So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV)
Mother’s Day rolls around again…and again…and again – just another reminder of what was, what is not, and what could have been. Whether you have another child to hold in your arms or whether you don’t, because of infertility or because they are in heaven, this holiday often brings a difficult combination of smiles and tears. I would like to share a few things that I have learned through my four losses and also through the lives of my three precious children, sleeping in their beds across the hall, as I write this.
1. Very often, it seems that, whether it be Mother’s Day or some other holiday, far too much emphasis and expectation is placed on these man-invented days to celebrate “self.” We all want a day for people to recognize what we have done and who we are. We want people to remember what we have lost, and to minister to us on this difficult day, because of what it represents in our life. Why do we feel that we deserve a day of praise, recognition, or maybe, even pity? Maybe instead of expecting everyone to cater to us and to our needs on that day, we try to find someone else who is in need of encouragement and lift their spirits. Even if you are mourning the recent loss of your child, I guarantee that the benefits of ministering to others will reach you in your need as well. This will also provide some eternal and lasting significance to this special day.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV)
One thing that struck me in regards to this principle of serving others, in lieu of being served and in light of suffering and heartache… When Jesus celebrated the last supper with His disciples, He knew He would soon be suffering the punishment for the sins of the world. He knew that His time to die was near. However, instead of sitting back and expecting His followers to serve and to take care of Him and His needs, He served them. He washed their feet – even the feet of the very one who, only hours later, would betray Him. What a humbling example!
If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servantis not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. John 13:14-17
2. Concentrate on the season of life that you are currently in, not where you would like to be. If you are struggling with infertility and/or only have a heavenly child(ren), and you choose to spend your day wishing to be a mother or to hold your own child, you will surely be disappointed with the outcome, not to mention you will most certainly ruin the entire day, yet again. On the same token, if you have a child(ren) here on earth, and choose to spend the day wishing they would serve and adore you, then you will be less than elated when they completely forget to wish you a happy mother’s day, not to mention select this day to be on their worst behavior of the year. However, if you spend your day loving and being thankful for the mother God gave to you, the mother-in-law your husband shares with you, and/or the other special and influential women in your life, you will be celebrating something of value. You will be counting the blessings that you have, and living in contentment, which always brings great gain.
But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, andwe cannot take anything out of the world. 1 Timothy 6:6-7
3. Don’t force the people around you to recognize you or your situation. Allow God to bring you to the mind of others, when He feels it is most beneficial. Wouldn’t you rather receive flowers or a gift from your spouse or a friend on some random day, just because they thought of you, instead of making someone remember you on a day that it is already expected? Just because the day was named on the calendar, doesn’t mean that it’s sacred. Let God meet your needs, when you need it most.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
4. Make new memories. Just because past mother’s days have been a negative experience, doesn’t mean that they have to continue to be. Come up with some new traditions or some new ways of celebrating. Last year, I decided to ditch the expectations and spend the day doing something special that I knew the whole family would enjoy. We went to a local park and played for hours in a creek, catching crayfish, and afterwards, we had Wendy’s for supper. It was wonderful! Instead of waiting for “memories” to find me, I went out and created some.
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them. Matthew 7:12a
5. Schedule a time to talk to God before this mother’s day begins. Share your heart with your Heavenly Father. Ask Him to allow you to experience all the joy that He has intended for you. Remember, it’s not about us anyhow. It’s all about Him!
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
Original material by Holly M. Besser, ©2014. Originally posted on Mommies with Hope. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bp55p05-10-14