It’s Mother’s Day, and I’m going to talk about appreciation. Now that I’m a mom I’ve learned that appreciation something I really crave. My kids are small and we’re still working the word “thank you” into their vocabularies, so it’s an ongoing struggle.
But kids have their own way of saying it, right? The way the rest their head on your shoulder. When they run to greet you when you walk in the room. When they eat all of their dinner. I actually don’t know about that last one, but I’m sure it’d be nice.
When David was a newborn I remember looking into his crib at his wide-not-sleeping eyes and thinking, “My mom did this for me. Because she loved me so much.”
It’s kind if overwhelming, right? To think of everything your mom has done for you.
And so, on the occasion of Mother’s Day, I want to say — Mom, if you ever wondered if I would ever appreciate all those sleepless nights, the loads of laundry, the cool hand on my forehead when I was sick, for not letting me go to that party in high school, even though I accused you of ruining my life. I do. I appreciate all of it.
To my mom, to Tom’s mom, for the way they took care of us and continue taking care of our family, thank you.
When David was learning to ride his bike last summer, I took all three kids to a nearby parking lot so he could practice. I can’t remember what exactly happened in the parking lot, but I very clearly remember the walk home. All three kids were in the double stroller, David’s bike was balanced across the top of the stroller which I was pushing/steadying with one hand and carrying Mary Virginia’s bike in the other hand. At least two of the kids were crying.
It was hot, I was tired, but somehow I remember maintaining composure.
I remember maintaining composure only because the thought crossed my mind, “Here I am doing this awesome thing for my kids and they’re being insane and I’m remaining calm and I’m not even going to get any credit for it.
Like, I know my kids benefit from my sacrifices and handling these things like an actual adult and blah, blah, blah. But what I’m talking about was that no one came up to me in that moment and said, “Whoa. You’re really taking one for the team here! This is some serious mom-ing happening! WAY TO GO!”
I try to get rid of that thought because it’s not helpful, and it takes me down a pretty dangerous path.
There are lots of problems with the woe-is-me thing, and there are a lot of things I need to hear, but the truth that helps most is, “Jesus sees me. I am not alone on a deserted island of needy toddlers. Jesus is with me, enabling me, loving me, and supplying everything I need to push this 200-lb stroller load back to my house.”
Or some variation of that. You get what I mean.
I think appreciation might be a vice of mine, because I talk to Tom about it a lot. How the kids don’t appreciate me, how he isn’t even aware of most of the things I do, and how badly I want to feel appreciated.
Tom does a great job of making me feel appreciated, but every single one of those conversations land in the same place — what I’m longing for is answered in Jesus. I will find fellowship and refreshment in the person of Jesus, the suffering servant, the King of kings who in His great power and love sacrificed Himself for me.
To the moms out there on Mother’s Day, if you’ve ever wondered if anyone sees you, appreciates you. If you’ve ever wondered if you are alone and all the mundane, exhausting things you do are wasted, be encouraged. Your love and dedication is never wasted on your kids. Not in their economy or God’s, either.
Remember that. And remind me, too.
Happy Mother’s Day.