Facebook is full of all the embracing friends, smiling faces, clever costumes, and photo ops with published authors and/or famous writers that make up the ANWA Annual Conference. I glance at them from time to time on my phone as I:
Awake with a start at my little girl’s snore, realizing I missed my alarm and my preschooler will NOT be attending school today, so I roll over and look at all the things my phone tells me I missed;
Check my phone as it dings with more updates while I wait for my 11-year-old and aforementioned other children to put shoes on so we can get to that emergency doctor’s appointment to check out the mysterious and worrisome spots covering the 11-year-old’s body;
Log on to Facebook to inform the people in my ward, and then those who attended a going-away-part at my house this week while I was at work, that I have a child who may have the chicken pox, and to watch their kids carefully because he’s likely been (highly) contagious for a week now;
Check during a break at work to see what’s happening in the world.
I’m sad. I love the ANWA Conference, and this year because I am working all night and having to sleep and do the Mom thing during the day, there’s just not any time to even pop in for an event or an afternoon session. It’s just one step further away from the dream of earning a living writing.
Then, I see some other things on Facebook:
Postings from a friend who is married to a cop, of their child’s birthday party, with a caption: “Since Daddy can’t be here, here are some pictures of XXX’s party for him! We love you, Daddy!”;
A link to a news article talking about a veteran of WWII;
A post about the Egyptian Coptic Christians beheaded this past week; and lastly,
A link to a GoFundMe page for my friends, the Masch’s—Scott needs a kidney. His wife Connie, found out that she is a match and able to give him one of hers, and she is beyond ecstatic. All they talk about is how much they are blessed and how much the Lord is mindful of them.
I think about the sacrifices I make for my family. Some are big, some are not so big. My husband sacrifices for me; friends have sacrificed; there’s our clergy, our military, our public safety—so many sacrifices made for each of us. Sometimes we really feel it, and sometimes, it’s not a big deal.
The Savior gave Himself as the ultimate sacrifice. We know how much He felt it, that He sweat great drops of blood and wished to have the trial removed. But praise be, He completed it.
What is it that these sacrifices have in common?
From the fun party I wished I could’ve attended tonight, to the long hours my bishop puts in away from his family, to the lives of those who gave them in service of country, to the ultimate Atonement of my Savior, the common denominator is love.
Not only the giving of love, but the growing of love. When I do things, little things or big things, the love I feel for the person(s) I am sacrificing for gains strength, speed, momentum. That blessing is not always instant, but it is always there.
Conversely, when I acknowledge the sacrifice someone else makes for me, I feel my love for them grow as well. The extent to which I ponder the sacrifice and understand its depth is the extent to which my love grows.
Do you think this is by design?
Is it by what we are willing to give of ourselves that we can measure our love?