Family life · God's character · Heaven · home · memories · Motherhood · refreshment at home · Uncategorized

Family Friday – Mother’s Day Dilemnas

That holiday is approaching.  You know, the one where our family bows at our feet, singing our praises for the sacrifices of

  • laundry at midnight
  • science projects aided
  • homemade cookies baked for classroom parties
  • wounds kissed and cleaned
  • A patient, listening ear always ready to fix a relationship problem.

Okay, maybe not.  In reality, likely not.  Not if you still have children in your care.  Not if you’re a single mom.  Not if your husband is caught up in the pressures and stuff of life.  But I’m not here today to shake my finger at them because it’s so easy to forget.

I admit forgetting, too.  As a little girl, I was pretty much only focused on what my mom could and would do for me. Because she was so consistant, I came to expect a hearty meal every day at 5:00, clean clothes in my dresser, hugs when I was mistreated, and words of wisdom to guide my life.  It wasn’t until I became a young adult that I realized how much was sacrificed in order for me to possess that kind of home environment.  It was then that I really learned to say thank you to my loving mom.  I began to comprehend how truly blessed I was.  Every Mother’s Day since then, it’s been my goal to express to her how grateful I am today for all she was and still is.

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So let me stop to say, Mom (Millie Ray), thank you for all you did to make home so special.  Thank you for the meals you prepared that were both delicious and graciously served.  Thank you for taking the effort to decorate our home and keep it clean, and also teach me how to do those household tasks.  Thank you for sacrificing your own career so you could be home for us.  Thank you for loving God and making sure I knew Him, too.  And thank you for loving my dad and showing me that marriage was for keeps.  I appreciated it as a child, but today I once again say thank you and I love you!

To all you readers who are moms, I say, enjoy Mother’s Day by not expecting anything from your family.  Put your thoughts on your mom, or some other woman that the Lord has put in your life to encourage you, love you and support you.  Be grateful for them.  Do something to show your gratitude.  Stop and thank the Lord for your children.  Keep your focus on gratitude, rather than on your expectations. I learned this the hard way!

This is one holiday that makes me hurt for some dear women.  To those of you who wish you were a mom and find pain on this day, I say I’m sorry, and even greater, God understands and sees your grief.  Remember that He is a good, good Father, and don’t doubt His love because He has withheld this from you.

To those who didn’t have a loving mom, I say, God saw, God knows, and that is the reason we needed a Savior.  He gave us His son so we could all understand the greatest kind of sacrificial love.

To those whose mom or child is in heaven, remember that we’ll be joining our loved ones sooner than we think, never to be separated again. I love to think about what my daughter, Ashley is enjoying in heaven at this very moment!

Let’s allow Mother’s Day to find us showing our families that our greatest desire is God’s, “Well Done,” and that the joy of His comfort is enough for every pain in our hearts.  There are many coming behind us that need to learn from us that holidays are man-made, but the joy of being a Christlike woman is God-made!  That’s a gift that only He can give us, and that is enough!

Find refreshment in Christ!

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Using Mother’s Day as a Measuring Stick

I have a question for you moms.  Are you ready?

How was your Mother’s Day?

If you can rejoice and share about the gifts, cards, flowers, meal and attention lavished on you, I rejoice with you.  I also encourage you to lift your eyes to heaven and thank the Lord for this grace gift.

You see, for many Mother’s Day is yet another day to be forgotten.  It’s another special day that should have been recognized, but it is overlooked, like it was last year, and the year before that.

The truth is that we really put too much stock in Mother’s Day.  I’m afraid for many it has become our measuring stick.  Moms line themselves up next to the day and  measure themselves by the response they get from their husband and children.  If they’re forgotten, then they’re a bad mom.  If their picture is posted on social media with praise in the caption, they feel a greater measure of success. “She’s the best mother a husband could want for his children” or “She is always patient and kind” make us over the top happy.

For years I put so much stock in Mother’s Day that when my husband failed to recognize my sacrifice and service to our family, it not only ruined my day (and theirs!), but it destroyed my confidence that I was even a woman fit to be a mother!  Pretty sad.

Then one sad Mother’s day years ago, when I was reading my Bible and brooding, the Lord sweetly reminded me that my expectation was not to come from my family, but from Him alone.

It may seem “only right” that a family would express appreciation to mom, but that is our expectation.  It may seem “only right” that we could have the day off, but that is our expectation.  We could continue to list other things we expect, like gifts, praise, or attention, but all each one of those things does is to imprison those with whom we live!  Each one is its own prison bar, capturing our “prisoners.” (our family).

My soul, wait thou only upon God,

for my expectation is from Him.

Psalm 62:5

When I let the Lord be my expectation, I will never be disappointed.   I need instead to look into His lovely face and ask the question, “How am I doing, as a mom, Lord?”  When He gives His gentle approval or rebuke, we will know that it is given rightly.  He always judges correctly.

We also need to remember that Proverbs 31:25 reminds us that the virtuous woman will rejoice in time to come.  Our praise will come at another time.  It might not be until we see the Lord in heaven, but there will be a day for rejoicing.  It will come because we’ve been faithful to the task of motherhood, and it will be given by the One Who gave us the privilege to be called, “Mom.”

 Don’t give up, moms!  Keep your eyes on the finish line –  the Bema!

So, if last Sunday was a bummer day for you, drop to your knees and get your approval from the One who loves you unconditionally and knows you better than any husband or child ever could.  One Day it will be worth it all and you will be rejoicing as never before!

With love,