One year ago today my husband and I got into one of the biggest fights of our marriage (top 10, at least). The fact that it just so happened to be Mother’s Day only added insult to injury. Although the fight had nothing at all to do with Mother’s Day, it being Mother’s Day didn’t help his case any, in my opinion at least. After all, it was mother’s day. I, his wife, was also the mother to his three small children. What possible beef could he have with me on the day designed specifically to celebrate me, a mother?!
A full 365 days later, we can laugh about that day, but at the time, I assure you I was not laughing. It was a lousy day. We couldn’t even pull it together enough to get to church, where I most likely would have been publicly applauded for my greatness as a mother. Although Chris and I had reconciled our differences by the end of that very long day, I nonetheless went to bed that night hurt and disappointed. The day had been marked by yelling and tears and angry silence. When I awoke that morning, I had carried hopes of brunch and flowers and gifts. The day had fallen terribly short of my expectations. And isn’t that where expectations most often leave us? Disappointed? In fact, I think that’s how I almost always feel when I try to make something about me. Disappointed. Empty. Hoping for something more.
I’m not looking to rain on anybody’s Mother’s Day Parade this morning, but today can’t be about you mom, because the truth is, it’s not about you. As soon as we begin expecting it to be about us, we loose the very essence of what it means to be a mother. As followers of Christ, we can’t claim to serve Him and then try to make anything about us. Being a mother isn’t about what we hope to gain, but about what we have to give. Our children grow bigger as we make ourselves smaller. These principles are life-giving. They illustrate the Gospel to an entire generation of women who have been told that it is about them, who have been told that they “deserve” manicures and pedicures, spa days and girl-time. These principles tell of a King who would serve his people to the point of death, never claiming to “deserve” anything, even though he was the creator of everything.
Mark 10:42-45 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
It’s not about us, moms. If it’s about us then it’s meaningless.
When my boys wake up in a few hours, I am going to open up each of their home-made hand print gifts and add them to my growing collection. I am going to appreciate and enjoy whatever gift my sweet husband offers me on behalf of our children (manicures, pedicures and spa days included). I am going to hug those boys a little tighter and let their kisses linger a little longer. I’m going to rejoice in the fact that He gave me a mother and that He has made me a mother as my heart aches for those missing their mothers and longing to become a mother. And I’m going to pray with all my might that when it’s all said and done, my hard work for the ones who call me mama doesn’t terminate on me, but points them to Him.
Happy Mother’s Day, my friends. Enjoy the good work God has given you today.
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