I'm not proud of it, but it's true. Mother's Day had become a stressful holiday. No matter what flowers were purchased, they were never quite extravagant enough. No matter what words were written on a card, it never said all that I wanted to hear. No matter the gift, my family never seemed to know what I thought would celebrate my heart as a mom. I spent the first many years of being a mother wearing my husband out, often ending out a special occasion less than happy, less than grateful.
And, that was because I yearned for something my husband and children could not give. I longed for something they were never designed to fill.
Perhaps like many other menfolk, my sons and husband may or may not have always known the secret to shopping or spoiling a woman. Not many guys are keen on what's so special about mismatched dishes at Anthropologie, chippy painted furniture at a thrift shop, 30 minutes of someone else scrubbing and moisturizing your face, or a big and full bouquet of peonies.
But, lavish gifts is not what this is about. No amount of pampering, attention, or spoiling can ultimately satisfy a heart that is seeking to be filled with what was not meant to satisfy. Expectations sprout from seeds of belief that we deserve more, better, or greater acknowledgement. Expectations stem from putting too much value on something or some circumstance that was never meant to deliver so much. Expectation is idolatry's acceptable front-man.
So, how did I begin to really enjoy special occasions and however my men chose to celebrate me? When I decreased and my view of the Almighty increased. It was when I stopped thinking of my motherhood and the sacrifices of a job well done as being so worthy of celebrating, but rather that of the sacrifice of Christ that enables me to answer well a job that is way beyond my worthiness.
Honor is valuable, gifts are loving, and appreciation is a blessing. But at the end of the day, it's the woman who fears the Lord that receives a true reward. Oh friend, let us always look to the approval of our Savior for all that we strive for in motherhood. May we feel celebrated this Mother's Day, not by what is said about us or done for us...but what can be said of Him by how we mother well, as unto the Lord.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. (Proverbs 31: 25-31)
Because of grace,