Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Reality of Mother's Day

Mother's Day.

Fewer words strike terror in the heart of a man than these two.

The weight of expectation that these two words carry is considerable. The media gives visions of diamonds, flowers, chocolates, massages, sweet dimply faced kids carrying specially wrapped gifts...ahh, the glory of being a mom.

The reality is that the kids will still fight on Mother's Day. Our husbands don't turn in to mind readers for a day. Some of my friends will spend the day paying homage to their husband's mothers (you know who you are!).

I fell victim to the media hype a few years ago. My day ended with tears in the Perkins Restaurant parking lot. I was visiting with a friend the other day who also spent a Mother's Day in tears in a Perkins Restaurant. I'm betting there are more of us out there, and it had nothing to do with the food. I had an unholy tantrum about how I deserved to be celebrated. (Those of you who read my blog know that I am occasionally given to bouts of self-centeredness. Researchers are working on a cure right now...)

Anyway, I was on the slippery slope of expectation. When we stop looking at what we get in life as a gift, and a gift from above at that, it becomes an expectation. Andy Stanley says we can never be truly grateful when a gift is rooted in expectation. Good point.

God has been working on my heart for some time now. The Christmas that followed the Mother's Day tantrum was interesting...all my kids and husband said they had no presents for me to open in the morning. My mind flashed back to how I felt the day after the Mother's Day tantrum, and I was determined to be ok with this. I focused on the joy of giving, the privilege of making Christmas special for everyone else, and Who we were really celebrating anyway. As it turned out, all my gifts were at my mom's...they had secretly all bought pieces to the Willow Tree Nativity and needed to present them all at once. I was very glad that I was gracious instead of pouty in the morning.

Anyway, back to Mother's Day. Elizabeth Murphy says we should look for little mother's day moments all year. I am choosing to pray for each of my kids and granddaughter, thanking God for the privilege of having His children in my life. I have enough friends who have struggled in their quest to become moms to realize that I need to stop taking this for granted. I am choosing to focus on how I can better serve Him through them.

Today, when your husband or kids ask what you want to do for Mother's Day, don't get irritated that you have to tell them.Give them a little grace...they just want it to be nice for you. If you say "Whatever you choose is fine...", you better mean it. Resentment is an ugly thing. Personally, I get to go on a bike ride with some girlfriends while Rob and the kids fix dinner. Grilled cheese and tomato soup. Maybe brownies for dessert if I have time to pick up a mix.

That sounds perfect to me.


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  2. Oh sister... I couldn't agree more. Love your heart. Thanks for giving me the link to read your post.

    And be sure to tell your girlfriends about to do my book, a big imperfect hello from me!

    Sweet Blessings, Lysa

  3. I have really enjoyed your blog!