Mothers Day Can Wait

I’m kind of skipping Mothers Day this year.

Oh, I sent cards to all the grandmas from the hubby, kids and me. And we’ll call them later to wish them a happy day.

I mean me. Sometimes selfish me.

Me– who looks around at the beautiful pieces of fine jewelry or the expensive pieces of clothing some moms get this day and gets a bit jealous.

Don’t get me wrong. My family has done some wonderful things for me on Mothers Days’ past– given me a lovely leather journal that they’d all written their love in; treated me to me an old-fashioned foot washing as they each told me what they loved about me. Lovely gifts. Heartfelt sentiments.

But other years, due to busyness, it was the typical dad-runs-to-the-dollar-store-for-a-card-at-the-last-minute-and-has-everyone-sign-it. Oh, and along with it, some flowers from the grocery store and a Sunday dinner out.

On those years, I should smile and be thankful. And I do.

Outwardly.

Inwardly, I feel slighted. I kick into martyr mom mode. My mind spins and sins, “After all I do for you people–this is what thanks I get? You couldn’t even think ahead or think beyond a discount parental “package deal” of a cheap card and shrunk-wrapped flowers with a bright orange mark-down sticker? Seriously?” 

My thankfulness goes out the door and–along with it—a verse I memorized years ago but have trouble living out, “Rejoice always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

This year will be different. This year I will give thanks. And rejoice. And pray throughout the day. Here’s why:

Pastors wife Kay Warren, whose precious son took his own life recently.

The moms of the children and adults murdered at Sandy Hook.

Or the ones of the victims who died at the hands of the Boston Marathon bombers.

The mothers of our brave servants who were killed in Benghazi.

Or the many who have lost children who served our country in uniform. And more.

This Mothers Day–the first without their beloved children–how they would love a last-minute card or a bouquet from the bargain bin.

If only their children were still here.

In my own life, there are more for whom this day will be difficult. A widow facing her first Mother’s Day alone since this year the kids are all grown and gone.

Another friend whose husband was just plucked out of her life leaving her home alone with the kids trying to figure out a new normal.

Another who struggles with infertility and has no child to make her a mother this day. For yet another year.

Two weeks ago our youngest child asked to go up north with a friend fishing this weekend. “Are ya kidding me? Its Mothers Day!” was my first line of thinking.

Until I remembered his friend’s situation. He has no mother. She died when he was five. His brave dad is raising two teen boys all alone. A fun fishing trip might be just the ticket to help this family get through a Mothers Day weekend without mom. Again.

So I smiled and said yes and I asked this dad’s favorite dessert to have it waiting when he drops my boy off tonight–who will be smiling and smelling of fresh-caught perch. (The aroma of the blackberry cobbler will cancel out the fish fragrance, I hope?)

So today, I won’t pout. I won’t sulk. I won’t let comparisons be the thief of my joy. I’ve told my three kiddos and handsome hubby I am skipping Mothers Day. We can celebrate it on Fathers Day when our kids will all be at home.

Today is “pause and pray” day instead. Whenever I spy reminders of the day– the corsages on the grandmas at church, or the jam-packed parking lots at the area restaurants where many moms are getting the day off from cooking, or even the distracted dads making a last-minute dash into our local dollar store–I will take it as God’s cue to whisper a prayer for the dear moms who no longer have their child on earth. Or the brave dads and kids going it alone today in a world celebrating moms while they have none.

Yes, rejoice always–pray constantly–give thanks in ALL things.

That’s on my docket today.

Mothers Day can wait.

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  • THANK SO MUCH for your words of encouragement/challenge/reminder/rebuke. :) I feel so guilty just thinking about myself (mostly the whole day) last Sunday. In spite of the blessings I received I still felt a little upset that my hubby placed his mom’s name ahead of mine in his facebook page. I had asked God for forgiveness and also tried to divert my heart on focusing in His Word but to even think like that, shame on me. When other moms are grieving and many families lost their moms. Anyway, I love what you shared and appreciate your honesty! God bless you and more power to you dear sister!

  • Beautiful reminder. Precious food for thought. It took me a little while to conceive and I remember how I felt about another mother’s day without my own children. I dedicate this year’s to praying for all my friends/acquaintances/sisters in the faith desiring their own children. Thank you for sharing this.

  • I’ve always had a bit of a “pity” party on Mother’s Day b/c I rarely received cards or gifts, just a “happy mother’s day” from the kids, if I was lucky. I felt under appreciated for sure. However, there was one year that my sons were out of town on a school trip, and they returned with a coffee cup….they knew I love my coffee! And, one year, my mother was here and took my children out to buy me yet another special coffee mug because my husband had no time to take them himself. Yesterday and for the last several years, I have been thankful to hear from each one of my 4 children. THAT is a blessing…to hear their voices. I know my children love me and I am grateful! Philippians 4:4-7 is one of my favorite passages and is such a great reminder to be thankful and to pray for others. Many friends who have recently lost their mothers or a child were in my thoughts yesterday. You put a voice to a message I needed to hear! Thank you!

  • Thank you Karen for sharing your thoughts on this and what wonderful thoughts and ideas you have. How wonderful to take the spotlight off of me and put it somewhere that it is needed more. I have a friend who recently lost a 47 yr. old daughter to cancer, several that i know whose son’s have committed suicide over the last 2 years, another one whose daughter had a miscarriage and i could go on. I will pray for them instead of dwelling on me this year. God bless you dear friend.

  • Thank you Karen! Todays devotional was perfect. Beautifully said. It touched me, and others in ways that are truly heaven sent…
    Bless you for putting this out there for us to learn and grow from!!

  • I have my son’s handprints from birth, from Mother’s Day Tea from 3 year old preschool and from today. My son is 17 years old and the only thing that I really wanted he gave me. I know all of you have seen the Hallmark commercial with the card that your child can put their handprint in and he had seen how my face lit up when the commercial was on. So today my 17 year old son gave me the card with his handprint and in the card he wrote you will always have my hands mommy. I am so very blessed and this has been the best Mother’s Day I have ever had. You are so right Karen, it’s not about all the expensive gifts it’s about the little things and not being selfish.

  • Thank you! My dear friend lost her child just over 6 weeks ago and I’ve thought about her all day. You’re absolutely right. Mother’s Day is sometimes hard and it’s a privilege to lift up my friend and others in her situation today.

  • So now that I am wiping the tears from my eyes and chastising myself for being so selfish. I hadn’t planned to “skip” Mother’s day. We have been so over-run with the busy-ness of life that my hubby didn’t to plan anything. Plus he is a music teacher, and has a concert tonight. He didn’t plan it, but has to be there. I am hosting my mom and grand mom, and my brothers. And was feeling a little bitter and jaded about the fact that I am cooking and cleaning on Mother’s Day. Yesterday we ran a 5K with friends, whom the husband is losing his job-and hasn’t yet found another one. Then I worked the Fun Fair at my kids school. And my allergies are just making me feel miserable. And boy I was having one big ole pity party of 1, until about 5 minutes ago. Thank you Karen!

  • Thank you for writing what God put in your heart. You have changed my perspective of this day. My husband has never really been the celebrate Mother’s Day type and I would feel a twinge about that seeing what the husbands of my friends did for them. While it’s nice to feel appreciated, it’s even better to remember those who may not even get the little that you do. So thanks again. This is timely, not just for today but every other day.