Originally published Monday, 09 May 2016.
To every girl who has ever wanted to be a mother...
One of the biggest pieces of momma guidance my mother ever gave me was, "If everything in life was as easy to do as the dishes, then we wouldn't have any problems in this life." Ironically, she always proclaimed (what her mother probably said too) as she was washing dishes. As she was doing life she was giving life. Okay now maybe I get it now.
If I were to tell you one piece of advice to help you be a good mother, I couldn't contain it into one word (except I can but I am going to make you read all they way through the post to get to it).
What mothers need today is...(because mothering is risky!)...
To the mothers who gave life to your first child or another child, I celebrate a new life with you.
To the mothers who lost a child, no matter the age, I cry with you.
To those who are in the trenches, aka dirty diapers, constant plates of cold food, wearing stained shirts on a daily basis, I appreciate you. Go get yourself a cup of hot coffee, it helps.
To those who walk the hard path of handicap and/or special needs child, infertility (complete with month after month of frustration) with pokes, prods, many tears and disappointments, I walk with you. (I don't know how you feel, but would guess it's more than you bargained for.)
To those who are foster moms, adoptive moms, mentor moms and spiritual moms, I thank you from the bottom of my heart - you're doing what someone else could have done but didn't. We NEED more moms like you.
To those who lost their mothers, I mourn with you.
To those who have an empty nest, or your little birdie is flying off to college soon, you're going to be okay, even though it feels like you can't breathe right now.
To the mom who had to hold the hand of cancer (this year or ever in your life), you are brave, a woman of valor even if it was to hold a hand and help someone limp through it.
To the mom who is pregnant with new life, I anticipate with you.
My best advice to you, if you are a mother or want to be, can be contained in one word, however please...take this to heart. You won't get today back so...
love...(yes, you will have trouble in your mothering life)!
Love is risky and sometimes without reward but it has a value and a worth that is measured unlike gold or silver. For some of you it's all you can do to hold it together. I feel ya, and might know your pain.
No matter what season of life you are in, love is the common chord in which holds your world together. You can know all the wisdom in the world, build the biggest spaceship, solve cancer, and cure ailments but "if you have not love" then...
even if you have given it all away, given up all you wanted, or ever dreamed of and "have not love" then...
Love... is what Mother's Day is all about. We, as moms, love you, right now, right where you are. Even if you don't see it, we work hard for you for a little hug. We sacrifice for those few words once said..."I love you." One thing we don't do is assume. We need to hear that we are valued, appreciated, and worthy. I know...we are needy like that. Might I just suggest that you are too?
You may not know this, but we measure ourselves with you. We don't like that about ourselves but we do. And if you could just walk a mile in our shoes, we only want what's best for you. We want the best for you over our own needs. There are some days that inadequacy gets the best of us, even on those days we feel silently weak. We want to be brave and courageous, and it's hard to do this mother thing day after day.
I wish my mother would have told me how hard it was going to be as a mom. On the other hand it's best she didn't say a word, except love me when I was the most unloveable, very needy for a hug, and gave it all away without condition. She wasn't perfect, but I can say she wanted more for me than she ever had. It's not until you are older do you appreciate the nurturing kind of love a mother gives so readily.
To experience this you have to have love, lost love, and hold to a love that "bears all things, hopes all things, and endures all things." (1Corintians 13). To know an endless love or a deep love, or a love that doesn't pass away, makes a difference in your life. Now that I am older, I am beginning to get a fuller picture of a love in which I am fully known.
So this Mother's day, I have more "faith, hope, and love" that abides, endures and bears a love that brings a life of renewal more than once a year. Pursue love, friends, it's risky to find it, to enjoy it, to let it be the greatest, but it's the biggest and best to give love when it's the hardest.
After all, you are here because of love. Don't forget that.