May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day. The day of the year when restaurants are the most crowded. The day moms get breakfast in bed and homemade cards that are better than anything Hallmark can come up with. Around this time of year, I also see lots of articles about what a mom's actual salary would be if she were out in the workplace and was paid for her many duties and I hear things about mothers getting their rewards in heaven.

I understand this -- I know my own mother will have jewels on her crown in heaven for all the sacrifices she made for me that, at the time, went unappreciated. There were the "normal" mom things she did -- diapers, cooking, cleaning, laundry, driving me to my many activities. And there were times she went above and beyond -- staying up all night to finish my prom or homecoming dresses, putting up with my stubbornness, sacrificing things that she may have wanted or needed so I could have something I wanted (but probably didn't need). And mostly telling me and showing me that she loved me. Even now as an adult there isn't a time I talk to my mom when she doesn't tell me that she loves me.

So yes, sometimes motherhood is a thankless job and many of the rewards won't materialize until heaven. And yet, as a very gifted preacher once pointed out in a sermon on Psalm 23, we also get to experience some blessings here on earth ("You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.") I can promise you my cup overflows with blessings right now: seeing Lincoln and Jack Henry laugh and play together, seeing Lillie grow and mature into a beautiful young lady, seeing Mary Margaret's sweet nature and quiet contentment. The I love yous, the scribbled notes and pictures, the conversations, the hugs and kisses and smiles. These are the rewards I have each day, and there are moments throughout the day when I am overcome with gratitude that God would give me these four children.

I'm sure I don't tell them enough that along with Brandon they are the greatest blessings in my life. The love God has given me for all of my children is more than I can describe and I will love them until I take my last breath. Yes, there are days when they fight or argue and times when I am impatient and harsh and days when absolutely nothing seems to go right, but those times pale in comparison to the joy that my children are to me. It may be true that many times the rewards of motherhood come later, but the rewards and blessings I have now are more than I could ask for and far greater than I deserve.

I've sometimes thought that on Mother's Day I should be the one who gives my children cards. It is because of them that I have the privilege of being a mother.