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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41 Comments

  1. Thank you, Karen for this special un-Mother’s day blog.
    I have been blessed with 3 handsome boys that are all raised and have families of their own. They all make sure they at least call me on this special day and I am so thankful for that. My daughters- in-law also call and wish me the best and tell me of their love for me as I do them. I, like you, do not need gifts to remind me of their love for me. They tell me all the time and that is the best gift ever. God bless you!!! Always look forward to receiving your blogs. Thank you.

  2. WOW! WOW! WOW! You spoke right to my heart today. It’s the one day of the year where a pat on the back would feel really good but it doesn’t usually happen…especially not a planned one anyway. I selfishly have seen it as a day that I should feel appreciated and loved and honored. But that’s not what it is all about. And though we didn’t skip Mother’s Day, I certainly lowered my expectations and took advantage of the few moments of peace and enjoyed the breakfast in bed and homemade cards. And what a difference today feels by just trying to ENJOY these gifts because as you stated, there are so many more mothers with heavy and hurting hearts. Thank you Karen for being so REAL!

  3. AMEN!. I can relate I have had many a mothers day when I felt exactly like that “poor me no one appreciates me”. Thank you so much for putting things into perspective. I got to spend a couple of hours with my daughter yesterday and for me that was the most wonderful 2 hours and all I will get for mother’s day. But it is definitely all I need. God has blessed me so much and I will choose to be thankful in all things. Thanks Karen for sharing.

  4. Karen, I so appreciate your words today! I spent yesterday with my mom and how thankful I am to have her! We went to Mass and a special church breakfast. Took her to see my medically fragile grandson whom she hasn’t seen recently because my parents winter in Florida. We even took a little nap together. Then off I went to spend some time with one of my daughters. We have recently reestablished a relationship after a year long estrangement. It is another blessing to hang out with her and my 18 month old granddaughter. Then it was off to take my son to work. His car isn’t running. My son brings me great joy with his loving ways of looking at life. Then back to my other daughter’s to visit and help out with my grandsons…as my fragile grandson requires so much care and we never have nurses on the weekend because that is our family time…yet another blessing! I have so much to praise God for today! And every day! I will pray for all who are struggling with emotions today for whatever reason and know that the Lord is with them in their distress. “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.” Psalm 107:19

  5. Absolutely beautiful post!!! Amen, Sister!!! We can choose our attitude. I’m praying God will bring someone to mind today that I can bless.

  6. What a beautifully written tribute!! It sure made me think twice….I wish EVERYONE could read this! I never want to take my
    role as Mother and Gramma for granted…it is a God given privilege and I thank Him for my many blessings. I thank Him also
    for my mother (she died when I was 5) my fantastic maternal grandmother(who joined her daughter in heaven many years ago) and my only aunt who has always been so very special to me. There has also been many other women who have touched my life and continue to do so. May God bless all you WOMEN out there…you are all
    very special to those who’s lives you touch, touched, and will touch!

  7. Weeping in my bed as I am so reminded of my own selfishness and ingratitude for all that I have…and the losses you’ve recounted of so many families. As usual Karen, you have spoken deep truth that so resonates with me. Thank you!

  8. Thanks. This is the second Mothers Day with no contact with our oldest son or grandkids. It had been difficult. Thanks for your post.

  9. Thanys Karen, for helping many of us refocus today. Like so many others, today is difficult. I have so much to be grateful for – and I am! May we all experience enough love from The Father to fill someone else’s love tank today.

  10. Karen, thank you so much for blogging this Mother’s Day message. This is truly what I needed this morning. Blessings!

  11. Thanks, Karen for the gentle reminder…I can become so self-absorbed sometimes and like you said look at the gift and not the people and thought behind it. I am truly blessed with 2 wonderful children and a husband who think of me and honor me in some way every day of the year. My husband lost his mother 19yrs. ago and in the beginning I was mindful of this day and how he felt but as time went on I am ashamed to say, it became more about me. Today I will make sure my focus and prayers will be on him and all those who are without their mothers.
    Blessings to you and all that you do.

  12. Life can be so painful. But some people have more than their share. Your prayers are so important to them. And God is definitely doing a work in you. I need a prayer fast like that. Maybe still eating but focussing on people outside me.

  13. Your posts sometimes make me tear up, from laughter at the similarities between us. Today they are from the heart as I realize how right you are about this day. I have often selfishly sulked (inwardly only I hope) my way through this day. This year though, since we already did the dinner out on Friday, will be different. I will purposefully be thankful for the laundry waiting to be folded, the rushing from place to place which is our normal Sunday, and all the other things that make up life in our household. And somewhere in there, I’ll be making a trip to the card shop for the cards that haven’t been picked up yet.

  14. Thank you! My husband is a farmer and this time of year I don’t see much of him as he is preparing and planting the fields. He is one that always takes the last minute card and flowers approach and it has made me a bit resentful that he is not showing our young boys a more thought way to honor me. What I will do from now on is pray for others such as those you’ve written about when I get to feeling the resentment creeping in. Thanks for the wonderful reminder to be thankful for what we have.

    1. Thank you to our farm families for the sacrifices that you make to feed the rest of us! You probably often feel that your hard work goes unnoticed and unappreciated, but please know that there are still people who remember to ask the Lord’s blessing on you when we thank Him for our food. :)

  15. So beautiful, my husband weren’t able to have kids, at first it was hard but as the years went by God placed young people in our lives who needed an extra mom and dad. We then understood why we never had our own kids, we would never have had time to give to these kids in need. Each Mother’s Day when I don’t get a call is a reminder that we don’t have our own kids but knowing that there are kids that we have loved and helped more than makes up for that phone not ringing! Happy un-Mothers Day friend!

  16. I think your motherhood is evidenced in your son…by God’s grace. Looking to the needs of others. We have no greater joy than to see our children walk in truth!
    Happy Mother’s Day, but God’s grace, you are a great mom

  17. Wow…you really touched me and flashed a glaring light in the face of someone who appreciated the message and honesty. Thank You!

  18. Thank you so much for this Karen, this is a difficult day for me because my daughter, my only child, cut me out of her life 3 1/2 years ago, at the age of 29, because of some very bad choices I made when she was a child. I am at peace through Christ 99% of the time because I know God is working in this situration. I did, however, have a very tearful day yesterday. Your devo is a reminder that their are those mom’s whose only hope of seeing their children again is when they rejoice in their reunion in heaven. I still have hope of seeing my beautiful Alma in this life-thank you for snapping out of my funk! I too will spend time praying for all the mother’s out there that have lost their children this year. I will also praise God for the the Hope we ALWAYS have in HIM.

  19. Thank you for your words this morning. My husband lost his mother 15 years ago. I think today will be a day that I focus more on him and not on what today is.

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