Here we are again: it’s Mother’s Day. That day we honor moms but aren’t quite sure how to honor other women (or even if we should, should we?). (Answer: yes we should!)
We played a game in church today. Mothers were picked at random and asked to announce in front of the whole congregation how many kids they had. Mind you, not only was this in front of the huge congregation, it was also broadcast live online with thousands in attendance. My anxiety crept in. We had chosen to sit in the middle of a long row, so hopefully that made it too hard for the TV camera and host to get to me. They would pick women who sat on the end of a row, right? But, if they pick me what will I say? Maybe I would accidentally blurt out “why did you pick me? this day is awkward enough, now thousands can see how awkward I feel? Thanks!” Or would I simply answer the question about how many kids I have? But wait, maybe that’s not so simple. Would I say “I have two biological children.” or “I have two bio kids and three stepkids.” Would my first answer offend my stepchild sitting in the pew with us? Or would my second answer hurt her? I pray in church…and today my prayer was “Lord, please don’t let them pick me!” Thankfully they didn’t. Dodged that bullet! And another huge thanks: we mothers didn’t have to stand up and be applauded. Thankfully churches seem to understand how uncomfortable that is and have stopped. (I mean, in that split second when they ask all mothers to stand you have to weigh: am I a mother? a mother-to-be? a stepmom (does that count?), who am I and am I good enough to stand?!?! Or feel embarrassed, ashamed and hurt that one has not been able to have a child, has lost a child, is enduring difficult stepmom situations, or has lost a mom. I certainly remember many Mother’s Days sitting in church with tears in my eyes because I was childless and not married yet, then when I was married but didn’t have children, then when I was re-married with stepkids not bio kids.
The truth is, Mother’s Day can get complicated. Maybe that’s because mothers come in many shapes and sizes. Moms don’t just come from the traditional bio-mom mold.
As Ruth demonstrated beautifully and faithfully, sometimes our family isn’t exactly who we anticipated it would be. “Your people will be my people.” (See Ruth 1:16).
Whatever kind of mom you are…you should be celebrated for the impact you have on a child’s life. Whether you’re a mom who has a loud publicly acknowledged impact or a quiet supportive later-to-be-appreciated impact. Whether you’re blood related or not. And don’t give up if you’re not quite there yet. It’s a journey for all moms. God tell us in Galatians 6:9 (NIV) “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
I should run now. I have to go cook with the beautiful pot holder my 3 year old colored for me, in the kitchen with the sorta-sorry-looking green and red flowers my kiddo picked out for me (yes green and red, but bless her little heart she insisted those were the perfect ones for mommy so I absolutely love them). And you know why else I love those flowers? Because my step kiddo took my bio kid to the store to get them. And after 6 years in this blended family no one knew my favorite candy bar until yesterday and today my stepdaughter went out to buy me two. Gotta go relish those.
Today I’m thankful for all the kinds of moms out there and for the blessings that come with that role. (and that I didn’t get called on in church!)
What are you thankful for?