BCC Staff Note: You’re reading the third of a week-long BCC Grace & Truth blog series on mothers and Mother’s Day.
More Than a “Thank You”
A mere “Thank you” doesn’t seem adequate to cover the depth of our gratitude for mothers in God’s gracious plan for humanity. This blog is for you, mom. However, the space is inadequate to describe all the ways in which we are grateful for who you are and what you do.
Thank you for the travail of birth.
Anyone that implies pregnancy and birth are easy certainly doesn’t know what they are talking about. You made yourself second. Day after day you persevered despite being uncomfortable, vacillating from hot to cold, turning side-to-side to get a minute’s sleep, and for some, the near-constant throwing up. You laughed and sneezed occasionally in spite of the difficulties they created. Did I mention all the doctor visits? The morning sickness? The weight gain? The swollen ankles? The heartburn? The cramps? The memory loss? The pregnancy stories?
You listened to all the unsolicited advice, smiled in spite of the awkward stares, pardoned the unwise ones around you who commented on your size, and allowed other ladies to touch your belly without doing them physical harm. You made it. While all of this was happening to you, God was making a baby in you (Psalm 139:13-18). Thank you, mom.
Thank you for all the physical care you provide.
Middle of the night—mom’s there. Playground accident—mom’s there. Sore throat—mom’s there. Dirty diaper—mom’s there. Picky eater meal after meal after meal after meal after meal—mom’s there. Clothing (the purchaser, coordinator, launderer and folder) —mom’s there. Cleaning (the house generally, the kitchen daily, the children, wet beds) —mom’s there. Athletics (transportation, uniforms, head cheerleader) —mom’s there.
You are there basically every day to lovingly and selflessly care for the family. This role isn’t for the faint at heart. You kiss, rub, hold, caress, sing, explain, bounce, tickle, watch, bathe, change, wrestle, protect, doctor, discipline, and on and on. Thank you, mom.
Thank you for all the intellectual care you provide.
You mom tend to answer a few questions over time—sometimes by the second. Moms face the constant pressure of making sure their children grow in cognitive and emotional development. It begins immediately after birth and through the preschool years. You read books, ask questions, solve puzzles, sort colors, rehearse numbers, take walks, play games, and practice memory work.
There’s always something. Possibly you homeschool, and if that’s the case, you serve as the primary teacher in your child’s life. The pressure builds with the weight of everyday life in the home in addition to the math, language skills, reading, science, and all the other activities of homeschooling. If you do or don’t homeschool, the reality is, you are still busy with the education of your children. The projects, schedule, lunches, PTA, activities, art, homework, and field trips. Thank you, mom.
Thank you for all the emotional care you provide.
You wipe so many tears. You respond to whining. You referee when one child struggles with another. You help calm the fears associated with new people, new activities, and new challenges. You encourage when your child is discouraged. You ask questions to draw out the thinking of your child as they engage the world around them. You appreciate your child’s creativity. You listen to made-up stories. You play along in make-believe scenarios. You demonstrate understanding when your child struggles communicating clearly. You participate with your child in the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
Plus, you respond in kindness to the many mistakes made. You open your mouth with wisdom and use kindness in serving daily (Proverbs 31:26). Thank you, mom.
Thank you for all the spiritual care you provide.
You play a pivotal part in helping your child grow into a young man or woman who loves and serves Christ (1 Timothy 1:5; 3:14-17). You’ve prayed with and for your young one and watched as the prayers of your child begin to form and mature. You have told and continue to tell the stories of the Bible to your child. You memorize verses of Scripture, sing hymns and songs of worship, and read the Bible.
For your child, you connect God’s glory to the everyday circumstances of living life in a broken world. You listen and comfort when your child has been sinned against by someone’s words or actions. You exhort when your child chooses sin. You encourage godliness when sin seems so easy. You work endlessly to help your child with his or her attitude, honesty, respect, flexibility of spirit, humility, work ethic, and so much more. You serve people in the love of Christ alongside your child. You hold your child accountable.
You do all of this without sometimes a mere “Thank you” or any acknowledgement of all your effort, or even a pleasant response. You work diligently to serve your child with the prayer and hope that God will use your efforts to touch the heart of your child (Proverbs 22:6). Thank you, mom.
Thank you for the example you are in the process of motherhood.
None of this is done by a perfect person. You fulfill your essential role in the home and in your child’s life with many possible limitations, pressures, and distractions—like working part-time or full-time, trying to honor other relationships outside your children, volunteering in the church, seeking to serve other friends, potential personal health issues, and so many more that could be added.
You struggle in your own walk with Christ, your desires, your craving for personal space, your burdens. You do this with all your imperfections—your worry, your frustrations, your disappointments, your doubts, your anxieties, your demands upon yourself. You do this in a body that gets tired, fluctuates hormonally, often is sleep-deprived, feels worn out, and does not look as pretty to you as it did pre-childbirth. But you do it. Day after day after day – you still do it. Thank you, mom.
Solomon said it best when he wrote:
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her
Reality is…we don’t need perfect and never expected perfect. We needed you. Thank you, mom!
Join the Conversation
Your turn: What would you add? What particular thing are you grateful for in regard to your mother’s loving ministry to you?