A few months ago I shared some tips for slowing down and finding rest. I’m still working on that. Really, I am! The problem is that there are bills to pay, dishes to wash, laundry to clean, kids to take to therapy and dance lessons and church activities and playdates, laundry to fold and put away, meals to prepare, grocery shopping to do, more bills to pay, and lessons to teach!
It’s so easy to get overwhelmed and sucked into the dailiness of life, to get caught up in the stress of having too much month at the end of the money, diapers to change, bottoms to wipe, puke to clean up, floors to mop, bathtubs to scrub, and trash to take out.
We need some perspective. We need to focus on the eternal. I have been convicted of that as I watch the news reports of the Arkansas tornado that devastated communities a couple of hours north of us on my younger daughter’s birthday. Foundations are bare. Piles of debris are stacked around what used to be neighborhoods. Families are attending funerals instead of birthday parties. The communities ache. Actually, the whole state is heartbroken. I have prayed for peace and comfort, for strength to rebuild.
And then I was rocked by a mama named April. April has a bare foundation. April’s possessions are in those piles of rubble and strewn across central Arkansas. April is in a hospital room, and she has two funerals to plan. Her boys are gone, and it looks like God planned it that way.
But April has what I don’t have. I would be angry, like the person who shared April’s story. April, on the other hand, while she still has a lot to process, has unshakable faith in her God—that He is good and has a plan, even when she can’t understand it. She rejoices in her children’s freedom from the brokenness of this world and in the fact that she will see them again one day.
I need that kind of faith. I want it. I’m tired of fretting and being anxious about everything. There is something beautiful in complete surrender to the Father and His will, even when it makes no sense to us, even when it’s painful.
To get that faith, to come to complete surrender, we have to keep things in perspective. This world is not our home. God is working behind the scenes, doing things we can’t begin to imagine. And He’s preparing us for eternity.
Mamas, why don’t we give ourselves a gift this Mother’s Day. Let’s give ourselves the gift of perspective. With it, we’ll get a peace we never dreamed possible, even in the darkest of times.
There’s far more to this life than trusting in Christ. There’s also suffering for him. And the suffering is as much a gift as the trusting. From Philippians 1:27-30 MSG
With Mother’s Day approaching, I find myself struck (yet again) with the same feelings I’ve been experiencing for several years in a row now. These feelings invoke deep gratitude within me, mixed with a touch of sorrow.
I can’t help but appreciate the beautiful women I consider the true heroes of Mother’s Day— also known as the mothers who have been forced to find the strength to continue living, even though their child’s life has ended.
Be it from miscarriage or born silently, to sickness such as cancer, war, an unforeseen accident, etc.— whatever the circumstance, there are precious women all over the world that have had to endure this heartache.
Each year, we have a Mother’s Day service in our church and honor all the mothers. And each year, I take notice of the many moms in our congregation who have faced the severe grief and pain of losing a child. These women hold their head high with a smile on their face. These women continue on in their everyday lives, operating in the strength only God can provide.
You may be one such woman. If that’s so, please know that I admire you. I admire your ability to carry on. I admire the strength you display. I cannot imagine what you have been through, and in complete honesty, for that I am grateful. All I know is that it cannot be easy. You inspire me to be the best mother I can be, to appreciate the time I have with my sweet daughters and know that every day and every moment is a blessing that is not to be taken lightly. And please know that you are in my heart and prayers.
For all you moms out there— I pray that you would take the time this Mother’s Day (and everyday) to celebrate the job God has entrusted you with and enjoy the day with your children. Embrace the gift you have been given and never, ever take it for granted.
These were the hands that rocked me gently
And kept me safe from harm
They gently guided me through life
And sheltered me in the storm
They worked for years to carry the weight
Of what should have been carried by two
They didn’t question the road they went down
They just did what they had to do
They guided my steps through a narrow path
They taught me the way I should go
And left them for me to sow
I learned John 3:16 before I could read
And to treat others with kindness and care
I knew if I had something you needed
It was left up to me to share
These hands weren’t created for idle work
They were created to show me the way
Though I never knew when these hands grew
They’d wave goodbye someday
As they folded in prayer at an old kitchen chair
Streaks of tears stained a table
For the promise of God was impressed in her heart
And with Him she knew she was able
Written on May 9th, 2012 for Diania’s Mom, whom went to Heaven on May 14th. “Momma” heard the poem and was very pleased. Diania is looking forward to seeing her Mom again, someday. Praise the Lord!