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Um, “Happy” Mother’s Day–Part II

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An Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) ...

An Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) joey feeds (suckles from inside its mother’s pouch) as the mother shows her affection. This family were located in Murramarang National Park on the southern coast of NSW (New South Wales), Australia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my previous post, I talked about why I struggled with Mother’s Day.  It was actually quite cathartic to write and helped me shift my attitude.  The struggle with not feeling good enough is not the only struggle that makes Mother’s Day painful.  There are other women out there who struggle with the celebration of mothers.  Knowing this information, even if you are a male, is helpful because it can help you develop an awareness and empathy for those who might be carrying a load of pain on this day.

Deutsch: Mutter Teresa (26.8.1919-5.9.1997); 1...

Deutsch: Mutter Teresa (26.8.1919-5.9.1997); 1986 bei einer Pro-life-Kundgebung auf dem Bonner Münsterplatz English: Mother Teresa of Calcutta (26.8.1919-5.9.1997); at a pro-life meeting in 1986 in Bonn, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1.  The woman who cannot have children.  Infertile couples struggle so hard because they want children, but are unable to conceive.  Many of them spend thousands of dollars, visit multiple doctors, do anything they can to become pregnant, often to no avail.  Even if they conceive, there is the danger of miscarriage.  Many women dream of the children they will have, and to be denied this dream is heartbreaking at the least.  These women may try surrogacy (more $$$) or adoption (more $$$).

2.  The woman without a mate.  In today’s society, this may be moot, but there are still women out there who do not have someone to have children with.  Some may opt to adopt or use donor sperm to have the children they want.  Many remain childless, however.  While not advocating the homosexual lifestyle in any way, I have to point out that they often have the same struggles.  Even if we don’t agree that their lifestyle choice is viable in God’s eyes, they are still people (sinners like the rest of us) who struggle with the same issues.

3.  The woman who has poured her mothering into other people’s children.  This woman may be “Mom” to many people.  She may provide foster care or just give herself to those in need of a little mothering.  She may or may not have acknowledgement of her gift on Mother’s Day.  Giving birth does not make one a good mother.  So remember those women who have mothered you in some way, be they aunts, grandmothers, family friends, or just a great person who took the time to invest in your life.

4.  The grieving mother.  Many mothers have lost children.  Whether it was through miscarriage of the child they never got to meet, or even the loss of an adult child, these mothers hurt deeply in a way others couldn’t begin to understand.  Mother’s Day for them is often bitter sweet as they remember the child(ren) and feel the emptiness of their arms.  Even women who have other, living children, will still grieve over the deceased one and feel the pain of remembering the loss.

5.  The grieving “child”.  Other people who may find Mother’s Day bittersweet are those who have lost their mother.  My Mom has been gone for 7 years, and Mother’s Day is a time to remember and honor her, tears a given.  Losing a mother to death grieves, but what about the child who loses a mother to drugs, incompetence, apathy, or any of the other reasons why a child would not have the mother in their life or not have a mother they can honor on this day.

Sculpture by Ursula Malbin in the Haifa Sculpt...

Sculpture by Ursula Malbin in the Haifa Sculpture Garden “Vista Of Peace” (“Mizpor Shalom”), depicting a boy in his mother’s arms. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The point of all this?  Every holiday, celebration, day brings mixed feelings to those who have loss in their life.  We should not stop celebrating, but we should have an awareness of those who may hurt on this day.  I have to say that churches often rub it in the faces of those who struggle when they have celebrations that include contests like ‘oldest mom’, ‘mom with most children’, etc.  Someone in that congregation is going to be sitting in her pew, silently grieving, and possibly saying ‘why me’ or ‘when is it my turn?”  While this struggle is theirs, and we can’t spend all our time worrying about their issues, we can be sensitive, pray for them, and maybe give them a hug to let them know someone knows about their internal struggle.  In the end, the issue is between them and God, but God still expects us to comfort the hurting.

Don’t forget that men struggle with all these things too.  We and our churches need to acknowledge and be aware of the hurts people carry around and bring into the pews.  After all, the church family is there, in part at least, to comfort one another.

Are you hurting as this day approaches?  Do you know someone who is?  What can you do to help one person who hurts this Mother’s Day?  Who can you acknowledge that has contributed “mothering” to your life or the life of your children?  Can you think of others who might have issues with Mother’s Day?  Does your church acknowledge those non-traditional moms?  Do you recognize that your own mother may have insecurities only you can ease?

Father, I lift up those who struggle with pain and grief during this time.  Send your comfort to them and help them recognize that you feel and understand their pain, grieving with them.  Wrap them in your compassion, and help them move through the grieving process to find healing in You.  Help the rest of us to step outside of ourselves and see the hurting around us.  Give us discernment so that we may not cause more pain through thoughtlessness.  Thank you for mothers and those who mother. In Jesus Name, Amen.

{Disclaimer:  I am not advocating a PC environment where no one is hurt.  I am advocating sensitivity to the needs of others.}

A beautiful power point on Mothers via Freedomborn…. http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/a-mothers-love/

Um, “Happy” Mother’s Day

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Slippery Slope

Slippery Slope (Photo credit: Paul Graham Raven)

As Mother’s Day approaches, I and I suspect most mothers, goes through the annual guilt-fest hearing about the perfect mom from every corner.  Then on the day, many preachers use the Proverbs 31 woman to (unintentionally) club already guilt-filled Moms to death as they seldom see themselves that way.  Today, I started down the slippery slope.  I am certainly not a traditional mom, although I did all the day to day cooking until my oldest graduated and I went back to school.  The list of my ‘failures’ is long.  I am a human after all.  However, after asking my friend to pray for me that I would not go down this path, God began to speak to me.

 

♥I♥mommy♥♥I♥mommy♥

♥I♥mommy♥♥I♥mommy♥

The dialogue went something like this:

guilt, google style

guilt, google style (Photo credit: debaird™)

Me:  “I can’t meet the standard of “the” mom I keep hearing about.  She does everything and everyone depends on her to keep their life going.”

God:  “What about all the reading you did to your children?”

Me:  “Well, yeah, I did that, but…”

God:  “What about all those trips where you tirelessly entertained and sang to fussy children?  What about all those questions you answered so patiently (well mostly)?”

Me:  “Well, yeah, I did that, but they don’t even remember it!”

God:  “Yes they do.  Somewhere inside them is that memory as an attachment to you.  What about how often you worked with them in their school work and tried to help them learn when it was difficult?”

Me:  “Well, um,….”

God:  “What about all that love you lavished on your children?  What about all the fun you brought to their daily life?  What about how you took care of their needs?  What about how you taught them about Me?”

Me:  “Oh, well, I guess when you look at it that way, I had more good than bad.”

God: “Exactly!  I gave you to your children as Mom.  I gave you the gifts you used to nurture them.  I did not make you like everyone else, and I really don’t like hearing you bash yourself like that.  Neither do your children.  It’s time to let it go and accept yourself as you are.  Satan magnifies your faults in order to keep you from being the Mom I called you to be. . . .  Remember, Princess, I created you, and I love everything I put into you.  Your kids appreciate you too.  Now it’s your turn.”

♥I♥mommy♥♥I♥mommy♥♥I♥mommy♥

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A pastor once preached the Proverbs 31 passage, but went beyond the traditional view.  He applied the principles so that people who didn’t fit the traditional pattern (and those who did) could see themselves in this woman.  In a discussion with my family after church, (I hadn’t really gotten it yet) my husband said, “I can’t believe you don’t see yourself in that!”  My husband and children proceeded to tell me how they saw that in me.  What a wonderful gift.

Then a few months ago, I was talking to my daughter, and she said, “You are a great mom!”   The lightbulb went off.   Oh!  Just because I have flaws and messed up some things doesn’t mean I’m not a good mom!  The flaws do not negate my parenting.  One or two points or events do not negate the good mom status.  Even those events are often viewed through my lens of “I wish I had done….”

♥I♥mommy♥♥I♥mommy♥♥I♥mommy♥

So, I choose to look at my job as a whole and no longer pick it apart with enemy-enduced guilt.  If you struggle with this or have a mom that does, I hope you can stop guilting yourself and accept yourself as you are — your kids do! (Well most do.)

Fathers can fall victim to this ‘viewing life through guilt-colored glasses’ as well as Moms and those who are neither.  Why is it we tend to remember bad things more than the good?  Why do we drag ourselves down by looking at the negatives instead of rejoicing in the positives?

♥I♥mommy♥♥I♥mommy♥♥I♥mommy♥

What about you?  Do you ever struggle with this issue?  How do you deal with it?  Do you think your kids would agree with you or would they tell you you’re a great mom/dad?  Can you forgive yourself for any mistakes and go forward accepting yourself as God created you?  What characteristics do you think a “great mom” has?  It’s about more than who cooks/cleans/works outside the home/etc.

My mother made mistakes.  Of course she did.  BUT to me, she was the best mom ever, and I wouldn’t change one thing about her.  She has been gone for 7 years now, and I can’t wait to celebrate her mothering again at the great reunion.  I love you Marilyn Koser Masters with all my heart.  You are sadly missed.  See you in the morning 🙂

♥I♥mommy♥♥I♥mommy♥♥I♥mommy♥

Eureka! It’s a Celebration!

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Today I had something very unexpected happen.  Before I tell you what that was, I want to give you a bit of history.  From the time I was old enough to understand, my Mother told me I would get her ring when she died.  She had a jeweled watch that was the “wedding ring” of her mother that would go to my sister.  Toward the end of her life, my mother had to undergo chemo for uterine cancer.  She decided to hide her rings for fear of something happening to them while she was gone.  {Why then I have no idea.}  When she got home, the rings were “not where she put them.”

 

After much hunting, we thought the rings had been stolen and probably pawned for drug money.  My mother did not survive her cancer, and the rings were never found.  Mom passed away over 7 years ago, so it’s about 8 since I have seen her rings.  I struggled greatly over this and learned a lesson.  Don’t count your chickens don’t anticipate ownership of something in the future because you never know if it will happen or not.  It was an exercise in surrender for sure, but that’s another story.  Even when moving my dad out of the parsonage and going through everything, we did not find the rings.

 

I had surrendered them long ago, but had told God “if there be any way possible to bring them back to me.”  I didn’t want them for their monetary value.  I wanted them because they belonged to my Mommy!  All that to say this:  when I got to my Dad’s tonight, he showed me a set of rings one of his church people had found in the back of a dresser from his old house.  The rings had returned!!!!!      After many tears and prayers of gratitude, I slipped the rings on my little finger, having attained my inheritance at last!  GLORY!  What a wonderful Mother’s Day present to me.

This event reminded me of the parable of the lost coin.  In Luke 15:8-10, we find her story as told by Jesus.

 

The Lost Drachma

The Lost Drachma (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

8Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light    a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?   9And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.

While I did not have multiple rings, we did spend a lot of time searching for the lost ring.  It worried my mother so much, but in the end, I was happy just to have had her, even if the ring was never found.  The purpose of this parable was to point out that Jesus came to seek the lost and the sick, not those who were whole.  He values every person so much that He searches for them and draws them until they are found.

 

A better analogy here would be the “pearl of great price” found in Matthew 13:45-46. 

45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

My mother’s wedding rings can never be replaced; they are valuable to me because they belonged to my mother.  You could offer me any amount of other rings of greater monetary value, and I would not trade you.  The kingdom of heaven is like that; it also can never be replaced.  It is of such great value that it is worth more than anything else we might have or could get.  Finding the Kingdom of Heaven (finding entry through the door of Jesus Christ) is more valuable than anything else.  In fact, it is life or death.  It is worth giving up everything else the world has to offer.  What good are worldly riches if we miss out on the greatest riches?  What good are other relationships if we miss out on a relationship with our God?  Finding the kingdom of heaven is the ultimate prize.

 

Have you found the pearl of great price?  Do you recognize its value?  Do you treat it as valuable?

Pearl nl: Parels de: Perlen

Pearl nl: Parels de: Perlen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So many Christians today do not act as if they know the value of what they have in Christ.  We are somewhat dismissive as we go about our daily routines, giving God Sunday mornings and maybe a tad more.  If we really understood what we have been given, if we really understood that this valuable gift is available to all, we would live with intention.  We would seek the pearl ourselves with all we have, and we would tell others how to get it as well.  I feel a bit disjointed in my writing here, so I hope it speaks to you as it has to me.

 

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