Anna Jarvis, who organized the first Mother’s Day celebration in this country and petitioned for it to become a holiday had the right idea. Mothers are worth celebrating.
This Mother’s Day has a different feel for me. This will be my first Mother’s Day without being able to celebrate with my mother in person.
The question I am pondering is, How do I honor my mother who has passed on to heaven?
First let me share with you some stories about mothers. I have shared on this blog about my own mother, but I know that your mother is incredible, too. I couldn’t feature all your mothers, so I asked a few of my friends who are going through the same season as me, who are struggling to figure out how to celebrate their first Mother’s Day without their mother.
Corky, a friend from church, said that her mother created an atmosphere of unconditional love and acceptance in her home which was felt by all who entered. She was unconventional and relaxed, and shared wise advice. Corky is grateful that her mother never gave up on her, even when she went through some difficult times.
Kim, my daughter’s mother-in-law, explained that her mother was the heart of her family. “She was the glue that held us all together,” she said. “We went through some dark times as a family, but Mom held us together with love, commitment, loyalty, strength, and compassion.”
Sharon T., another friend from church, said that she was blessed with a mother who loved the Lord. Sharon said that her mother prayed for her and others. “She was generous – always giving,” she said. Sharon said she didn’t fully appreciate her mother’s love until she was older. “I looked back and realized how dear she was to me. She was my best friend.”
Sharon V., a caregiver who had cared for my mother, expressed how thankful she was for everything her mother did for her as she raised her as a single parent. Her mother was supportive of her family, always cooking and watching the kids. Sharon said she wishes she had appreciated her more while she was alive.
My sister, Sharon B. (yes, another Sharon), admired how, even on her darkest days, our mother never pitied herself. She was always focused on making sure everyone else was doing okay. “She had the heart of a servant,” she said, “She was compassionate, always caring for others.”
My sister, Liz, expressed her gratitude for my mother teaching her how to care for the younger children in the family. (I was one of them.) She said it helped instill within her a love of young children which led her to a career in early childhood education.
Are you catching some common threads here? Love. Compassion. Self-sacrifice. Mothers are a special lot. And they are not appreciated enough.
If you are still with me, back to my original question: How do I honor my mother who has passed on to heaven? I found my answer to this in God’s Word. But first let me revise the question to simply, How do I honor my mother? The answer applies to all of us.
Found in one of the shortest books of the Bible, 3 John 4 shares a wonderful Bible truth, “ I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (ESV) Though the apostle John wrote this to a spiritual son in the faith, this is a great verse to apply to Mother’s Day.
My parents raised us in the church. On Sunday mornings, we five children would pile out of our Ford station wagon at five past the hour with damp or snarled hair, tucking in shirts and slipping on shoes. But we were always there. My parents put much effort into passing their faith on to us children.
The five of us have ended up in different denominations, but we are all faithful, committed Christians, attempting to lead lives which reflect Jesus. Knowing this gave my mother much joy and peace.
Friends, if you still have your mother with you, you have reason to celebrate! Please spend time with her on Mother’s Day. Lavish all the love you can on her while she’s still here. And if you live far away, at least call her or zoom with her.
But don’t neglect what is most important, what gives her the greatest joy. Make sure you are “walking in the truth.” Have you allowed her to pass her faith on to you? Are you living out the truth in your daily life?
If you, like me, are celebrating Mother’s Day today without your mother, you, too, can honor her by “walking in the truth.” Maybe you can’t give her flowers, make her chocolate covered strawberries, or take her to her favorite place. But you can live out your faith in your daily life in such a way that would give her joy, in such a way that honors her. And please, enjoy Mother’s Day knowing that she would be pleased.