Thursday, May 17, 2012


I have to admit that my husband and I are both very practical and mostly countercultural. If someone tells me I must do something or observe something I often find that I want to do exactly the opposite. This is true in so many areas but one of those areas is societal holidays. Of course we dive into Christmas with the best of them and I devour as much Easter candy as possible before Easter comes and goes (I'm not sure if that counts as celebrating but to me eating candy is always cause for celebration). Most of the other holidays, however, go unnoticed. A few years ago we decided to stop doing things for Valentine's Day. That might be grounds for divorce with some couples but for us it just didn't make sense for many reasons (all of them very practical) and we both agreed that we should not feel bound to do something just because someone else decided it was the thing everyone "had" to do.
All that brings me to Mother's Day. This too has been a holiday that we have not usually done a lot for. We do celebrate my mother-in-law with a Sunday lunch that the women of the family participate in assembling. I also try to give my mom a little something (although this year I completely dropped the ball on that one). In one sense, it's another one of those, "Why do we let society determine when we tell our mother's we love them? Isn't all of this driven by card companies anyway?" Even with those thoughts running through my mind I couldn't help being a bit more reflective this year.
It most likely had to do with the fact that for the past month or so I have been struggling with the job I have been given. This frustration came on gradually but peaked one Saturday evening after an incredibly busy day and week, I found myself screaming internally, "Why do I have to mop the floors right now! All I want to do is take my shower and have a few minutes of quiet before I crash into bed but instead I'm mopping the floors!!!" That germ of discontentment grew quickly into a full fledged virus and those poisonous thoughts soon skewed my whole perspective. I began to think my husband's life was luxurious and mine was only constant pain and turmoil. Soon I had conjured up this image of him skipping off to a glorious job where he receive acclamations all day about what a wonderful job he does while I toil at home to feed and educate HIS kids, clean HIS house, buy HIS food, fix HIS get the idea.
It all seems so ridiculous as I look back now (he certianly doesn't skip off to work and rarely receives near the amount of praise for his work that he deserves).  I finally had a long talk with him and poured out all of these thoughts. He quickly pulled me back into reality (a reality of which I knew but was choosing to ignore). We are a team and together we strive to serve one another but more than that to serve God. None of us has the better end of the deal and I really believe that to be true. We really do share everything.
I'm not saying all my angst disappeared overnight but as I continued to realign my perspective to what it ought to be things have gradually gotten better. When Mother's Day rolled around I took a deep look at what I am doing. The job I have been given is sobering and so very rewarding if I would only take the time to see those rewards. They don't come in the form of money or continuous praise from my ever thankful children or husband :-) They mostly evidence themselves in little ways. In the laughs we share around the table during the evening meal. In the surprising answers they give that make me realize that they actually do listen to some of the things I teach them. In the love they have for each other, us, and God. I could go on but you get the idea. I was also reminded by my extremely faithful mother-in-law that these rewards will come later as well, when I see my kids leave the home and start families of their own.
To all you mothers out there I wish you a Happy Mother's Day (who says it HAS to be on Sunday?) Your job is huge, often the rewards are hidden but the amazing influence that we mothers hold over our children and the mood of our home is overwhelming and for those who do it well there is much reward in this life but more so in the one to come.

My lovely mother who taught me so many things. Much of who I am today is because of what she taught me through word and action. 
My beautiful mother-in-law who is a constant encouragement and example to me.
My ever supportive husband and the little people who I am trying by God's grace to invest in and impact.

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