My life is surrounded by noise.
It starts the moment my kids awake
and doesn’t stop until the moment they’re asleep.
There is always noise.
Someone is always talking.
Someone is usually crying, fighting, screaming, or yelling.

It is a rarity that there is peace.
Quiet is infrequently experienced, despite my requests.
I am an introvert.
I am refueled by being alone.
That’s ironic, considering I have 4 kids.

My sister refers to their need of me as “piranha hour.”
I can assure you, it lasts more than an hour.

Moms of little ones get it.
Our kids always want us.
Even if Daddy is sitting right next to me, they want me to help them.

Motherhood is a selfless job.
Motherhood is a sacrifice.
Motherhood strips away at everything we are.
It turns us into someone we never imagined we’d become.

Maybe you’ve heard the phrase, “Finding the ME in Mommy.”
I get it.  We need to stay true to ourselves.
We need to continue doing the things we love and stay in touch with our passions.
But quite honestly, if we focus on the ME too much, then frustration sets in.
We can’t be selfless and self-focused at the same time.

We need to take care of ourselves, that is true.
We all been told, that should an airplane start going down,
you are to first put on your air mask, then help your child.
We have to be able to breathe if we are to help another.

But I want to propose that Motherhood demands selfless living.
How often do we as Moms give our kids the last bite of food?
How often do we give them the last sip of water?
How much sleep do we give up?

Much like the fact that our bodies change after giving birth,
we change after having kids.
Our bodies will never again be the same.
Our lives will never be the same.

Much like marriage, when we say yes at the altar, we say no to complete independence.
We choose to align our life and become one flesh with another.
When we say yes to kids, we say no to other things.  
Many other things.
When we bring a child into the world, they demand much from us.
We have to realign who we are with Motherhood.

It’s easy to talk about “giving up rights” when we go on mission trips.
We have to give up our rights if we are going to adjust to another culture, and not offend.
We have to dress in ways we do not prefer.
We have to eat foods that we would rather not.
If we want to further the Gospel of Christ, we have to sacrifice. 

Why is that so hard to do within the walls of our own home?
We still hold on to our expectations.
We want peace.
We want quiet.
We want to continue doing the things we love – daily.
We want to be our own person, and we don’t want our kids to strip that away.

And yet, much sacrifice is required of us.
We must give up our rights in order to parent well.
If we hold onto those rights, we will be met with disappointment when our kids steal them away.
We will instead become embittered.
We will grow to resent our responsibility.
Every little test will bring about a well of emotion.
Each moment of noise will bring about great frustration.

Sacrifice is grueling.
Giving up our rights is painful, at best.

But becoming a woman who is willing to change for the sake of another …
that is beautiful.

Becoming a woman who gives it all up,
who lays it all down,
who demands nothing,
who does not insist on finding ME,
that is a woman who reflects the very nature of the One who created us.

As we reflect Him,
we find the ME in Mommy.
We find the person He wants us to be.

As we reflect Him,
we usher our kids into the very throne room of God.

As we reflect Him,
our kids see His face, 
they see His heart for them,
they are introduced to the One who holds their lives in His hands.

Today I choose to sacrifice.
Today I choose to lay it all down.
And I pray that tomorrow, God will help me make that choice again.
And the day after.
And the day after that …

May I never stop.
Dying to self.

Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, 
let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  
For whoever would save his life will lose it, 
but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  
Matthew 16:24-25