Mother’s Day; how many of us know its origins? Most of us know that Anna Jarvis got the holiday on the calendar in the U.S. in the early 1900’s. Before that, Julia Ward Howe championed a day in honor of mothers in the late 1800’s, but did you know that the tradition of honoring mothers can be traced back as far as the ancient Greek and Roman holidays honoring the mother goddesses?
Relationships with our mothers can be difficult at times, life is just that way; we all have our own personalities and bents, and sometimes we disagree. Being a mother is hard. Anyone else feel that way? We don’t truly understand that, however, until we become a mother and cradle those beautiful, squishy bundles close to our breasts following their birth, and God willing, raise them to adulthood. Despite all I have been through during our abusive years, I am glad that I have my children, and very grateful to God Almighty for having made a way for us to leave. And, I am glad I still have a mother that I get to talk with every day, and who did the best she could to raise my brother and me.
By virtue of having lived a few decades on the earth, and being a student of human nature and our relationships, I have concluded that boy children have easier relationships with their mothers than do girl children. Nothing scientific here, just general observation and my own experience. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t trade my relationship with my mother or my daughters for anything in the world.
Mothers are the central figure in the majority of homes, and God did plan it that way. In the Jewish home the mother sets the tone and is tasked with teaching the children about their heritage, about God. “They are to make me a sanctuary, so that I may live among them.” (Exodus 25:8 The Complete Jewish Bible) The husband admires his wife and mother of his children, and entrusts her with raising the children to honor and serve God.
Throughout scripture there are many references to a godly woman, the role of women in the marriage and in the home, and Yeshua (Jesus), while He walked the earth, lifted women up to the extent that many became disciples, and were significant to the birth and development of the newly forming theology. Women were created to stand beside man, to guide and encourage. Too often we blame Chavah (Eve), the first mother, for her deception of Adamah (Adam), but that is an inaccurate depiction of God’s creation, and one the church has promoted; a Christian falsehood. It is time we get back to celebrating women and mothers for their contributions and influence in the home, and in society at large. Proverbs 31: 10 reminds us of our importance, “Who can find a capable wife? Her value is far beyond that of pearls.” (The Complete Jewish Bible)
As a mother I have made mistakes, and still do; plenty of them. I tried, in spite of our circumstances, to raise them to journey with God, and each of them is working out their journey in their own way. When I look into their adult faces I can’t help but be humbled; each has grown into an amazing, loving, compassionate, and generous human. Each of them is a humanitarian in their own right, seeking to leave the world a little bit better at the close of every day. As much as I screwed up, messed up, and missed the mark, the influence I have had in their lives, the prayers I have prayed since the day I knew they were being knit together in the secret place, is evident. By virtue of their intelligence, beauty, grace, compassion and strength, I am leaving the world a better place when it is my time to move from this world to the next.
I am also a daughter, and have made plenty of mistakes in that arena, too. God is merciful, and His mercies are renewed each day, so if we are blessed enough to still have our moms with us, we have the opportunity to draw closer to the one who carried and nurtured us from the moment of conception. Moms are our cheerleaders, the ones who lift us up when we are down, who believe in us, listen to us, and often share wise counsel, even when we don’t always care to hear it!
When God created man, He created them as one to be separated into two beings, each with characteristics representative of the Creator. Woman, it is said, is man twice refined. That being the case, we as women, embody the tender mercies of the Creator, our strength and influence seen in more subtle, yet equally powerful ways. We possess an intuitive nature, and are innately in tune with the emotions of others. In this way we are better equipped to minister healing through an embrace, a kind word, a listening ear, a strong shoulder, and we are able to impart wisdom born of experience. Of the two sexes we are more likely to be slow to anger and quick to forgive, another trait of the Creator. We look beyond the outward and speak to the spirit in our interactions and relationships with others, especially as it pertains to our children.
Each of us is a descendant of our original mother, Chavah (Eve), and will continue to pass on the legacy of motherhood as we touch and influence future generations.The physical act of carrying a child in the womb does not a mother make. A mother’s heart is in all women who nurture, pray, and care for the needs of others, whether they be adopted children, stepchildren, the children of others, or anyone in our sphere of influence who needs a tender touch. Many of us even extend our care and nurturing to fur babies!
As we honor our mothers, let us remember the countless women who have walked beside us through life encouraging and inspiring, caring, teaching and nurturing us as we became the women we are today.
Thank you, Mom, for always being in my corner, for loving me when I haven’t been lovable, for counseling me, encouraging me, forgiving me, and for having put our needs as your children ahead of your own. We do not realize the sacrifices moms make until we are faced with the reality of our own little owns. I am a woman of strength, and courage today because I was blessed to have your strength when I was weak, your courage when I was afraid. I love you. Happy Mother’s Day!
Thank you, children, for being who you are; unique, loving, strong, creative, intelligent, people who look beyond themselves to the world at large, and seek opportunities to touch the lives of others. You have brought immeasurable joy to my life, and the lives of others, and will continue to do so all the days of your lives. I am proud of you, yet humbled to think that God entrusted me with your lives, and saw you through when I could not. I pray for your safety and well being, for your success, and for the spiritual journey you walk. May your lives be filled with love to overflow your hearts, peace to quiet your spirits and know the awesomeness of God, courage to walk through the valleys in life, and strength to stand up one more time than you are knocked down. God brings beauty from ashes; we have lived it, and each of you is that beauty. I love you with all my heart…..