Every where I've gone in the last few days, I've heard the the parting farewell words, "Have a Happy Mother's Day!" Do these clerks and bank tellers just look at me at my age, perhaps see the wedding ring on my hand, and assume that I am a mother? I know this farewell is spoken with good intentions, and yet, part of me wonders if these words bring a soul ache instead of the warm "Hallmark card" commercial feelings?
Just this past week, I've read several posts about the hard side of Mother's Day. I read one written about foster mothers, who spoke of the impact of this day on their foster children, often acting out as a way to express their emotions about the brokenness of their lives. I read several facebook links to stories about mothers who had lost a child to suicide. I listened as two radio hosts discussed how hard it can be for single mothers of young children, with no dad/husband to help the kids prepare the crazy breakfast, or buy the cards, or do the dinner out. I thought of the women I know who are struggling with infertility...a very real heartache as they see their friends having babies just as they planned. I thought of young women I know and love who thought they would be married by now, and have children to hold...yet remain single.
Even for me, Mother's Day is a bittersweet day. I miss my mother more, it seems, each year that passes, though she passed away over 17 years ago. I miss that I can no longer buy her a card and attempt to convey the love and admiration I have for her. I miss my mother-in-law, who passed away a year and a half ago, who delighted in these holidays, and loved and affirmed my husband, her "builder" son, so well. And, as many of my friends are becoming grandmothers now, though I rejoice with them, my heart hurts a little. Both of my sons are still single and one of them shared with me just the other night, "I really thought I would be married or at least engaged by now."
As all these thoughts and stories filled my mind, I thought about how God not only knows our hearts, but actually created that mother and child connection. I thought of the mother of Moses, who just knew that he was a "fine child," destined for greatness (Exodus 2) and went to great lengths to preserve his life. I thought of pregnant Hagar, who flees from the mistreatment of Sarah, Abraham's wife, and the angel of the Lord meets her in the desert and assures her he had heard her misery and "sees her" (Genesis 16). I thought of Hannah, who cries out to God for a child and the Lord finally opens her womb and she receives a child (I Samuel). I thought of Mary, the mother of Jesus, who "treasured" all the events of his life (Luke 2:19 and 2:51).
There are so many passages in the Word that assure us that God knows and hears our heart cries as women and mothers. In Psalm 91, God gives the picture of a mother hen, and says, "He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge." In Isaiah 49: 14-16, "But Zion said, "The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me." Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you. See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands, your walls are ever before me." And God encourages us to persist in prayer for our children in Lamentations 2:19, "Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your hearts like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift you your hands to him for the lives of your children..." These words give me comfort that I can trust in my God who hears my prayers.
I was perusing Youtube, looking for a song about mothers that I could share. Frankly, there are many of them but most just struck me as being way too sappy. Then I came across this video, not a song, but full of truth about the joy and challenge of mother hood.
Yes, mothering can be full of Hallmark moments, it is also full of tears, closed doors, doing battle for our children...for children. I am so deeply thankful for both of my sons...and all that they have taught me about myself and the love of God. Let's just commit to soldiering on together...praying and trusting our heart's cry to our God, our creator, who loves us so deeply...deeper than even a mother's love.
And, because I want to be balanced and show the upside of mothering, you need to watch this video!
Recently I loaned a book to a friend, and she found this tucked inside the jacket cover. How it got there I cannot say!
Now, why I am "the moon" I'm not sure I will ever know! Drew's thoughts were always outside the box!
But, these are the things a mother cherishes and "treasures in her heart." I hope this Mother's Day is one of joy, no matter what situation you are in. I cling to the words of Jesus in John 10:10, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Off to pick some weeds and clean the deck...warmly, Gracia.