God Forgive Me
Years ago I was watching an Oprah show, and I heard her share something about mothers. I can't remember the details, but I think it was a letter she had received from a viewer, and she shared it with the audience. In fact, I wasn't really "watching" the show, I was listening to the show as I was busy doing laundry and preparing dinner for my family. What she shared was the BEST description of motherhood I had ever heard, and I have yet to ever hear it since. I have searched the web, and cannot seem to find it anywhere. Maybe you all may have heard it before- or can find it. I will share what I remember of it.
The message was clear. Mothers are the everything at all times.
We are doctors. We tend to injuries and boo-boos, evaluating the seriousness, and the cure or treatment.
We are the best actors in the world. We put on that strong and happy face as we watch them climb onto the bus for their first time, when inside we are more scared than they are. We tell them all is okay when they cry over the cruelty of the other kids, inside we are broken hearted.
We are chefs- on call, our 4-star kitchen open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
We are CEO's. We plan each appointment, meeting, meal, and trip. We balance the budget, handling purchases, accounts payable, bills, operating costs, jobs and duties of all others in the home. We handle grievances, disciplinary actions, and rewards.
We are psychiatrists, knowing the right things to do and say at the right times.
We are teachers. We teach shoe tying 101, teeth brushing 101, manners, bed making, honesty, security, trust, self-worth, self-respect, how to catch fire flies, and setting caterpillars free so they can become butterflies. We teach swimming, dish-washing, laundry-folding, jump-rope, hop-scotch, and which snakes to catch (NONE!)
We have victories and losses. Our moments of self-satisfaction over triumphs are short-lived, but our moments of failure haunt us- unrelenting.
Some of us have full-fledged careers. Some make a career of our families and homes. We are the glue. We are the managers. We are the servants. Our tiaras are crooked and our halos often fall to our ankles.
There is one day set aside for us. More phone calls are made on this day than any other day of the year. Flowers are sent and breakfasts are served in bed. The coffee may be cold, the pancakes lumpy, and the toast burnt; but we are thankful. We put hours into planning dinners, birthday parties, clean clothes in the drawers, and creating a home for the ones we love. Many of those we take care of all year scramble to find a last minute gift for us on this one day to show us appreciation.
Many mothers are forgotten. Single moms for one. It is just another day. No one is there to oversee breakfast in bed. No one takes the kids shopping for that special gift. No one else is in the house to make the meals, clean up the mess, or teach the kids how to treat mom on this day. Yes, for some mothers, this is actually the hardest day of the year.
I have a message for these mothers, and the countless others that will be disappointed tomorrow. Don't be! Praise God. Praise Him for the miracle of being blessed enough to BE A MOM! Many women can never know what this is like. Many mothers would love the to have these "disappointments" and struggles. Many women would give anything to have the hardest job in the world, with the worst hours, the worst pay, but the BEST benefits. Many would give all they have to hear a child call them mommy, to get those snotty faced kisses, and to clean chocolate pudding from the ceiling. Cherish those little arms wrapped around your neck. Treasure the tear-stained faces that run to you for comfort. Praise God for the spilled milk and the privilege to mop it up.
I remember a critical moment in my life. I was living in a trailer full of holes. We had to check for snakes that may have slithered in. The oven would never get to the right temperature. We had no car, no phone, no bed. I was pregnant. The washer "spin cycle" didn't work, and there were no steps at the back door. We had no dryer, so I had to take these heavy, soaking wet clothes and put them into a basket. I then would have to literally bend over and push the basket to the front of the trailer. Once there, I had to slide the basket down the stairs and onto the ground. Now I would have to bend over and drag the basket to the back yard and start hanging them on the line. This had to be done first thing in the morning, because the clothes were SO WET they needed ALL day to dry. I had tears running down my face this one day as I hung my family's clothes. Of all things, couldn't I have a dryer, or at least a washer that worked? Then God convicted my heart. The tears became sobs as I fell to my knees and asked for forgiveness.
"Thank you, oh Lord, for a family that I can care for."