Try if you will to list all the positive virtues of the human experience and you might come up with things like love, compassion, gentleness, grace, support, protection, encouragement, guidance, et al. Or, you could simply sum up these virtues in one single word and title, Mother!
Each year about this time we are given an opportunity to shower our moms with love and praise for all they mean to us on a daily basis. For some it’s a time to remember those special ladies who are no longer in our presence but forever in our hearts. There is no task or duty so noble or revered as being a mother. It is only fitting that they receive a day designated just for them.
Some still believe Hallmark created the modern Mother’s Day for commercial purposes, but in fact the practice goes back a bit further than Hallmark. You can actually trace days honoring mothers all the way back to ancient Greece and Rome who held festivals dedicated to the goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but more contemporary celebrations go back to Mothering Sunday, a European tradition when it was common to return to your mother church for a special service. In 1914 the holiday made its way to the American soil and became an officially recognized holiday for all mothers.
Truth be told, whether a day, a year or a lifetime, there is no real way or designated period of time sufficient to adequately thank our mothers for all they do, all they are and the important role they play in our lives. From the very first time our newborn eyes are able to focus the first face we see, the first love we feel, the first life-giving nourishment we receive, is that of our mother, and that bond that was formed long before birth remains for most until it is severed by death, only to be rekindled as we share it and pass it on to our children and grandchildren.
The role of stay-at-home mothers has taken a beating in contemporary times. Feminism ushered in an age where motherhood and being a housewife was viewed as an inferior position compared to having a career and competing with men in the workplace. Moms were made to feel lowly or like under achievers because they didn’t take the lead from their modern counterparts to climb the ladder of success. In some ways that stigma still exists today. It’s not uncommon to hear a mom say “oh, I’m just a stay-at-home mom”, almost apologetically as if it were anything less than noble. I feel bad for every mother who is made to feel like she’s wasting her time raising kids and not adding to the family income. How dare anyone speak down to a full-time mother in any way that belittles her noble vocation or disregards the contributions to our lives that only she can make! Some have attempted to put a price on the domestic services she provides if hired out to professionals, but there is no known way to calculate the value of the lifetime love and care we receive from our mothers or the investment she makes in the success of her children. It goes far beyond a paycheck!
I am here because of a stay-at-home mom. All of us are beneficiaries of motherly investments of time, love and a ton of energy. The blessed among us can boast of more than one mother figure in our lives, whether mothers-in-law, church or spiritual moms or the moms of our best friends who adopted us whenever we were around. Proverbs 31 says that a mother’s children rise up and call her blessed and for good reason, but in fact it’s the mother’s children who are truly blessed!
As a man who still has a loving earthly mother but who lost his last grandparent, my grandmother over twenty two years ago, I implore you to take full advantage of any opportunity to let your special moms know how much they mean to you. Don’t send her a text-send them a card flowers or pick up the phone. And if you are in close proximity, make every effort to visit with them while those moments still exist.
To mothers everywhere, Thank you-you are loved and cherished, not only on a day in May but for a lifetime! God Bless you all for that which we can never repay!