Evaluating the Sacrifice

In my last post I talked about our lives not turning out the way we planned. Yet, being satisfied is a very important lesson we must all learn. Carrie and I were talking yesterday about parents who must be gone all the time for work -days and weeks at a time on a consistent basis. I told her that I have wondered what dollar figure makes one decide to sacrifice precious time with his or her family.

I have to say, I love my job. I have a fantastic boss; the work environment is great and very family friendly; and I get paid pretty well.

Am I rich? Not even close.

We live in a small, modest house in a decent neighborhood. We drive one dependable vehicle (which wasn’t new when we bought it, but it was the newest thing we’d ever driven), and I drive our old van. It has over 200,000 miles on it, and the serpentine belt squeals for several minutes every time I start it (in spite of how many times I have “fixed” it). We don’t have “toys”, and we often take one short vacation a year, because we’re unable to afford anything else.

When Carrie and I decided to get married, have children, and home-school our children, we knew we would have to make some sacrifices. However, the sacrifices were the tangible things that have no value in eternity. Sacrificing my family for more money to buy newer cars, nicer clothes, bigger houses, and better vacations was never an option.

When we decide we want more or better, a sacrifice must be made. Some decide they want more or better stuff and time and family must be sacrificed. We decided we wanted more and better family time, and the stuff we have to sacrifice is well worth it.

Would I like to get a newer vehicle to drive to work? Of course. But when I start my squealing van and pull out of my driveway, I am sent off every morning with 3  incredible children and a beautiful wife standing at the door waving goodbye. When my squealing van pulls in every evening a little  after 5:00, I’m greeted with warm hugs by a family who is excited to see me. And you know what? I would have to be crazy to sacrifice something that valuable for something as worthless as a new car.

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