I wanted to write this post specifically for every woman out there. Mothers’ Day can be a day of mixed emotions. Some women relish the opportunity to be doted upon by their children and look forward to calling their own mothers to thank them for the gift of a blessed childhood. Some look down at their empty arms or wombs and ache at the memories of what were or dreams that could’ve been. Some relationships are strained or simply don’t exist anymore and that can bring its own wave of grief or guilt. Not every woman has the kind of relationship they desire with their earthly mama or with their children. But every woman has a heavenly mother who cares deeply for her and loves her like her own.
We’ve all heard it said that motherhood is the hardest job. I’m not here to argue that. Though I have no way of proving that either, since I haven’t held every other position, thank goodness. But I do know from the experience my four offspring have given me, that there are many days I want to hand in my resignation. Motherhood is not for the weary or faint of heart. It will test your mental and physical strength, your endurance, your patience, and your bladder (and sometimes all four on a daily basis). It’s also a pretty thankless job. Not many times do I hear, “Wow Mom, thanks so much for washing the sheets I soiled last night” from my three year old. Or, “I really appreciate the way you wake up early to prepare well-balanced lunches for us each morning Mom, even though the kids give me a hard time for having to eat broccoli at school,” from my pre-teen. But it obviously has its rewarding moments too. Like this… This little nugget of gold came home as a Mothers’ Day card from my daughter’s preschool class last year. I’ll cherish it forever. As usual.
Motherhood is holy work too though. The life of servitude – making impeccably sure their basic needs are met and putting those needs before our own is the very definition of unconditional love. We have the privilege of raising tiny humans, exhausting and daunting as it may be, in hopes that they retain some of the lessons we repeat ad nauseam and get to grow up and demonstrate God’s unending love and unfailing mercy to others. That’s why I strive to look upon my role as Mommy as not just a job, but a vocation. I believe that I was called to be the mother of these four children and it was for HIS purpose that I will do my very best to carry out this holy work.
When I struggle though, and it is daily, I remind myself that I can call out to another Mother who knows all about holy parenting, Mary. While she may have had the perfect son, she knows what it was like to wonder if we’re making the right choices for our kiddos, to ache inside when others laugh at, hurt, and mistreat our children, and to celebrate alongside them in their victories, small or miraculous. I’ve learned I can cut myself some slack… I cannot be a perfect mother to my kids, but they have one anyway – a mother, so full of grace, she’ll never forsake them.
This piece of artwork, titled Polish Madonna, hangs in our laundry room and is a constant reminder to me (since I’m constantly in there) that she’s ‘been there, done that’ in the parenting department. I can look to her for strength to carry on in this holy work. Thanks for holding me up Mama Mary!
Happy Mothers’ Day to every beloved mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, stepmom, friend’s mom who was like a second mother, aunt, sister, cousin, friend, girlfriend, wife, Godmother, expecting mother, grieving mother, and dad who are mothers!
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” Psalm 127:3 (NKJV)