So I’ve been pondering Mother’s Day for the last few days now. My heart was wanting to encourage you on this day, a day where you can be so easily disappointed.
I know not every woman is looking forward to this day, after all, whose life really depicts what’s said on those Hallmark cards on Mother’s day anyways?
The reality is….
Not every mother will receive some type of acknowledgement from her own children on a day that is designed to give her honor. (Insert here, she feels jilted and unappreciated by those she serves the most.)
Not every mother will feel deserving of praise. Her failures and guilt as a mother consume her, casting a shadow over her day.
Not every mother/daughter relationship is wonderful.
Not every mother will enjoy her day because she might be mourning the loss of her unborn babies or the death of a child.
Some women will be grieved on this day because they long to be a mother, but their body says otherwise.
Some could be grieving over the taking of their own unborn child’s life.
And some will grieve the loss of their own mother, or mother-in-law, or a spiritual mother.
Mother’s day for some is just plain heartbreaking.
So how do we cope with pain, the broken relationships, the sense of entitlement, the loss, etc?
We turn to God’s Word.
To the mother whose family does not acknowledge her… except for the obligatory, “Happy Mother’s day, mom.” (I know you feel slighted. No card. No flowers. No meal prepared for you.)
In my home, when my boys were really young (toddlers) I went to my husband and told him I thought we should train the boys to appreciate us, whether they were acknowledging Mother’s day, Father’s day or our birthdays. The emphasis wasn’t on what I wanted to receive from them, but rather teaching them to be grateful. A two-year old child has zero concept of thankfulness. If gratitude is not instilled in them when they’re young, then I certainly couldn’t expect them to have a thankful heart as they grew older.
So we taught them to do little things like: make cards, pick flowers in the yard, or take them to a florist, make a meal, etc. For several years my husband would teach the boys to wash my feet the way Jesus washed the disciples feet. To this day, this is one activity that my children still want to do for me. Yes, all of these activities take intentionality and an adult to help orchestrate, but in the end you’ll reap the sweet fruit of a child with a grateful heart.
When you look at the Proverbs 31 woman, the scriptures say her children rise up and call her blessed. I believe this happens when the parents teach their children to be focused on others rather than on their own self-centered ways.
“Her children rise up and call her blessed.” Proverbs 31:28
So if you haven’t already done so, be intentional about teaching your children to bless others. This will mean that you, the mama, will need to go to your husband and let him know what you desire. When my boys were young all I wanted to do on Mother’s day was get some extra rest and have somebody else make the meals for me.
Because your husband can’t read your mind, you’ll need to spell out to him what you’d like to do on this day. Of course be reasonable. It’s one thing to receive honor and appreciation for all you do and it’s something all together different to be worshiped. Jesus Christ is the only person who’s worthy of our worship.
If you’re a mama who struggles with a sense of entitlement, keep in mind that those living in a third-world country have zero understanding of Mother’s day. That’s code for: they don’t even receive any acknowledgement. And you can also consider the woman who can’t have kids or a woman who has lost a child. Sometimes all it takes for us to shove the greedy, envious, and jealousy monster away is to just look at things with a different perspective.
To the mother who has lost a child….my heart breaks for you. I had a neighbor whose 15-year-old son went on a mission’s trip and on his way home he was killed in a car accident. I couldn’t fathom the devastation our friends dealt with in the loss of their son. I know my former neighbor will always have a pain in her heart each year as Mother’s day rolls around on the calendar.
And then there’s the mother in my Bible study whose son took his own life on Good Friday. My mother’s heart knows no pain like this.
But God….He is the God who sees and He heals the brokenhearted.
Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?” Genesis 16:13
He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
To the barren woman…
I’m sure you feel forsaken by the plans that the Lord has for you. I’m sure your heart breaks when you see another pregnant woman or you hear about abortions taking place in this world. Or you happen to follow social media where all you hear are mother’s complaining about their children. Please know that God is at work in your life and you are the apple of His eye.
To the daughter who has a strained relationship with her mother….
Keep in mind that no mom is perfect. Recognize the fact that she did the best she could in raising you, even if you think otherwise. Every mother is an imperfect human being. We don’t always handle things right. And we are all sinners in need of grace and mercy. Be the more mature person and Christian. Extend your love and appreciation to her as best you can, even if that means you’re giving her another generic Mother’s Day card because all the others say how wonderful of an example she is to you or how great of a relationship the two of you have. (If the atmosphere in the relationship is safe, then reach out to her first and simply thank her for taking care of you.)
To the mother whose babies are no longer in her presence…
Sometimes in life we just make poor choices, but regardless of the decisions we make, if we come before the Lord and ask for forgiveness, then He forgives us. Yes, forgiveness is that simple, but I realize you may be dealing with dark memories, memories that will haunt you forever. I pray that you seek counsel to help you get through this time of anguish. Don’t allow Satan another minute to condemn you for what you’ve done in your past.
To the mother whose babies are being raised by another woman….
This one is difficult for me to write. In essence I would be writing this to encourage my own biological mother.
Well, first I would say, thank you for giving me life. Second, I’d like to ask ‘why did you give me up’, but I know I’ll never receive the answer to my question. Instead, I’ll lean into the Lord and trust that He had the perfect plan for my life (and yours).
God knew what was best for your child, the child that He created through you.
Whatever you’re going through this Mother’s Day, turn to your Heavenly Father for the love, acceptance and comfort that every woman needs.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
Live a poured out life for Christ,