My carpool friend laughed at me on the way home at the end of the week because I whispered, “I hate Mother’s Day!”
Ok, Why are we whispering? We’re the only ones in the car.
We’re whispering because it sounds almost sacreligious to say it.
Why don’t you like it?
My answer at the time was lame, but I have thought about it.
- I love and respect my mother.
- I am hugely thankful for my children
- I am thankful to have the opportunity to parent
- I love my children
I think I have lived too many painful Mother’s Day when what I longed for may not happen either biologically or in the adoption world. And I care for too many people who are still in painful spaces between what they long for and what is reality, in parenting grief of some kind (generation above or after directed – grief that touches at the core of who we are and finds the fragile places every relationship has) to not know that the day is an eggshelly kind of a day.
I enjoy my children most days. I’m thankful for my own mother every day. I as a mother feel most blessed when my children are thriving at being the humans God has uniquely created them to be, when my children are laughing or struggling but rocking truth and grace and character and delighting in what is beautiful and right. Unexpected or out of the overflow of the heart expressions of love and gratitude warm my heart the most.
Mother’s Day can feel anxiety producing rather than delight producing; it can just feel a bit forced.
Last night one of our children asked why we don’t have kids days, and we laughed. From a parents’ perspective, every day is kid’s day. Growing up we had asked the question and my parents let us have brothers’ day and sister’s day. These sibling days devolved into choosing a restaurant and getting a little gift when we stumbled upon something we wanted and didn’t have the $10-15 for it rather than a day to celebrate or enjoy the sibling relationship, but when we were little, these days were sweet ways to delight in my brothers.
So this morning when I came to this beautifully set plate with yummy treats and thoughtful, humorous notes, art and photos as a gift of self, I had to laugh at how blessed, how encouraged I felt by the beauty, effort, thoughtfulness.
So as I enjoyed the Mother’s Day moment, I wondered in the gap between what I said and experienced. Well, I like and need to be encouraged. My kids did that today for me. They renewed the courage and joy that all relationships and just plain life needs.
Encouragement days where we
- hold people in our minds
- make treats for them
- consider their inner person, will, heart, mind and how to strengthen it
- come close and beside another to admonish, to comfort, to console
- personally make a call or effort to connect
- to advocate for what is right and good in the person
- to refresh and cheer another
These are the kinds of days I like, and today I received. Whether as a mother, a sibling, or whatever role, I want to encourage others.
8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:8-11
A part of my wellness, of my salvation is encouraging one another.