Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Mother's Day Devotional

2 Corinthians 12:9 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power.

I love the idea of Mother's Day. It's a day to honor both the mother and her sacred calling.

The day, in my mind, is filled with images of special teas or special, relaxing lunches. Those never happen to me, but Mother's Day still reminds me of them. I think of bouquets of wild flowers picked with tiny, eager hands. Of hand-written notes scribbled with devotion and unfailing love.

Something like the latter happens here, in the form of construction paper Mother's Day projects, colorful weeds picked from various corners of the yard, and busy hands and heads thinking several days before what they can put together that would be extra special.

Sometimes, okay most of the time, the projects just create more work for me, like the paints that still sat on the dining room table at 6:45 PM last evening, just as dinner was ready. Not to mention the glue stick film on the table, and the stray pieces of tape sticking to the wood floor. I have the patience for these things of course, but it's a conscious choice to be gracious.

I don't always choose graciousness while scraping pieces of tape off the wood floor, but on the day before Mother's Day, it's just easier.

I'm still in the trenches here so the day itself is never ideal. Sometimes, Mother's Day is downright rotten. There are still the dishes and the loads of laundry. Mud still gets tracked in on rainboots. Clothes I painstakingly fluffed and hung in the boys' room still manage to find their way onto the floor of the closet--at least on Peter's side.

We all have an idea of the mother we want to be; it's awfully hard to shake that ideal. It haunts us when special circumstances render us everyday failures.

When you can't succeed no matter how hard you try, what's the answer?

Ephesians 3:16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being

First, let me tell you what's not the answer. Slay the following and lay them at the Lord's feet:

~ envy
~ pride
~ disillusionment
~ blaming

Motherhood is noble, even when we feel like failures at it.
Motherhood is a blessing, even when it threatens to kill us early.
Motherhood is for us, even if we're lacking the qualities we think we need.

Motherhood is bigger than any individual mother. It is hard and it's noble and we are blessed to be called to it by our Heavenly Father. And if you've never conceived, you can still be a mother to someone who never had a loving mother. There are many girls and women who need to be mothered, still. A mother isn't just someone who conceives, but someone who tenderly sacrificies her desires for another and never stops believing it's worth it.

The best mother is not the one in ideal circumstances..."normal" children, good health, good income, plenty of support. The more ideal the circumstances, the more the P word rears its ugly head. Pride. A prideful person is rarely admirable in anything, so if want to be admirable, we certainly shouldn't waste time envying women in ideal circumstances.

So...what kind of mother is ideal? What kind of mother can we look up too, and strive to be like?

Just today...a very trying came to me. 

An ideal mother dusts herself off after an ugly day and wakes up the next morning with joy, rather than dread. She knows what saves her. Something bigger than her. Something farther reaching in power and scope than what she's capable of on her best day.


Yes, the ideal mother knows grace, intimately.

She opens her hands to the free gift. To the saving rope that keeps her from drowning.

Failure does not define her. It rolls off of her. Discouragement does not rule her, it only prompts her. Prompts her to accept it again and again, with a smile....Grace.

Children don't need a perfect mother who never yells, who never gets ugly when her work is spoiled by mud or laziness. They don't need a mother who never locks herself in the bathroom to cry.

Our children need a mother who knows Grace. Who happily grabs that saving rope, immediately, and gives thanks for it.

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

The worst thing we can do is let our failures define us, discourage us, and take the wind from our sails. Satan loves to upset the mother, for he knows that much rides on her ability to love. Discouragement takes us inward, not outward. It makes us selfish, not sacrificial.

When we're doing it in our own strength, we know discouragement, intimately.

The wind in our sails is not our own striving, but His Grace.

Grace is Jesus cleansing us. Grace is power. Grace is strength. Grace is ability we don't have. Grace is even joy.

It's the wind in our motherly sails, so catch it today and every day.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength

Edgar Guest Poem

"Where's Mamma"

Comes in flying from the street;
"Where's Mamma?"
Friend or stranger thus he'll greet:
"Where's Mamma?"
Doesn't want to say hello,
Home from school or play he'll go
Straight to what he wants to know:
"Where's Mamma?"

Many times a day he'll shout,
"Where's Mamma?"
Seems afraid that she's gone out;
"Where's Mamma?"
Is his first thought at the door--
She's the one he's looking for,
And he questions o'er and o'er,
"Where's Mamma?"

Can't be happy till he knows:
"Where's Mamma?"
So he begs us to disclose
"Where's Mamma?"
And it often seems to me,
As I hear his anxious plea,
That no sweeter phrase can be:
"Where's Mamma?"
Like to hear it day by day;
"Where's Mamma?"
Loveliest phrase that lips can say:
"Where's Mamma?"
And I pray as time shall flow,
And the long years come and go,
That he'll always want to know
"Where's Mamma?"

sniff that poem

Happy Mother's Day, my dear friends!

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