Mother’s Day. A day to celebrate the hard work and selflessness of moms everywhere. It is a day for her to be appreciated and maybe even pampered a little bit. It is a day to honor her.
What if you long to be “her,” but you are not, yet? If that is you, I wish I could give you and big hug and encourage you that you ARE a mom. You do not need to have given birth to a child to be a mom. There are so many boys and girls that need guidance, love, encouragement, nurture, and attention. You have all of that in you to give. I am sure you already give so much of your motheringness away to those God has put in your life. So I will be celebrating you today along with all of the other moms.
At the same time, if you are waiting for a little life that calls YOU, “Mom,” I understand that Mother’s Day can have a shadow over it. It can be difficult to celebrate others when they have the very thing you so deeply desire. It can be difficult to have an entire day set aside to honor a circle of women when you feel on the outside of that circle and you can’t do anything about it. Having me tell you that I genuinely believe you are a “mom” already does not really meet that deep longing in your heart. I get that, and I am sorry for that pain.
Whenever I am struggling, I try to ask myself, how does God see my situation? Often, he sees much differently than I, and if I can figure out how to see his way, I know I will feel a lot better.
How does God see Mother’s Day? This is a good question for anyone to ask – whether you are a currently a mom or you are waiting to become one. I will first address the question from the perspective of the one who is waiting…
God is all about honor…One of the 10 commandments says to honor your mom and dad. The concept of honor has been almost completely lost in our culture. Unfortunately, the Western world has become quite “me” centered (see the cover of the recent Time magazine), which does not leave much room for honoring others. To honor someone is to bestow upon them recognition and favor. It means to elevate another to a position of special regard. If someone is the guest of honor, they are the person with the best seat at the table. If someone is being honored with an award, they are being recognized for something they did.
In some cultures, it is expected that any guest in your house is treated with the utmost honor and respect. The guest receives the best food, the best seat – the best. There is something absolutely beautiful about honoring another person. The act of honoring is completely selfless.
Honor, at its simplest form, is not merely about recognizing someone for something they have done or earned; it is about treating someone well simply because they are a person, a person created by God.
God puts it this way, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourself” (Philippians 2:3).
This is the essence of honor. To consider others better than yourself. That does not mean that you have to tear yourself down – its quite the opposite. Someone who is emotionally healthy has an easier time bestowing honor upon someone else because they themselves are not in need. They are not hungry for honor.
Inevitably, if you leave the house today, you will come in contact with a mom (or a future mom). Think of how you may intentionally honor her today. I received an unexpected text this morning from a friend (who longs to be a mom, but does not yet have a child of her own) that said, “Happy Mother’s Day!! You are such an incredible mother that I have enjoyed watching and can’t wait to learn from someday.” Made. My. Day. …You have the power to make someone’s day today – even a stranger’s. Honor any woman you see today!!
Now for the moms with children they call their own…
Since becoming a mom, I have struggled on a few mother’s days because I built up so much anticipation and expectations for that one single day and I found myself disappointed. My poor husband. I did not realize that I was looking for a complete validation for my existence on that one day. Being a stay at home mom has not been easy for me, and as a result, I held out hope that on Mother’s Day I would feel the “That a’ girl” or “well done” or something like that. I spend the majority of my time, energy, and strength pouring into my family and there is no “boss” who sends a good report my way or gives me a raise to let me know I am valued and appreciated. Therefore, on mother’s day, I was waiting for my big reward for a year’s worth of work. It is no wonder I found myself disappointed. No single person (even the greatest husband on earth) could fill that place in my heart that needed reassurance, encouragement, and validation. Only One is capable of handling that task.
I believe God knows fully how difficult it is to be a mom. I believe one day he will welcome us into his glory and give us a high five as we walk into his presence if we persevere and finish strong…and even if we just barely stumble into his presence. He knows the struggle and he ordained the joys of parenthood. All he asks is for faithfulness on our part, and we would do well to remember that he did not call us to mother with only our own strength.
God celebrates mothers – not just on one day a year. He is celebrating her when she is cleaning up vomit. He is celebrating her when she rubs a back and offers her presence. He is celebrating her when she stops what she is doing to offer correction and discipline to a wayward child. He is celebrating her when she cries out to him because she is overwhelmed and tired. He is celebrating her when she does laundry. He is celebrating her when she shares a meal with her family. …I could easily keep going. He sees every little thing that you do. Some days it feels like no one notices, but the most important Being in the world sees and is proud of you.
“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to what their deeds deserve.” ~Jeremiah 17:10
“The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.” ~1 Corinthians 3:8
Happy Mother’s Day to YOU today – whether someone would call you a mom or not. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!!