Yesterday was Mother’s Day. I realized I think about being a daughter more on Mother’s Day than the fact that I am a mother and grandmother as well. That is primarily true because my parents live with us. As they age I want to honor that relationship as long as I am blessed with their presence. So, I fixed country pork chops, etc. and used my mother’s lovely china. There were only four adults around the table and yet I chose to enjoy the special meal we shared and not focus on the children and grandchildren who were elsewhere. Mother’s Day is not just about me, even though I am a mother. Our daughters are now mothers themselves, and their husbands have mothers and grandmothers, all of whom have a claim on their time and attention. I choose how I respond to the cards, calls, gifts, etc. and I must sometimes adjust my response to honor the fact that family members are where they should be and that our “home” may no longer be their “home” . I want to support their decisions as a family and not add a burden of guilt “if only you were here!” Certainly I miss them, but if my focus is on the ones that are not here, I won’t enjoy the presence of the ones that are with me.
I remember a conversation I had with my mother right before our first child was born. First, to give some background I must say that I had an idyllic childhood. I was blessed with two Godly, loving parents who “walked the talk” and lived a consistent example before my brothers and me. Yet, they were not perfect and I wanted my mother to know that although she was a wonderful mother, I needed to warn her that I was going to do some things differently as a parent myself. I was not going to make some of the mistakes she had made. She responded with wisdom and grace, “You are right, Gayle. You won’t make the same mistakes I’ve made. You’ll make your own mistakes.” I knew immediately that she was right. None of us are perfect as daughters, much less as mothers. The following verse that one of our daughters uses at the end of her e-mail gives me hope and comfort –
“Above all, love each other deeply, for love covers over a multitude of sin.” I Peter 4:8
Above all – more important than getting my own way – LOVE each other deeply. I would venture to say that the most frequent sin that love must cover is selfishness. Just think, love covers a MULTITUDE of sin. When I feel wronged or hurt, love should be my response. As a wife, daughter, mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law, I must make sure that love is the motivation behind my thoughts and actions, not my selfish desires. Then, Our Father’s love can do the work that will bring Him glory.
(re-posted from last Mother’s Day 5-9-11)