Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah,
whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother.
This young woman, who was also known as Esther,
had a lovely figure and was beautiful.
Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter
when her father and mother died.
Mother's Day. What a wonderful day to remember our mothers, to thank them for their hard work and service to our families, to honor them in tribute for their many sacrifices. It is a joyous day for so many of us moms. Yet for others it is a painful day riddled with sadness and grief. For still others it is a day stained by self-pity and disappointment.
Standing at a lunch counter today at a local restaurant with my three sons beside me, I sheepishly asked the young man who was taking our order, "So have you talked with your Mama today?" He stopped and looked at me with softened eyes and said, "Actually, my mom passed away four years ago." Barely allowing me to apologize, he quickly continued, "But I called all my aunts today and wished them a Happy Mother's Day....I am also a single dad, and one of my aunts told me that she wanted to wish me a Happy Mother's Day today because I was serving double duty."
As I walked to our table, it didn't take me long to acknowledge that Mother's Day isn't all that glorious for some folks. Not all of us are mothers though we want to be. Some of us no longer have mothers walking beside us. Still for others, we have children and we have mothers and grandmothers even, but the world doesn't feel sweet because we forget that Mother's Day, though it seems to be about us, ought not be. If we are tempted to focus too much on ourselves by comparing ourselves to others or to wonder how our children might bless us today by feeling entitled to their time and attention, well, that may be a recipe for a sour heart. Maybe there were no gifts or cards. Maybe our children forgot to call. Maybe we didn't get to see them today. Maybe we wanted more honor.
Maybe we miss the point. Self-focus is always out-of-focus.
I don't know about you, but I have a sneaky suspicion that even on Mother's Day, we'd do better to look beyond ourselves. With our minds in the right frame, every day is and ought to be filled with deep gratitude. Surely we can learn to count our blessings and that which fills our lives so beautifully instead of focusing on what we might be missing. Especially on Mother's Day, why don't we try to brighten someone else's world just a bit, like the young single dad did by telephoning his aunts?
Can we ask the Lord to fill us with His Spirit and to direct us to those who ache on such a day as Mother's Day? Can we send a note to our dear friend who just lost her mother or can we encourage the one who cannot bear children by inviting her into our home for Family Fun Night? Is there a flowering plant we can take to a weary single mom or a dad who is doing double duty? Can we give a few mandarine oranges or a box of chocolates to the widow down the street? And, dare I say, on Mother's Day can we take a few groceries to our adult married children and hug their necks a little bit longer, with nothing expected in return?
Mother's Day offers me the special chance to make sure that my heart's attitude is in check. It gives me grounds to thank the Lord for the many blessings He has so generously bestowed on me and my family. And this day reminds me just how much I need God to guide me as a mom, as a daughter, as a friend, as a sister, and as a stranger. It can also be a reminder to thank the Lord for the minutes I am blessed to spend with each of my children and my own parents not only on this calendar day but on any other day of the year.
"He must increase, but I must decrease."
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