There is a movement in recent years to do away with celebrating Mother’s Day. It’s a fair argument that Mother’s Day has become too commercialized. It’s also important to consider how Mother’s Day is achingly painful for so many people:
Those who have lost children.
Those who have lost mothers.
Those who have suffered abuse, infertility, and broken relationships.
My heart hurts for women who have lost a child and are getting through the hours of this day. My breath catches a little as I type that sentence, just thinking of their loss. It’s a wound so painful, I want to turn from thinking of it, yet they live with it every day. I can’t begin to know that type of pain, and I won’t pretend I do.
I can relate to other painful motherhood experiences. I’m a foster mom who has said goodbye to over 30 foster children. Those losses crushed pieces of my heart in ways I am still trying to understand. Like a heart bypass, I learn to adapt and continue, but the damaged areas remain and will always, with little names written on each.
As an adoptive parent, I share the title of “mom” with two birth mothers, and in the darker lonely times of night I am forced to admit the tentacles of jealousy have wrapped around my heart. I don’t always want to share.
What’s been most true for me of Mother’s Day is simply my lack of honesty with myself and my family about the day. I say, “It’s okay, you don’t need to do anything for me,” and then feel frustrated when I get what I ask for.
Also true of me, and I suspect many women: I’m a really good giver, and a really lousy receiver. Mother’s Day is a good chance to practice working on this. If I’m always busy being a giver, my children do not have the chance to be needed. My husband missed out on serving me. I’m being too much Martha and not enough Mary.
If my hands are constantly filled with the tasks of giving, when will they be open to receiving the blessings God wants to give me?
Why I Won’t Give Up on Mother’s Day
I’m not quite ready to give up on Mother’s Day. Yes, it’s commercialized, but is that really so bad? If the Hallmark company is capitalizing on reminding me to thank my mother, more power to them. She deserves it and they deserve my $4.99.
I will take my nap and enjoy the meal so lovingly prepared for me. I’ll take every card and gift and exclaim over each treasure. I will ask for gifts I want, time I need for a break, and allow my family to serve me on this day. I won’t pretend it doesn’t matter, and I don’t appreciate some recognition.
I will give others the gift of being needed. I will let them serve me. During my time of rest today, I will give God my heart with it’s damaged, dying places, jealous interweavings, and do-too-much tendencies. I will allow God to heal.
I will open my hands.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.