Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. – Exodus 20:12 NIV
I have been reminiscing this week about Mother’s Day and the memories have come flooding back. I told my daughter this story and she said I should share it as we laughed together. The very first recollection of Mother’s Day was when I was five years old. It was memorable for several occasions: not only was it Mother’s Day, but my mother was in the hospital, and had just given me a new baby sister. While my grandmother was taking care of us in my mothers’ absence, I asked her if I could pick a few buttercups for my mother and the new baby to arrange in the nicest jelly glass we had. She smiled and said it was a splendid idea. It took no time at all to fill up that jelly glass. Yet, it seemed such a shame to let our entire front yard that was overflowing with buttercups go to waste. So, after setting the jelly glass aside and getting a big brown grocery bag instead, I began to work feverishly in the hot May sun to fill it up. Handful after handful. My grandmother kept an eye on me and offered me popsicles under the gumball tree. At first, I tried to lay all the buttercups in the same direction, but halfway through I gave up and decided quantity would override beauty and began to fill the bag to the top. Realizing that I could fill up another bag with all the remaining buttercups, my grandmother said with reassurance that one bag would do nicely. I taped up that special grocery bag and decorated the outside with crayon drawings and stickers. I presented it to my dad who said he would hand deliver it to the hospital to my mother and our new baby! I was so excited when she called to say it was the most beautiful bag of buttercups she had ever received and it made her so happy. Buttercups still makes me smile!
Many years later, when I became a mother, my most treasured gifts were those that were from the heart or homemade. I still have a soft place in my heart today for a brassy gold circle pin (circa 1960’s) that was missing a pearl the day I received it, about 25 years ago. Most of my Mother’s Day gifts from my young son came from the rounds he made on his bicycle to various yard sales in our neighborhood, using his allowance. My daughter preferred to give coupons for her services, like setting the table for dinner, dusting and watering plants. Time goes by so quickly, yet thankfully some memories never fade.
I equate Mother’s Day with love. Both giving and receiving it. Being doubly blessed to have wonderful relationships with both my adult children, Elizabeth and Marty and being richly blessed to have my mother, Helen.
No doubt that we all want to excel in this role of motherhood. As a mother, many times we are sought out for our wisdom, yet where do we go when we need wisdom or someone to listen to us! I know when I need to talk, God is always listening. There is much written about how to be a good Mother. The best words I know to share are these: follow the examples of the godly mothers in the Bible, which are always based on purity of heart, peace and much love.
I heard it said once that when a mother reaches Heaven, she must face God with her record of accomplishments. If she's done a good job of caring for her children, she'll get the most sought-after position in heaven, that of rocking baby angels on soft white clouds and wiping their celestial tears with the corner of her apron. Let today not end without reaching out to all mothers, to honor their role in our lives, either by phone, card, email or in person. And if she has crossed that doorway into heaven, lift up a word of praise and thanksgiving in her memory. To honor our parents is godly and God promises to notice.