By Lydia Jentzen Will
The birds are singing! The sun is shining and tomorrow is Mother’s Day, once again.
Maybe tomorrow your family will wake you with a lovely breakfast, cards, flowers and candies. Maybe your husband will have accurately read your mind and present you with whatever it is that you’ve been hoping for. Maybe your kids will be helpful and clean up the house. Maybe they’ll take you out to brunch after church.
Or maybe not. Maybe your husband is out of town, deployed, or just not around any more. Maybe your kids are focusing on their own lives and just, well, forget. Maybe you wake up to the same mess you went to sleep with and maybe no one remembers to say “Happy Mother’s Day.”
Today, I want to say to all of you Mamas out there: how you are celebrated (or not) tomorrow morning says nothing about how amazing you are. Our worth as Mothers is not the sum of how many gifts we accrue on a Hallmark holiday in May. Our worth cannot be accurately conveyed with all of the flowers in all of the shops in all of the world.
Our worth as Mothers is not the sum of how many gifts we accrue on a Hallmark holiday in May.
All those nights you stayed up nursing, or singing, or soothing? The thousands of loads of laundry washed, dried, folded and put away over the years, the meals you lovingly placed before picky toddlers and all the times you cleaned up after a sick child at 3 am?
Labor and delivery, recovery, 9 (almost 10!) long months of growing another soul literally under your heart? Flying a world away to retrieve a heart-child that fights you every day as you fiercely vow to love and protect them forever?
Owning the “worst mother in the world” label when you put your foot down and won’t let your teen leave the house like that? Lying awake at night fighting off panic attacks because this is just too hard and you’re wrung right out? No amount of Mother’s Day fanfare could properly repay you for that.
Mother’s Day has always fallen a bit flat for me. It never lived up to my expectations, even when I didn’t know what my expectations were. I felt that I should feel refueled and ready to tackle another year of motherhood yet, somehow, I never did. I still felt tired, overworked, under qualified and overextended. No amount of chocolate consumed could chase those feelings away.
Mother’s Day has always fallen a bit flat for me.
I think I’ve finally figured out why: motherhood is a life-long vocational journey, a life of service that will not be repaid here on earth. Mother’s Day celebrations fall flat because the reward for what we are doing is much much much greater, the equivalent of such that is not to be found this side of heaven.
Mother’s Day celebrations fall flat because the reward for what we are doing is much much much greater.
So, tomorrow is another day of doing what we, as Mothers, do. It will be a day where we have to hunt for shoes before church, wipe faces as they climb into the van, take wiggling kids out of the sanctuary (likely missing a good part of the sermon) and get overtired babies down for naps in the afternoons.
We’ll do it with grace and a smile because we know what this is all about: not flowers or phone calls or breakfast in bed. It’s about another day of loving, praying, serving, helping, comforting, balancing, cherishing, sympathizing and striving to see ourselves as God does: worth far above rubies in the work we do each day for Him.
It’s about another day of loving, praying, serving, helping, comforting, balancing, cherishing, sympathizing and striving to see ourselves as God does: worth far above rubies in the work we do each day for Him.
Remembering, above all else, despite the heartache and heartbreak and all encompassing fatigue – this life is a blessing. To be called “Mama” and represent selfless love to the children we’ve been given – is a gift. A better Mother’s Day gift than could ever be found in a store.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you, for being open to a life of service, making this world of ours a better place through your daily sacrifices. From one Mama to another.