My mother’s day was full of ups and downs. The morning started sweetly as my 6 year old brought me a present- her favorite necklace, wrapped in a sock and tied with a ribbon. Then we got ready for church and I wanted just one picture of me with my children before heading out where inevitably their outfits would be pooped on, spilled on, etc… This is what we got. Yep, this one picture sums up the day so well.
I had a wonderful time with my husband’s Mom and family after church spoiled by a great meal that Papa Jim made and brought over for us to all eat. (The good)
Then they left and my children fell apart. More than likely the result of delayed naps and worn out from all their play, I had three screaming little ones and my head started reeling. (The bad)
Then things got ugly. Because of me and my misplaced expectations. For some reason, every time Mother’s Day rolls around I get the bee in my bonnet thinking that it will be a day of rest and relaxation. The reality is, I am still a Mom- even on Mother’s Day. I realize for some of you this is a pretty obvious revelation but this has been a process for me in seeing my own sin and tendency towards selfishness. I heard nasty words coming out of my mouth to my husband as I expressed “just for one day, I want to be selfish and go upstairs and take a nap!” Yes, I said that. I’m not proud of it. I needed God’s gentle correction, which I received in the following thought.
Not audibly, mind you but just as clear, “Jen look around you. Look at what you have, not what you don’t have. You may not be taking a nap right now but don’t dwell on that. Dwell on the deeply compassionate heart I put in your daughter that blesses you everyday. Dwell on the joyful spirit of James that lifts your heart. Dwell on my generosity in pouring down a double blessing on you with Ruth and Anna. Dwell on these things and truly celebrate what motherhood is. A wonderfully messy, sanctifying, challenging, joy-filled, grace-filled blessing.”
The good, the bad, the ugly. Its all made beautiful in Christ.
I am not a perfect mother. Mother’s day isn’t about that, thankfully. It also isn’t a free pass to cease all motherly duties. In fact, we don’t see a Mother’s day celebration at all in scripture. This is not to say that celebrating mothers is unbiblical. I believe God has a special place in his heart for mothers. I see this in the relationship Jesus had with his earthly mother Mary and His desire to see her cared for when He left this Earth. This is simply to say that I don’t find anywhere, “One day a year, thou shalt be selfish and it be justified” It’s still sin. Even on Mother’s Day.
It just like that picture I wanted. I wanted my children all smiling looking at the camera, clothes spotless, glad to have their picture taking for Mama. But what I wanted wouldn’t reflect the reality of our life. Which is better, because it is real.
On Mother’s Day I wanted a picture perfect day. Kids smiling, serving me, obeying each command, glad to celebrate their Mama. But that isn’t our life, and God knows better because that isn’t what I needed yesterday. I needed to be taught a lesson which is actually a great gift. Not wrapped in pretty trimmings but just as special as a ribbon tied sock. :)