It’s all about the sacrifice

As we finished up dinner tonight, Kirby and I started discussing the ins and outs of our finances in the new year.  For those of you who don’t know this, Kirby has joined the Air Force Reserves and will be away for boot camp and special training for what feels like an eternity.  He leaves January 1 (yes, New Year’s Day) and will be gone until some time in May, so I’ll be taking care of everything on the home front.

Now, you have to understand a bit about our family.  I know that the wife is really supposed to be the husband’s helpmate, but around here, our roles are slightly reversed.  I truly do not know how to do anything without my husband’s assistance.  I am blessed to have a husband that leads our home, encourages us to follow the Lord in all we do, provides for us, but also takes care of and helps me in everything.  I’m really quite spoiled when it comes down to it, so January will be a serious reality check in the Whitley household!  To help prepare me for this wake-up call, Kirby was giving me a few lessons on handling our budget.

Well, as we were discussing these adult things, our girls were playing in the living room, appearing to be quite oblivious to our conversation.  I mentioned to Kirby that I don’t really know that we will be able to travel to San Antonio in March to visit and see him graduate.  That trip would mean airfare, hotel costs, food money, and time away from work… it may be possible, but we just don’t know at this point what the future will hold.  We are trying to be realistic with all of this, and so we were reminding each other that we can’t make any promises to ourselves or the girls about that trip.

About that time, my precious Raegan surprised us by speaking up.  “Mommy, you can have all of my money.”  Caught off-guard, Kirby and I looked at each other, then back at her.  She continued, “I have money I’ve been saving in my piggy bank.  We can use all of that to fly on an airplane to go see Daddy.”  My heart swelled as I realized the sacrifice she was willing to make for our family.  She has such a small amount of money, and she has saved it for so long.  She never spends her money, and is always saving for something “important.”  Yet tonight, she was willing to just hand it all over to help her family.

I’m so very grateful that this lesson came to me at this time of the year.  As we near the Christmas holiday, we so often focus on the gifts and the parties, the decorations and the festivities.  And yes, we as Christians celebrate the birth of Christ, recognizing the gift that He offers to us.  However, I know that I personally lose sight of the sacrifice behind that gift.  Christ wasn’t just born into this world like any other child… there was a great sacrifice behind that gift.  Our great God in Heaven sacrificed His Son on our behalf.  And Christ sacrificed His life on a cross for you and for me.  Just as my sweet daughter was willing to give all she had for her dad and I, Jesus gave all that He had for us… and all He had is so very much more than we could ever imagine.  He left a throne in Heaven, for crying out loud!  What more could you ask for?

I pray that as I celebrate Christmas this year, I not only celebrate the birth of our Savior, but I also remember the sacrifice behind this Gift from God… Am I living my life in gratitude for such a great sacrifice?  And am I willing to sacrifice all I have to follow Him?

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