Saturday, February 9, 2013

Don't Call It Luck

I've been hearing a lot of comments lately about how lucky I am. You're so lucky to stay home with your kids. You're so lucky you get to homeschool. You're so lucky you have time to make dinner every night. I've been hearing it, not from the wounded and broken who have no other choice, but from happily married couples. Christians who have all the same options that I have.

I am lucky - don't get me wrong, although blessed is the better word. I love having time to sit and knit with my daughter while the tea steeps. I love cleaning out the broom closet to the very corners. I love reading Good Wives in the sunshine. I love home cooked meals and chocolate chip cookies and whole wheat pancakes on Saturday morning. I love school days and lazy days, work days and Sundays.

But it is not a matter of luck. Once we have kids, who demand everything of us, anything we do requires sacrifice. Going back to college requires sacrifices. Or running a business or serving your church. They all require a sacrifice of something. I have sacrificed a thousand little things I could have done. I have sacrificed a thousand days I might have called my own; a hundred nights of quiet sleep. I have sacrificed a thousand dollars I could have earned. I have had my eye on a better prize, on sweeter promises.

I wish they wouldn't call it luck. Not when they could wake up in the morning and make all the same sacrifices - and discover the same joy.

Listen to Alvin York, World War I hero, genuine mountain man (yes, that's his grammar, not mine) praising his mother. After reading this, my own sacrifices seem slight.

...Father built the log house at the spring and that's where most all of us were borned and growed up. The children kept coming right smart until there were eleven of us. Mother had to work from sunup often until ten o'clock at night to keep us clothed and fed...She milked the cows, made the butter; she looked after the hogs and chickens. She made the soap and the tallow candles and fixed the grease for the lamps. She carded the wool and spun and wove the cloth and made all our clothes. She was a good mother to us, and with Father she brought us all up and we are living today. We're all strong and healthy and well and she enjoyed every moment of it. She enjoyed life much more in those days, so she says, slaving and working for us, than she does today, Jes quietly living with us with not much to do or bother about.
She jes didn't have time to worry or be unhappy. Life tried to crowd in on her and bust her up right smart and she jes wouldn't let it nohow. She knowed what she wanted - she wanted her home, her husband, and her own children, and she knowed she would have to pay for those things with work and sacrifice, so she was willing. That's a mother for you!

I know what I want. I am willing to pay for those things with work and sacrifice. I am willing, not lucky.