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Celebrating Moms

Celebrating Moms - My Friend Debbie     Recently, I read the quote that “motherhood is a journey out of selfishness” (Shirer).  Perhaps that’s why for almost 100 years America has set aside the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day—to celebrate these women who have dared to put aside selfishness for the sake of their children.  They eat last at dinner after serving everyone (sometimes even seconds) and cleaning up the spilled milk.  They often delay career goals in order to be more available to their children.  They willingly endure the sometimes lengthy pains of childbirth in order to bring another generation into the world.  They sacrifice a good night’s sleep for things like bad dreams, sickness, trips to the bathroom, glasses of water for thirsty little ones, and tossing and turning in prayer for a wayward child.

     Should they get their own day of celebration?  Absolutely.

      While others had considered a day for moms previously, it was Anna Jarvis who began a letter writing campaign to influential people suggesting that a day be set aside to honor mothers.  After her mother died in 1905, Ms. Jarvis wanted others to be encouraged to celebrate mothers more while they are still alive. 

     Others agreed with her.  At first, her small church in Grafton, West Virginia set aside a day for mothers on the second Sunday in May, the anniversary of Ms. Jarvis’s mother’s death.  The very next year in 1908, Philadelphia adopted the holiday as well. Slowly the holiday spread in popularity until Woodrow Wilson signed the bill from Congress establishing its place on our national calendar in 1914.

     Over the years, the celebration of Mother’s Day has changed a little from its original traditions.  Mothers were initially honored by visits to church, letters from their children, cards, and flowers.  Because Anna Jarvis’s mom particularly loved the white carnation, that flower in both red and white has become traditionally associated with Mother’s Day.  Now, the second Sunday in May is the most popular day to eat out at a restaurant and it’s also a high traffic day for the phone lines!

     Unfortunately, Anna Jarvis ultimately regretted ever starting the tradition of Mother’s Day because she felt it became too commercial with more and more emphasis being placed on expensive gifts rather than the building of relationship and the honoring of a mother’s sacrifice.

     So, how can we honor moms for their selflessness and love?  If you are planning to trek to a restaurant, consider celebrating the Saturday before Mother’s Day, go at an “off” time of day rather during a lunchtime rush, or simply plan to wait patiently for a table.  As an alternative, consider grilling hotdogs and hamburgers at home for an outside picnic or cook a brunch for her. 

     While flowers and a card may be nice, homemade gifts from young children and a heartfelt letter of appreciation, thanks, encouragement and recognition may be much more treasured than an expensive gift.  Consider how you can really express gratitude to a woman who gives so much to others.

     For some of you, celebrating your mother may be difficult because your relationship with her is broken.  Maybe you still carry hurts from the past.  Remember that Scripture tells us to honor our parents.  You don’t have to agree with everything she’s done or decision she’s made, but be open to praying for her on Mother’s Day.  Consider reaching out to her with a phone call or card and find at least one reason to give thanks for her.

     If you’re a mom yourself, I wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day!  Even if no one offers to pamper you on the second Sunday of May, I hope you pamper yourself.  Paper plates for dinner to save on time doing dishes, your favorite movie, a long hot bubble bath, a good book, a nap, maybe a walk by yourself to enjoy some quiet time.  Indulge in a day of rest.  We all know you certainly deserve it! 


To keep up with Heather King, visit her blog at http://heathercking.wordpress.com/

Copyright © 2008-2015 Heather King

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