“Charm is deceptive, and beauty if fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
This Mother’s Day, many of us will still be reeling from the corona virus pandemic. Many moms have added “homeschooling,” and “coach,” to their resumes amidst the normal laundry lists of tasks, and for many of us, careers and jobs. Every mom I checked in on the first week of mandatory quarantine had shed tears of fear, worry, and feelings of overwhelm. Moms don’t default to the “put the oxygen mask on yourself first” even though we undoubtably should.
One blessing God offers us has the ability to carry us through the challenges with enough life to share with the people God has placed in our lives to serve, raise, employ, work for, and befriend: the very breath of God. When we breathe it in each morning, He is faithful to sustain us. One day at a time. One breath at a time, “a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” There are so many things we can do for our moms on Mother’s Day, and every day, from the comfort of our own homes and communities. Make time for mom to sit with He who loves her the most.
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1. Give Her Quiet Time
God created us to do great things to bring honor and glory to His name, but He also created us for rest. Sabbath. Allow mom to take a break and rest, if possible. Sabbath means unplugging, taking time to allow God to rejuvenate and replenish us. Moms rarely have time when they are not interrupted, even when attempting to take a nap or read a book, tend to the garden or catch up with a friend on the phone. Moms rarely mind the interruptions, for they love those they care for. But giving mom quiet, uninterrupted time, shows we love and honor her. Moms can’t be our everything. They are still people themselves, who have needs that need to be met by their heavenly Father.
2. Give Her Words of Encouragement
Words of encouragement are an articulated expression of our love for them. Every handwritten card my daughters ever made me has brought me to tears. It truly is the thought that matters. Store bought cards that say how we feel about our moms, and handwritten messages telling us how special we are to the people we love the most, are wonderful gifts. Family sees the best and worst sides of moms. The moments of encouragement and the less desired disciplinary lessons. The hugs on hard days, and the harsh reality checks. When we take the time to verbalize our gratefulness for mom, choosing to focus on the good, encourages her. Perhaps make a point to pray for mom, both in private, and over her. Our words, and our prayers, are powerful.
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3. Complete a Project around the House
How many unfinished projects are there around the places we call home? Taking initiative to complete one of them is a great Mother’s Day gift, especially if it’s an improvement project mom has been hinting at for a while. Look for ways to bless her by finishing things that have already been started, or are waiting to be realized. If there are no obvious projects left undone around the house, take inventory from mom. Let her list ten moderate things she’d like to see fixed, finished, or improved around the house, and then complete the list. This option works great if there isn’t room in the budget for a larger project as well.
4. Do the Laundry… like all of it… and put it away.
The laundry tends to be something every mom loathes. I remember, as a new mom, feeling grateful for laundry, especially when I was able to start working from home. It felt like a privilege to fold all of the tiny socks and onesies, and cuddle the warm soft blankets when they came out of the dryer. Somehow, as the family grows, the laundry gets bigger and more time consuming. Everyone gets busier, and the time to do the laundry seems to slip out of sight until we can’t find the clean things to wear. Don’t just do the laundry for mom on Mother’s Day; fold and put it away. Even in a house where everyone does all of their laundry normally, for Mother’s Day, go the extra mile. Wash and fold all of the towels and bedding.
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5. Fast from Fighting
Siblings seem to go through phases of fighting, and it’s hard on a momma’s heart. If the household is amidst one of those seasons, consider pressing pause for a day letting peace reign the house. Mother’s love all of their children equally. It’s not just annoying and interruptive when children argue—it’s choosing not to see the good that mom sees in all of her children. God, infinitely more wise and nurturing than our earthly mothers, places people purposefully. In families. With siblings. God loves each sibling equally. Embrace that truth and choose kindness for Mother’s Day over fighting.
6. Tackle the Trail
Mom’s know the trail everyone leaves around the house. The clothes left on the bathroom floor, in the corners of rooms, unmade beds, lights left on, food crumbs (in all of the spaces), dishes on the counter, snack wrappers strewn, and cups. How many cups does one person really need to use in a day? Coats on the floor, piles of shoes, bikes crammed into the garage. Few of us realize the wake we leave, but every mom knows. When everyone hits the couch at the end of the day, moms are still bending over and picking everything up. Especially on this day, Mother’s Day, tend to the trail, so she doesn’t have to.
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7. Take a Hike
Get out into nature and discover something new together. Or, enjoy an old favorite hike or sight. If there is a favorite place mom likes to walk or go to, consider making a family outing there, or just a mom and me date. Even a picnic on the porch or in the yard can be a special gesture to let her know she is appreciated and loved. When we take the time to notice what is special to the people in our lives, it shows our love for them. Exploring nature together is a great way to make memories. Pick a piece of pretty scenery for a picture, and capture the moment, without mom having to beg everyone to get in the picture and smile.
8. Make Mom Dinner
Preparing dinner for mom, whether she is the one who usually cooks or not, shows love and care. Take time to think about what her favorite meal is, including desert. If unsure, interview her and ask her what all of her favorite things are. Maybe there is a special reason that meal means a lot to her. There could be a place or moment in time that could be recreated, to show how much the thing that means a lot to her means a lot to us. Think of the thought and care moms put into packing our lunches or having snacks on hand. Preparing our favorite desserts and considering our allergies and preferences. Returning the favor is thoughtful and caring—love in action.
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9. Plant a Garden
Consider planting a garden for mom this Mother’s Day. Annuals come up each year, and can be a simple gift that keeps on giving and multiplying! Even seeds potted or planted for just a season are a thoughtful way to tell mom she is loved and appreciated. Gather her top ten favorite flowers, and try to include one or more of them in the mix if possible. Then, care for the garden so mom doesn’t inherit one more thing to do. Water it for her, and when the blooms grow, prune and take a few inside and set the vase somewhere she will see it often.
10. Frame a Favorite Memory
Digital memories abound in this age where our cameras are in the palms of our hands, or at least within reach for a majority of the day. There are so many ways we can bless our moms with memories. Digital photo collages, custom wallpaper for her phone, custom calendars, and pictures that can be printed on a plethora of different objects. Everything from coffee mugs to throw pillows can be adorned with memories for mom. Get creative! Think of everyday objects that she will see often, or places framed pictures or collages can be enjoyed.
Meg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ as an author, freelance writer and blogger at Sunny&80. Her first book, “Friends with Everyone,” is available on amazon.com. She earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University, but stepped out of the business world to stay at home and raise her two daughters. Besides writing, she leads a Bible Study for Women and serves as a Youth Ministry leader in her community. She lives in Northern Ohio with her husband, Jim, and two daughters.
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Originally published Friday, 17 April 2020.