Mother’s Day can be hard. It can be hard for so many women and men for so many reasons. I think of dear friends whose mothers have passed away – whether their loss was this year or many years ago, this day is hard.
I think of close friends whose wives and sister in laws, the mother of their children or mother of their nieces and nephews have passed away. Again, whether their loss was this year or many years ago, this day is hard.
I think of beautiful friends who have such immense desire to be mothers but whose circumstance does not find them in the place where that is a possibility. Whether this is a recent discovery or something that’s been on their hearts for many many years, this day is hard.
I think of women (myself, my mother and mother in law included) who have had to say goodbye to children, who have had to grieve the loss of one who was a part of them. Whether this was 5 years ago or a decade ago, this day is hard.
I think of amazing women whose mothers have had to say goodbye to their spouses. Women who have to watch their moms go on without their soulmate, their other half. Whether their loss is recent or many years ago, this day is hard.
And I think of our departure – in 10 short weeks we will be on a plane to Australia, en route to Papua New Guinea – and I will have left my mother, my grandmother and my mother in law behind. I will have left the incredible safety of our multi-generational living and our close knit family and I will be venturing out to see how I ‘mother’ without them there for constant back up.
I’m terrified. If you’re anything like me, on any given day, I have a distinct lingering feeling in the back of my mind that I’m messing something up in the mothering department. I have quirks, I have crazies, I have moments of insanity where I can hear myself talking to my kids and I don’t like what I hear but I struggle to change it. I have moments of victory contrasted with moments of defeat and I am constantly wondering if my children will turn out ok.
I turn to those around me for support. To other women who are on the same path and who share, with total honesty, their great and not-so-great mothering moments, to great friends who may not be mothers but who are an excellent source of wisdom & encouragement while also offering to love on my kids when my own tank is empty and to my mom. I turn to her the most. I turn to my mother – even if not always for advice, but often for a nod of approval, for a reminder that I’m doing ok – for just the slightest hint that she had days like these and yet we turned out ok.
I turn to my mom because I respect the hard work she and my dad did in parenting us. I respect the heart that she put into raising us to love Jesus. I respect the time and effort she put into teaching us to value faith, people and scholastic endeavours – in that order. I respect her ability to go on after the loss of one of her own children. I respect that she never let go of her love for Jesus, her love for people or her ability to achieve and use her gifts for God’s glory, even on days when I am certain she must have wanted to give up.
I respect her because I’m living a small portion of the struggles she has already walked through and I’m achieving a staggeringly low success rate on some days. I respect her because she’s mine and I would be lost without her.
We don’t always see eye to eye, I can’t honestly tell you that I ask her for advice or listen to her advice without getting defensive a good portion of the time. We are different and we are similar but we are each others and we are blessed to be walking this road together.
I am thankful, beyond words, that the women in my life, have demonstrated, lived and breathed that truth and that God has given me these women with whom I can walk through life – whether that means walking upstairs, across town, down the street, or calling on Skype in 10 short weeks.
So, to all of the women in my life and whatever you are walking through right now or whatever you have walked through, I pray that you would know that you are unique. I pray that you would know that you are loved. I pray that you would know that you are appreciated and I pray that someone would tell you that today, mother or not.
And whatever your expectations today, whatever your emotions, I pray for peace and I pray for joy.
And if, at any point, you feel weak from unmet expectations, I pray that you would know that weakness is to be celebrated and that weakness just makes room for God’s strength to carry you through something you were never meant to do alone and as he carries you, I pray that you would find joy. For ‘Joy is not dependent on the sumptuousness of our circumstances but the richness of Christ, who orders all our lives.” Calvin Miller.
May my expectations today (and every day) be of Christ and Christ alone. The One who will help me to be the mother my kids need and the One who will show me grace along the way.
Celebrating my mom, mother-in-law and two sister-in-laws…one who has been blessed with the children she desires and one who longs deeply to be a mother and it has so far remained out of reach. Celebrating all of these amazing ladies!
Louise Chapman says
My sisters 🙂 They’re my moms on earth!
I’m happy to celebrate an awesome mom and MIL and too many to count friends who do a fantastic job of this mothering gig.
Vanessa Zacharias says
My mom and sisters! And all the other momma’s who help me raise my kids!
Shelley Turner says
Celebrating a wonderful mom who sacrificed so much for me growing up. Words cannot express how grateful I am for her undying love and amazing contribution to my life even to this day. And to my amazing daughter – a mother of four amazing children I get to call my little grandbabies – I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of you and your never ending energy that you display towards your family and friends. I can tell you that your journey is not that different than mine. We both love the Lord and strive to do all that we can to bring glory to His name. Are we always successful – not on your life and I have had many more years to experience those feelings of failure and desperation to do better than you probably know. So you are right, we are both on a journey but not so different and I can honestly say that the struggles of motherhood haven’t changed that much over the years but that’s because we love our kids with every bit of strength that we can muster and we question and doubt sometimes until we are blue in the face. That’s what it means to be a mother. Having the privilege of living under one roof has allowed me to see what a beautiful woman and mother you have become and yes, I get to see the struggles close up but you also get to see my warts close up too. You are my baby girl and I love you with an unconditional love that only another mother can understand. I gave you to God when you were born and I will stand beside you in whatever direction He takes you because I know He loves you even more than me. As you head off to serve Him I won’t lie and tell you it will be easy for either of us but my prayer is that you will take with you the assurance of my confidence in you as a mother and wife and my love for you even though we are separated by many miles. God will be with you every step of the way and I do not doubt that you will rise to the occasion under his mighty direction. Happy Mother’s Day!
Amanda Asturias says
This was my first Mother’s Day in quite a few years that I actually got to celebrate in person with my mom! It was so special; she is such a strong, amazing woman who has been such a great example, teacher, friend.. The list goes on! So hard having her far away, especially at this stage in life, but Skype is definitely a lifesaver 🙂
Sarah Dahlen says
Your words are so powerful. You literally have me in tears each time I read a blog post! It’s like you take the chords of my heart and you pull them each, one by one.
I won’t pretend to be as eloquent as you, but thank you for everything!
Mother’s Day was a day of celebrating my Mom, my Grandmothers (lucky me, I still have 2), my mother in law, and Oma… And all of my beautiful friends who are mothers, want to be mothers, or were mothers…
Yet it was hard for me… Yup, you banged the nail on the head. In one breath, I was so happy to have the beautiful kids that we do have. They are amazing and full of life and personality and spunk and love and adventure! I can’t get enough of them. I was sad that I wasn’t able to spend any time with our two big guys… It’s not my day, and I’m not their “mom” … And my heart yearned for them…
And emotions filled my soul of the child that we lost. God had other plans, He needed that babe more than we did… That’s what I’m telling myself anyhow.
But… We are so richly blessed by all that He has given us, it’s hard to be upset for too long.
Happy Mothers Day Anita!!
Love you mucho and am thinking and praying for you all…
Beautifully written Anita! Xo
Hey Anita! This was such a great read, and I love your description of your mom and her love for Jesus and her family. You are doing an amazing job with your crew and it’s been so great to watch the 6 of you follow the Lords leading as you prepare for PNG!
Laura Larsen says
Love your writing Anita and praying for you and your family as you venture out on this new journey.
On Mother’s Day I celebrated with my two boys celebrating me as their mom and missing my mom(lost her when I was 12).