I am preparing for a couple of projects this week. Feeling a little overwhelmed! Preparing to give the message at church for Mother’s Day so I am cheating a bit today as I am reposting a blog I first wrote last year for my husband’s blog on the Bethany EMC website (May 2013). However saying Thank you can never be said too much or too often, especially to the women in our lives. I hope you enjoy it (again!).
It’s Mother’s Day week and everywhere you turn it’s all about moms. I’ve lived through enough Mother’s Days wishing to be a mom and witnessed the agony of friends and family dealing with infertility, that even when I became a mom, I still cringe. Not that I don’t think mothers work hard or deserve to be honoured and thanked. I’m all for it but perhaps we could widen the net. Honour all women who give the gift of their hearts to children and young people everywhere. Perhaps they mentor younger women who have become their spiritual daughters. Or give a hug to their child’s motherless friend. Maybe they are the beacon at the top of the hill they live on in an otherwise dark and dreary neighbourhood.
As I’ve read or more likely skipped over blogs this week about moms, I started to think about the women who have shaped my life and the many gifts they have given from their own hearts to my own growing heart. Here’s a few of those precious women:
My Mom: I’m blessed to have a Mom who has loved and encouraged all seven of her children. She hasn’t had it easy. Seven kids get into a lot of trouble. She worked hard cleaning, cooking and all the other mundane tasks that come with running a household. Even though she had to go to work full time as a teenager and never graduated high school, she instilled in all of us the importance of education. All seven of us went on to post secondary education. She gave us the gift of learning. She has loved us deeply. She has nursed us well, prayed for us and let us go forth, independent and ready to start life. She has taken us back when things didn’t go as exactly as planned and then let us go again. Better equipped as we had time to work through our stuff. Over almost 60 years of mothering she has sacrificed a lot, loved a heart full and more, and built into those lives she was given. She has given us the gift of her heart as only a mother can.
Sisters: I have a lot. Five to be exact plus a couple of sister-in-laws. Being the youngest gave plenty of opportunity to watch them grow up. I learned a lot. Some of it was what not to do! I’ve watched them become great moms and successful career women. But the greatest gift they’ve given me is that we still have fun when we get together. At my niece’s wedding, all of us – my sisters, my sister-in-law and my mom, had the most fun dancing the night away. One of my sister’s friends wanted to be an honourary sister. It’s a great gift to be able to have some fun with your sisters.
My Mother-in-Law: She raised up two great men who love their wives, children and God. Their integrity and strength add to the churches and communities they help lead. I reap the seed that she sowed and sacrificed.
Women I grew up watching: Women who were my mom’s friends. They gave us summer jobs when we needed them. They cared for families not their own. Meals came when sickness or surgery came calling. They brought birthday cakes for my twin and me, when my own mom was stuck in her hospital bed due to a broken ankle and wrist. They gave the gift the royal law: To love your neighbour as yourself. They spread it all around the neighbourhood. I witnessed it again and again as I grew up.
Teachers: I was fortunate to have many good teachers growing up. My grade two teacher was a standout. I thought she was the best thing ever. She left to start her own family but let me be her pen pal for many years, even until I was grown up. She made me feel special and that I mattered among the many students she taught. It was a gift that probably changed my life.
Other Pastor’s Wives: They have loved and shown grace when I probably didn’t deserve it so much. They have encouraged and cheered me on. They have taught me by their actions. They have been the hands and feet of Jesus himself in both good and bad times. They have let me grow on my on learning curve and extended the gift of letting me be myself. They have poured all this into a sometimes ungrateful, graceless and rebellious young woman. They never gave up on me.
Wiser women: There have been many women I have encountered as we have moved from place to place. They have supported me in prayer, in friendship and in many other ways. They have loved my children. They have imparted wisdom and grace. They have shown me that grey hair is a crown of glory. That old age is a state of the mind and heart. That you can be in your senior years but in your heart, you’re still eighteen. A priceless gift as time keeps moving swifly on.
Friends: Over the years and in many different cities, countries and provinces, I have a trail of friends who have impacted my life in such awesome ways that I can’t even imagine who I would be if I hadn’t had them in my life. Each has contributed to who I am and who I will become. They have loved, trusted me with their hearts and I in turn, trusted them with mine. They gave me the gift of friendship. I could go on and on.
I guess on this Mother’s Day I’d rather celebrate a woman’s heart God created women in his image and because of that we are special. We are made for relationship – first with our Father in heaven and then with others here on earth. Our hearts are made for love and when we give that love away, we become a little more like Him.
I hope to be back with a fresh blog at the end of the week! Prayers for the weekend would be deeply appreciated! I have more sympathy for my husband when I do this! He does this every week! Bless him!