I was blessed with a stay at home Mom who loved being a mom. She had four of us, of which I am the oldest, and if she could have had more, she would have but time ran out ;-). She raised us, to the best of her ability, in the fear and admonition of the Lord. There were trials and tribulations. We rarely had excess, as American excess goes these days, but we never lacked for our needs either. She was able to take a shoestring budget and get what was needed with a special treat from time to time. She was not perfect..but then again, who is. One thing we all knew we never had to wonder about, was if we were loved. She and my Dad have always conveyed their love for us in their own way, but it was never in doubt. I am blessed to know that no matter how I have struggled to be a good son, I have always known that I had the love of my mother. In addition, she has always been very supportive and loving toward my wife and grandchildren. She loves them all very much. She always is positive and encouraging and yet tries to avoid being a busybody. And if she could, I know she would live around the corner and fight us for the right to have the kids around. Thanks Mom!
What to say about your mother-in-law. Everything nice ;-) While the joke still lingers out there about mother-in-laws being monster-in-laws, I can honestly say I got the better end of the stick. No mom is perfect and neither is any mother-in-law. Like any relationship, over the last almost twenty years we have had our ups and downs. But there is one thing I can say about my mother-in-law. She loves her daughter. Because of this, she loves me too. She and her husband accepted me into their family and have done a great job, in my opinion, of being encouraging and supportive, while not tending to our business too much. Being involved in ministry and healthcare I see plenty of lack and challenges presented through lack of support in the structure of extended family. That is not the case here. They have always been there for their daughter and for our family as a whole. She is also a terrific grandmother who dotes on her grandchildren as much as she can. If she could, I know she would have us around the corner as well. Thanks Brenda!
My wife takes such great joy in the rearing of our children. Through the agony of parental frustrations and the joyful moments of growth and new developments in skill and learning, mom's are integral and pour their heart into this process like no other. My wife is no exception. She struggles and agonizes to be patient with the challenges they present. Yet I find myself continually at peace with encouraging my boys to recognize the incredible love that their mother has for them. She worries over them continually as most moms do. From the moment of their birth which was all natural, to the present, she has always had their well-being in mind and has always been jealous for their love and affection. If I died tomorrow, I know I would not have to worry about whether my children would be cared for. I know their mother would do whatever was necessary to provide for them and raise them well. We share many things in common in regard to child-rearing and discipline. I am blessed to have this woman as my partner in married life and parenting. Thanks Babe! I love you!
To Mother's Everywhere
I can also express appreciation that my boys have great examples of motherhood in all of their Aunts. Even though they are not all mom's yet, the ones that are provide great examples and the one's that are not are very nurturing and I know they will be great mom's when the time comes.
Mother's tend to be very hard on themselves. All parents second-guess themselves but mother's have a particular connection with their children that is unique to them. Even if they are not their's biologically, all mothers are built emotionally with the same general tendencies. Worry, self-effacement or low self-esteem and self-neglect. Take care of yourselves mom's. You are no good to anyone if you are falling apart. Take care of your needs and those you need help with, tell your husband about. Believe it or not, we want to help and we cannot read minds, contrary to popular opinion ;-).
Mom's, you need to know that if you give all you have, selflessly striving to make sure your children's needs are met physically, emotionally, spiritually, you are still going to mess up and you know what? That's ok. At the end of the day, when your children are loved on, warm, fed, clean, and tucked away in bed for the night, you have done your job. Those things that they hate you for now, one day, will click and they will thank you for it. Always remember that. Do what's right now. Sow discipline and teach lessons now, for the fruit of good behavior and character development down the road. Delayed gratification is the parent's burden.
Remember Proverbs 31:10-31. If you have read it, read it again. If you have not, then read it for the first time. It's not just a brand of product. It is a strong word of encouragement for the woman who takes great pride in her character and commitment as a godly woman, wife, and mother. It is hard work, but the provision you provide is priceless and it builds up your husband and children in ways that you may not realize for years to come. Again I say, delayed gratification is the burden of every parent.
If you have grown children and you are looking back wishing you had done things differently...DON'T! You cannot change the past. However, you can start in the present doing new things. It is never too late to make a difference. Young women need the wisdom of the older women and older women are instructed by scripture to share that wisdom (Titus 2:3-5).
Be encouraged. You ARE loved! You ARE appreciated!
Husbands and FathersEven when your husband and children don't do a good job of expressing it. And we are all guilty of slacking off in that regard. Husbands and fathers must remember to encourage their wives in their motherhood and train their children to respect and love their mothers not just through action but also through word. Teach your children to build up and encourage their mothers and never tolerate disrespect. If they are being hard headed, kick their butts. They will thank you one day and your wife will appreciate it now.
Take Her Out
Husbands and Father's, below is a link to a very moving scene from the movie Mom's Night Out. Also, I have made the entire trailer available here on the blog page if you are reading this there. It is a really cute movie with some of the same actors from the movie Courageous acting alongside well known stars such as Trace Adkins, Sean Astin, and Patricia Heaton. The movie was made with intent of being entertaining and yet inspiring to mother's everywhere. I believe it would be a blessing to take your wife out to see it. Date nights are important and difficult to make happen sometimes. However, every effort must be made to spend time together, out, away from the children. So check out the trailer and then take her out to see it. Build her up, maker her feel special. Tell her how special she is and encourage her as a mother. She needs that from you.
If you are a single mom, treat yourself. Please, go out and see this movie and realize how special you are. You may not have anyone to tell you that but it is true regardless. One day your children will look back and recognize all that you did for them and they will appreciate it. Whether they ever say it or not.
Single or married, know this, No one will ever be to your children what you can be to your children!
You are needed! You are special! And you are loved!
HAPPY MOTHER"S DAY!