1. a :a female parent
b (1) : a woman in authority; specifically : the superior of a religious community of women (2) : an old or elderly woman
2. maternal tenderness or affection
3. something that is an extreme or ultimate example of its kind especially in terms of scale <the mother of all construction
Mothers Day is a day to celebrate Motherhood.
I recognize that it can be a hard day for many women that for different reasons do not have children of their own. I feel blessed that my Mother is still alive to celebrate and I get to spend the day with my 5 wonderful children, but even in that, Motherhood represents a broader theme in my life.
I'm sure it all goes back to my mom... Not only did I experience my mom mothering me and my 4 siblings, but I watched her mother so many others in our world.
I saw her mother my childhood friends, some that didn't have parents available to them for different reasons. I saw her mother teenagers and young adults... young married couples trying to navigate their new life together. I saw her mother and share wisdom with other mothers and encourage them in this great responsibility of raising children.
I could go on and on with all of the things she did! I remember one of my older sisters saying to my mom in recent years, "Mom you could have been a CEO of a Fortune 500 Company!"
My mom laughed... but it's true.
My mom is a very intelligent woman. She was a very diligent student and always did well in school and college. (Didn't follow her example in this.) My mom is still a learner today. ( I did get this part, Mom!) She's always reading a book or some article and sharing it with me. I mention this only because I'm sure there were days my mom questioned how her intelligence was being used.
I thought of my mom this week as I am in the midst of raising my 5. In the middle of what seems like a mountain of responsibility that I'm facing in other areas of my life not concerning my children... I found myself doing laundry... another endless job!
Surrounded by piles of laundry my mind started racing thinking about if my boys still had khaki pants that fit them. Reminding myself that their closet probably is ready yet again for another purging of sizes. (Can't wait to do that in my spare time...) More looming details needing my attention kept flooding my mind. They felt like such a burden and so trivial in light of some issues in front of me.
You see the next few weekends hold a piano recital and a family wedding to attend. So the jeans they wear to church won't cut it. Now I'm thinking about shoes... belts... appropriate socks. ( Thinking the athletic ones won't work) . They'll need haircuts...
Thank God my girls are self sufficient these days. By the way, I failed to mention their dad is also on this list in my head. For all the things my husband does incredibly well, managing his clothes is not a priority. (Have I mentioned he's color blind?)
So all this can sound trivial especially in the midst of major life going on around us... but it matters. The day of the recital it will matter that my kids are dressed appropriately per their teacher's instruction.
In the middle of moments like this I admit I can have thoughts like, "Why am I the one who has to take care of all these details?" "What would happen if I didn't 'think' for everyone all the time?"
Then I remember my purpose.
Those things that God put in me as a woman. Because after he made Adam He said it was good... but saw there was something missing.
Genesis 2:18 says, "And the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." A study note in my Bible says, "A helper indicates that Adam's strength for all he was called to be and do was inadequate in itself."
I'm going to be really honest... I don't necessarily always want to be a "helper". It makes me feel less than... (oh no! is that my pride talking aloud for you to read?)
I sometimes wonder if we as women will always feel this tension between embracing this powerful place God designed for us and resisting what our flesh feels and what the world SCREAMS at us.
He created us to be an answer and a needed help.
I think our flesh gets the better of us at times and instead of rising up to who we are created to be we play the victim. We complain and believe the lies of the world and feel used. You hear women make jokes about the Proverbs 31 woman... like it's unobtainable. You CAN be all that He has created you to be. You just need to rise up! The people around you need YOU! The good news is God has equipped you with what is needed.
So on this Mother's Day I celebrate all the things that God put in Eve that were needed to make this world complete. I truly believe the spirit of a mother was one of those things.
A spirit that keeps you moving and going when you're beyond tired because your love for those in your care is greater than your personal comfort.
A spirit that seeks to encourage with words of affirmation and blessing.
A spirit that is willing to endure pain to bring forth life.
A spirit that brings order to chaos.
A spirit that never gives up.
A spirit willing to have the tough conversations.
A spirit of a fighter.
All the small behind the scene things matter.
The late night prayers...
the late night talks...
the late night laundry...
So when my boys show up dressed appropriately recital day, I'm sure the onlookers won't give it a second thought. They won't look at their pants and think, "wow, I wonder how many pants they had to try on to find some that fit that awkward, ever-growing middle school physique!" How much time did they search through the closet trying on hand me down shoes and belts trying to find something that will work?
Nope the boys will look all cute with their khaki pants, their hair gelled and smiles on their faces.
And I will smile...
I celebrate you this Mother's Day ladies! I celebrate the gift of mothering that God put in you!
Rise up and be the mother your world needs!