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I am using that word more and more. Maybe I’m more aware of the act of sacrifice than ever before.

Military families know. When people die for their country, it’s sacrifice. Jesus dying on the cross was the ultimate sacrifice.

Moms and dads sacrifice. Spouses sacrifice for each other. When they do not put themselves first, it is a sacrifice whether they call it that or not.

As I walked dogs down the road by our house this week, I was horrified by the trees whacked off under the power lines. My head understood that the tree trimmers were protecting the power lines, keeping our valley in electricity. Still, my heart ached for the trees. The trees sacrificed.

Stretch marks on bellies, a sacrifice. Callouses on hands, a sacrifice. No one complaining, but still a sacrifice. That’s not all. It’s real love. It may not have that Hollywood touch, but that’s authentic love.

Unselfish people sacrifice. Children sacrifice. When you do something for someone else at your time or expense, it’s a sacrifice. If you tend a sick child or dog, stay at a hospital with a friend, work longer hours to pay the rent, teach boundaries rather than being best buds, it’s sacrifice and great love.

Mitch Albom wrote, “Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s suppose to be that way. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to.” Now that got my attention.

There are no guarantees with love or relationships. That’s the kicker.

We can be whacked on, but we go on. Comfort goes out the window. We may never be the same. The old way, the old thinking may have to die. I really think that is true. We become new and different.

Honestly, I grow tired from being whacked on. But what can I do about it? Nothing. It is going to keep coming my way because I actually keep praying and asking God to use me. I think it is part of that growth process. And I don’t dare change my prayer.

Love and sacrifice. The alternative has no appeal.

Photo by Haven Jimerson on Shipps Drive, Norfork, Arkansas. January 21, 2017.

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