robin, I love that musical. Pretty thought provoking. Thanks for the massage idea — I’ve thought about that and it seemed too indulgent, but it’s looking better all the time.

    Pauline, welcome and thanks for your kind words. We’ll just keep on keeping it real around here — I’m glad to hear it’s not just me that isn’t thinking the 5th time is so fun.

  6. anne

    “physical era of mothering.” perfect description and thanks for the reminder that it is fleeting. as rog sat on my lap giggling and grabbing his feet this evening i lamented the fact that he’s growing so fast. it’s hard to imagine sometimes, but this earth life really is going to seem like the blink of an eye or like a dream.


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