This Sunday is Mother's Day, and this is your official notice, just in case you missed every commercial and advertisement reminding you to celebrate mom! For many of us, celebrating our mothers is a natural response to acknowledge the love and care we received (and continue to receive) as children, no matter how grown up we are now. Many of us are delighted to quote the familiar commandment:
Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land the Lord your God is giving you. -Exodus 20:12
And the proverb goes a bit further:
Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. Buy the truth and do not sell it -- wisdom, instruction and insight as well. The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him. May your father and mother rejoice; may she who gave you birth be joyful!
But what about those of us who have strained relationships (or no relationship) with our mothers, for any number of reasons? What are we supposed to do with this holiday? May I suggest we consider how lovingly God cares for us by mothering us in other ways? May I suggest we take another look at who God brings into our lives to share their wisdom, guidance, and friendship?
I was blessed to have my mother in my life until I was 32 years old. She passed away from complications of diabetes when she was 73. A few years before her passing, when Ken and I were dating, I met Joyce Chinnock, my future mother-in-law. After raising two sons and being the only female in a house of men, she quickly befriended me as a prospective wife for her son. As we got to know each other and our conversations deepened, I realized she would not be the stereotypical mother-in-law, and we would always enjoy each other's company, and we did until she passed away in December of 2018.
I realize that Joyce entered my life at the time I needed her most. Her wisdom, guidance, friendship, and mothering was a gift for which I will always be grateful.
Who has God brought into your life? Who has been like a mother to you? Maybe this Mother's Day is the time to give thanks to God and say thanks to them!