The Glad and Sad of Mother’s Day
Before I got out of bed this past Thursday, I smiled toward heaven and prayed, “Good morning, Lord. I look forward to living the day! I have never lived May 9 before!” Then I stepped out of bed onto a wad of gum that adhered to the ball of my foot with super-glue grip. Only hot water and aggressive scrubbing could get the stubborn gum off.
Thank you, son, for the gum.
Good morning again, Lord, I think!
Some of you got out of bed this Mother’s Day eager to live the day. Others got out of bed this morning and stepped on gum, so to speak.
What follows is the fourth most read post in my blog. Written in 2015, I re-post it here for you. My heart is still exactly the same. No matter the day you face, I want you to feel seen today.
(Re-post from May 10, 2015)
Hello dear readers, whoever you are. It’s Mother’s Day.
For those of you being blessed with breakfast in bed, receiving presents made by the little hands of your young children and reading notes featuring phonetic spelling in crayon…Hurray! Soak it up. I pray your heart is so full today that joy spills over and floods every day until next Mother’s Day. I am thrilled that this day is joy for you and am thrilled that I have experienced days like that. Two mother-themed posts I have enjoyed lately that you may also enjoy are written by Ann VosKamp [link no longer active] and the other by Emily Freeman. If you have time, enjoy.
I want to focus this year on people who are hurting on this day. My circumstances have me painfully aware of how hard life is for everyone. E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E. We can safely assume that even behind the best-dressed, finest-smiling, financially-stable looking woman, there is a lifetime that led up to her “today,” and that lifetime has included pain. My heart finally comprehends what I have heard to be true. Mother’s Day can be one of the most painful celebratory days of the year.
If this day has some sad in it for you, I want to see you. I want to find you and acknowledge you today. Who are you?
Are you in this list somewhere?
- Women whose mothers have died. Today you miss her terribly. If this is you, I am sorry you can’t talk with your momma today. I am sorry you can’t kiss her cheek and hold her hand and tell her you love her. This is the kind of day for the family of Kara Tippetts who just went to be with Jesus last month. This can be true for men too. My own husband will miss his mother who died when he was nine years old and was buried on a rainy St. Patrick’s day. He still remembers her as a good woman. He remembers sitting on her lap.
- Mothers whose children have died. My mother has buried one of her sons. I can’t imagine the pain of saying good-bye at a funeral and only being able to visit a grave site. (We all miss you, Danny.)
- Women who want to be mothers but are not mothers yet, or want to be mothers again. You live on the monthly roller coaster of hopeful trying, followed by the emotional devastation of the answer you don’t want.
- Women who want to be mothers through adoption but a birth mother or foster care case worker has not picked you yet. But you are so willing!
- Women who have put their children up for adoption. As the mother of an adopted child, I think about birth mothers. I had the honor of watching a baby be born and go straight into the arms of her adoptive parents. To date, I do not believe I have witnessed a more courageous act.
- Women who have had their children taken away for reasons out of their control…or for reasons within their control. Being reminded of those memories and reasons must be excruciating.
- Women who have stepchildren they love as their own but somehow feel less than the “real” mom on Mother’s Day.
- Women who are single moms. You are so tired. You want some pampering, but how do you ask your sweet ones to do that for you? You have lived your whole life selflessly. You are selfless again today.
- Women who have fractured relationships with their children. Your child is distant, hurting, running away from his or her pain, and thus running away from you. You miss your child so much you can’t breathe sometimes.
- Women who didn’t have a great relationship with their mother. It happens. Such women stand in Hallmark and keep putting cards back because the printed verse does not reflect the relationship they have with their mom. They wish.
- Women who are in a family that doesn’t celebrate. Some people don’t see value in streamers or small gifts. Never have, and maybe never will. Perhaps it’s just not going to be a “celebrate mom” day at your house.
- Women who are just sad this year. Mother’s Day feels flat because there is so much else going on like caring for an elderly parent, dealing with unemployment or undergoing chemo. Who needs breakfast in bed when you need a miracle?
The Glad and Sad…
Most women live with both the glad and sad, combinations of the items listed above.
- Women who have one child who has died but others who still live.
- Women who have some children home and others away.
- Women who have good relationships with some children but not with others.
- Women who have a mother-in-law they love and celebrate but grieve their actual mother who has died or is estranged. Or perhaps the reverse.
What an emotional challenge this day presents!
Whoever you are, I see you…
Oh, I hope I did. I hope some sentence resonated with you and you feel acknowledged…seen.
I don’t want to miss one sweet woman, not one.
If I have missed your circumstance, perhaps you can briefly share it in a sentence. This isn’t about pity, this is about someone seeing you today and acknowledging your presence on the earth. I care about you and pray that God meets you in the sad parts of the day.
God sees you…
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. (Psalm 145:18)
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you. (James 4:8-9)
Allow me to pray for you, if I may.
Dear Lord, I would like You to “see” each woman who reads this post today. Make the good parts of Mother’s Day absolutely magnificent. Enter into all the sad parts of Mother’s Day (even the parts no one knows about except You), and bless this woman in such a way that she KNOWS you see her today and you LOVE her. Draw NEAR to her and be as REAL as a physical hug.
Dear reader, please accept a virtual hug from me on this Mother’s Day…for all of it…the glad and the sad.
© 2015 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved
Picture Explanation: See that little boy in the red pajamas from many years ago? It was Birth Mother’s Day yesterday and I have one to thank.
© 2019 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved