Yesterday was Mother’s Day—the day moms across America look forward to for 364 days. Breakfast in bed. Someone else to clean the kitchen. Receiving cards expressing appreciation and love. Maybe even a thoughtful gift. And what mom who tirelessly and selflessly serves her family doesn’t need it? She certainly deserves it!
I used to look forward to those things. They are wonderful and so much fun. But my kids are older teens now—with their own lives–busy and full of everything you can imagine. Good stuff, too! With all of that, what I really wanted for Mother’s Day has changed. I still enjoy some of the pampering. Honestly, though, I went into the weekend wanting something else. By the time the weekend was over, however, God showed me something even more important.
About a week ago, my kids had these plans:
- Mom, my friend has her dance recital Saturday night. We’re all going and I need to let them know if I can, so they can get a ticket for me. Pleeeeease, can I go?
- Mom, I want to go see “Civil War” with my friends from lunch.
- Mom, that big project that’s due in a couple of weeks? My group is meeting this weekend to make huge progress on it, and I have to be there.
I pulled the Mom card.
I love for my kids to support their friends and their friends’ activities. I think Captain America is awesome! And I am totally pro-project. But there will always be activities and events they can attend to support their friends. Our family enjoys an occasional trip to the theater. “Civil War” will still be around when we do. Turns out, there were others students who weren’t able to participate in project prep last weekend. And not every friend was able to make it to the recital—because it was Mother’s Day weekend. And that’s OK.
My kiddos weren’t happy—but only for a little while. When one of them was frustrated with my “not this weekend,” I shared the following verse and explained that honoring our parents and grandparents is one way we honor the Lord.
Honoring our parents and grandparents is one way we honor the Lord.
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12)
What I want these days is my kids’ time–the one thing they have the least of, or are the most reluctant to give away to Mom or Dad.
Once they got over the hump of disappointment, we shared loads of laughter, caught up on other movies we missed and had a couple of special meals. We spent some time with grandparents, and I enjoyed watching my daughters work on an art project for our home. It was a precious weekend.
When my kids were younger and required so much physical energy, I needed the physical break that Mother’s Day brought. But now that my kids are older and we have a fair to moderate amount of stress in our home, I could care less about that stuff. It’s nice, don’t get me wrong. But I want the relationship more than I want a clean kitchen!
Then I read this in one of my cards:
“Thank you for being overly-helpful because I know you are just trying to make my life easier.”
This one was under a tremendous amount of stress, and I was on mom-overdrive trying to help her through it. Although I didn’t know it at the time, she had everything under control. My “overly-helpfulness” caused her additional stress. If she hadn’t worked it out already, I could have kept her from an important growing opportunity.
God reminded me of something my mom told me time and time again. When I was struggling with a life issue that had her concerned, she said, “I trust the Lord with you, because you belong to Him.” (Occasionally, she still tells me this. Being a mom never ends!)
As they stretch their wings and seek independence, I need to let them fly! Entrusting them into the Hands of the One who created them.
This is the letting go. And. It. Is. Hard!
All I really wanted for Mother’s Day was their time and happy hearts. Thankfully, I was able to enjoy just that. 🙂
But what God wanted me to experience on Mother’s Day was the confidence in Him to leave my kids in His hands and entrust them to His care.
With one daughter on the verge of getting her license–this tough lesson is coming none to soon. This lesson didn’t start this weekend. It’s one God has been drilling into my head and heart for a while. But the time to launch these kids is drawing closer than ever, and I must be ready to let them go.
My heart’s desire is for my kids to love the Lord with all their hearts, all their minds, all their souls, and all their strength–every day of their lives. This is my daily prayer for them.
But I know that they won’t feel this way every day. I didn’t. (Sometimes I still don’t.) It’s part of the growing.
But they do belong to the Lord. He is supremely trustworthy and can care for my children so much better than I can.
This year’s Mother’s Day, barely 24 hours ago, what I wanted–changed. I wanted to keep something, but God was preparing me to let it go.
Image: Pixabay (schneeknirschen, butterfly76)