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Lent Photo-A-Day (February 10 – March 27, 2016)

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Day 38/39 — Sacrifice/Choice

I’ve decided to do these two words together because I find them confusing. I’m not sure I understand the difference.

I’ve made a lot of choices in my life. Choices that I know others have viewed as sacrifices. Not pursuing the career I wanted. Leaving a job I loved to be a full-time mom. Going back to work when the kids were finally in junior high even though I enjoyed being home. And, of course there were millions of other little choices peppered in there day to day. And while I did those things for the sake of our marriage and a family, they were still my CHOICES.

Choices, I think, are about weighing the options and making the best decisions you can with the information you have. SACRIFICES, on the other hand, are about denying yourself something for the sake of someone else, or for the greater good. Something you can’t recover. And I can only think of one time in my life I ever came close to doing something that fit that criteria…

25th-anniversary-balloonOur 25th wedding anniversary was coming up in April and we had planned a huge party. We were going to renew our wedding vows, and my dad’s band was going to play for a dance. We were so excited. Me in particular because I got to buy a very special dress for the occasion. I’d had my eye on it for awhile and was hopelessly in love with it. (It actually cost more than my wedding dress did and was far more beautiful!)

But in February my dad passed away, and neither Drollery nor I had the heart to go through with the whole thing. So we put it all on hold. On hold till when, we didn’t know.

In the meantime that summer our daughter decided she had outgrown her little-girl bedroom set and was very much wanting a makeover for her room. She especially wanted an entertainment center with shelves and a place for a stereo and TV. Trouble was we were really strapped for cash at the time. She was so disappointed. She had just become a teenager, and you know how teenage angst can be.

imagesSeeing her disappointment was heartbreaking for me. More than anything I wanted her to have that entertainment center. The fact that I thought about what I was going to do for awhile makes it seem like it was a choice, but it felt way more like a sacrifice. I took my dress back. I cried when I left it at the store. I didn’t even get full price for it because I’d misplaced the receipt and it was now on sale. But it was still enough, and a week later when we bought the entertainment center and brought it home, the surprise and joy on Stef’s face made it seem more than worth it.

Do I wish I hadn’t done it? Sometimes. We had no idea when, if ever, we’d try to plan another party. A Silver Wedding Anniversary is a special one that only comes around once. As it turned out, we did plan our celebration — ten years later for our 35th anniversary. HUGE ceremony, reception, and dinner. And I got to buy another dress. But as nice as it was, that dress just couldn’t hold a candle to the one I’d fallen in love with. And I think that’s what makes it feel like it was a sacrifice.

Sacrifice or choice? Don’t know. I’m still confused about these two words. The only thing I know was the look on Stef’s face when we set that entertainment center up in her room was just plain priceless.

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Today, instead of a quote for each of these words, I’m going to leave you one I found that seems to reflect popular culture’s idea of sacrifice and choice. Needless to say, it’s certainly not something I agree with…

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How do you feel about it?

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Picture Credits:
25th Anniversary — www.partiesinabox.co.uk
entertainment center — www.shoppingbliss.com
quote — boardofwisdom.com

 

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