Mother’s Day

“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.  When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.  She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her.  Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”  Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” Proverbs 31:25-30

This scripture certainly does not describe me. Maybe the first line, but I am still trying to figure out how someone can be all five verses. I guess that will be just one of the questions I will ask when I get to heaven.

Today is Mother’s Day. After having a busy week with my daughter I told her that I was thinking of using several posts on Mother’s Day from my original blog. I did rework one. I only reworked one because I didn’t have many posts about Mother’s Day.

It’s a weird day for me. It has been for the past 56 years. In school if there were Mother’s Day projects I would be allowed to draw anything I wanted to. I would stare at the projects and be reminded that I didn’t have anyone to give it to. So, the day became an uncomfortable day for me.

When I became a mother, it was still a weird day. I never wanted to go out for a special dinner because the prices are raised in honor of Mom. I try each year to have a better attitude, but I confess I am pretty jaded about it.

When I think of my daughters being mothers, it’s a different story. Pride wells up in me. They are both wonderful mothers. I can see all five of the above verses in them. I ponder where they learned this. My words to them after they turned 11 was, “I am just winging it now. If you make it to 17, then I will count it a victory.” They grew into beautiful women in spite of me, so I know that was God.

Distilling the day down, though, Mothers should receive honor and praise daily. They deal with kids who don’t want to get up, don’t want to eat, don’t want to go to school, don’t like the way socks fit. They deal with a lot of don’ts. They deal with all the emotions. My youngest would say, ‘so many emotions, so little time’. Mothers are the ones kids want for skinned knees, skinned hearts, tummy aches hiding a fear of something in school. Mothers do not get paid, no one could afford their worth. It is a thankless job. It is an exhausting job. It’s a job that is taken for granted. One day to honor them is not enough.

So for those mothers reading, thank you for being who you are. For those who just have a mother, remember her, or call her.

Today I will go to church and will most likely be asked if I want to go out. I will hesitate, and wait for the day to be over. I love mothers and motherhood, but honestly, I dislike this day.

My Three Mothers

“Direct your children onto the right path,
    and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NLT)

Most people have one mother. I was blessed to have three women whom I consider a mother to me.

The first, Elizabeth, gave birth to me. She taught me how to walk, eat, when to sleep, talk. She gave me life and I like to think my sense of humor. She would talk with me while sitting on our porch, she encouraged me to write. She truly gave me roots and wings. She moved to heaven when I was eleven. She established me in this world.

My second mother was really my older sister, Dottie. She was fifteen when our mother passed away. Her childhood was cut short. She became the mother figure to both myself and my younger sister. She guided me through my teen years, giving me insight and ideas. We didn’t always see eye to eye, and I often wonder if my mother had survived cancer, if we would have gotten along. Maybe it was my obstinate ways that caused conflict. Dottie was there for me in heartbreaks and victories in school and she cheered me on the days that looked bleak. I would not have had the experiences I did in high school had it not been for her.

I married young. When I first started dating Dale, his mother did not like me. She made that fact well known. Eventually, though, we both softened in our approach to each other. She didn’t have a daughter and I didn’t have a Mom, so together we planned our wedding, giving her the experience of a daughter and me having a Mom to share the excitement with.

My mother-in-law, Marietta, became a Naomi to my Ruth. “But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” Ruth 1:16 (NLT) When she moved to heaven, grief for her was what I experienced as an eleven year old.

I have been fortunate to have the love and encouragement of three beautiful women in my life. They have taught me to grow, to learn, to accept and respect. I thank my Lord for each of them.