Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother’s Day


I have very mixed feelings about the Mother’s Day holiday. 

On one hand, I am EXCEEDINGLY THANKFUL to celebrate my special mom.  I do not take lightly the gift of having her be such a constant part of my life.  Even though we live several hours away from each other, rarely does a day go by that we don’t talk on the phone.  I am truly blessed to have her friendship, wisdom, and guidance in my life.  She has always given me biblical counsel and unconditional love.  She is a strong woman that has fought and survived breast cancer.  She has a servant’s heart that is always willing to drop everything and take care of her family members…even if it means jumping on an airplane to help me and my other two sisters-in-law through pregnancy, bed rest, surgeries, deliveries, joys, sorrows, etc.  I am so blessed to have her in my life.

I am also EXCEEDINGLY THANKFUL to celebrate Mother’s Day as a mom.  From the time I was a little girl, I dreamed of having children of my own.  I prayed to become a mom for many, many years.  Motherhood has brought me so much joy, and I have welcomed all the changes and experiences that come with being a parent.  I am so blessed to have my little Grace Elizabeth.  She is truly a miracle child, an undeserved gift from God!

Which brings me to my first reservation about this holiday.  I remember all the years when I so desperately wanted to become a mom but it just wasn’t happening.  For infertile women, Mother’s Day is the hardest day of the year.  And now when I celebrate Mother’s Day, I can’t help but have a deep empathy for the feelings that other women are experiencing who are infertile, or still single and dreaming of a family.  It’s just hard.  Even when you have a strong faith and trust in God’s plan, the battle against falling into a depression remains.  On past Mother’s Days, I can remember sitting in our church’s choir loft and looking around at all the women sitting in our congregation wearing beautiful corsages.  It seemed that everyone was a mom except me.  Every time some well-meaning church member would wish me a Happy Mother’s Day, assuming that I was a parent, I would smile and reply “thank you” while the knife twisted a little deeper. 

Some of my friends also have a complicated relationship with their mother that causes much stress on this holiday.  The commercialism of our society places expectations on families to make a big deal out of days like Mother’s Day.  When there are underlying problems in the mother/child relationship, this holiday can augment those issues.  I suppose the argument could be made that Mother’s Day is an opportunity to resolve issues and make peace, but let’s be honest…when the relationship is broken, much more is needed than what can be gained by a bouquet of flowers and a Hallmark card.

I also have several friends who are celebrating Mother’s Day after losing their moms in recent years.  This day will provide a difficult mix of joy, thankfulness, and grief.

Honestly, if it was up to me, I would do away with the whole holiday.   I want to celebrate my own mother by loving and honoring her every day of the year.  I celebrate the amazing gift of becoming a mother myself every time Grace kisses me on the cheek, says “I love you”, or gives me a sweet smile.  I’ve even learned to celebrate and give thanks when she’s being difficult, remembering that this is what I prayed for!  And I’d like to avoid augmenting the pain of all the special circumstances that make Mother’s Day hard for so many people. 

But, with all that being said, I want to wish everyone a Happy Mother’s Day!  I pray that, regardless of your situation, it will be a day to give thanks, trust the Lord, and give any burdens to the One who can carry them (and us!).    

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”  (Jeremiah 29:11-12)


Kevin said...

My friend, I can't tell you how many Mothers' Days passed with you on my heart. Your thoughts rang beautifully true with me as I read. Thank you so much for sharing.

I think all four generations of you ladies are quite special.

Love you!

Joanna J. said...


You and your sweet family have always been so faithful to pray for me, and I can't tell you how much that means to me. I love you too!

Kim H. said...

That was beautiful - I hope that you had a truly blessed day yesterday. The day was hard because I not only have the infertility thing happening, but also that my mother and I haven't spoken in 6 months. It's her choice, but somedays it's hard knowing that I don't have one of the mother's that my friends do with a good Christian heart.

I can only rest knowing that God can do a miracle on both items in his time.