A Mother’s Gift

In my growing up, certain holidays–especially Christmas and Easter–were, dare I say, stressful. Mom had grown up in a family that was big on appearances and expectations.  So, preparing for the holidays felt like, well, a time to prove to my grandmother that life was perfect at our home.  Cleaning, scrubbing, cooking, shopping, wrapping, bathing.

Perfection.  Exhaustion.

Disappointment.

Surprisingly, the one holiday that didn’t feel that way was Mother’s Day. Given the way we handled other holidays, you would think that Mother’s Day would be one full of expectations.  But, it wasn’t.

Rather,  Mother’s Day was about gratitude. Rather than hold expectations about what we should do for her on Mother’s Day, Mom gave gifts to my sister and me.  A small, inexpensive but thoughtful gift–accompanied by a note:

Thank you for allowing me to be a mom.

I love you,

oxox”

She and Dad couldn’t have kids. So, we became a family by adoption.

Her gifts and notes of gratitude and love helped me see her heart. They revealed something I otherwise would have failed to see. They hinted at the pain that two little girls had extinguished. They hinted at her belief that we were God-given.

So, as I think about Mother’s Day, I remember Mom, and the lesson she taught.

Family. An answer to prayer.

Children. God-given, precious gifts–gifts God trusted me to care for.

Rejoice. Set aside expectations, preparations, and appearances, and just rejoice in the blessings.

But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

-Psalm 5:11

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Posted on May 6, 2010, in Christianity, family, God, Joy, love, parenting and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Great post. I’m a new mom myself and as a newbie i think I am very excited about the whole thing. though i keep telling myself not to expect much.

  2. Elizabeth, What a great idea your mom had! I think I might have to get my son something for Mothers’ Day. Wish I had thought of it years ago. Children are such a precious gift. My son makes me smile and laugh more than anyone else in my life, even now that he is 15! Peace, Linda

  3. this is beautiful. What a sweet tradition.

  4. Elizabeth,

    Amen and wow! What a tender and gentle way to remember and celebrate Mother’s day! Such days should be remembered for the people they represent rather than the thing which are do on such a day!

    I love this post. It soothed my heart! Happy belated Mother’s day to you as well.

    Gladwell

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