Stupid Chapstick (when Mother’s Day stings…)

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photo-1457153797314-80e6a376a555.jpeg“She is NOT a mom” the lady behind me LOUDLY whispered.

It was Mother’s Day and the “gift” was chapstick. The year before it was a pen. Let’s be honest, a pen is not the gift that every woman longs for. But chapstick, I mean most of us could use another chapstick rolling around the bottom of our purses, right?

They passed the gift down the row, and there was one extra once it got to me at the end of the row. I wasn’t a mother yet. But oh how my heart ached to be. We were walking the difficult unchartered waters of infertility. I thought perhaps that extra chapstick was some kind of sign. A sign that God saw me. And then the lady behind me loudly blurted the above statement and crashed my hopes. (Relax I know He saw me… I’ll get there.)

My mom says I changed my first diaper at the ripe old age of three. She walked in the room and found my poor little friend laying on the floor and me changing his diaper. I’ve had the heart of a mama for as long as I can remember. I started babysitting at 11, and by the end of junior high had saved enough that I was able to buy a car with it when I turned 16! Babies were my jam, my hobby, my job, and all I ever really wanted.

When you want to be a mom, and for whatever reason it hasn’t happened yet, Mother’s Day stings. Whether it’s a flower, pen, or chapstick, however small they may all be, nobody likes to be left out. Reality is not everyone gets to choose when and how they become a mother. That doesn’t negate the sacrifice of those who are mothers or force us to not honor them. I do think it does require some sensitivity in how we do so.
Adam named Eve, the mother all living, before her womb carried a child. And God called Abram the Father of many nations long before his wife bore a child. God isn’t afraid to call us who we will become in the future.

“as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”[a]) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;”

Romans 4:17

And when we look closer, all women are mothering something. We are made to mother, we are created in the image of the original Nurturer. Here’s one interesting definition of mother – something or someone that gives rise to or exercises protecting care over something else; origin or source.

I am not saying we cannot or shouldn’t honor mothers for their care and selfless sacrifice. I have 3 month old twins, so I am no stranger to laying down my wants and desires for them. I spent 9 weeks on bedrest for their best interest, and I’d do it all over again for their highest good. The love of a mother is fierce and something to be honored, respected, and cherished!!

What I am saying is that it’s important to be sensitive to ALL the women around you on Mother’s Day. We often don’t know where she is at on her journey of motherhood. Because that lady next to you…

She may be –

*called to mother the nations, a ministry, or career.

*longing to be pregnant.

*getting over a painful miscarriage.

*grieving the loss of a child.

*longing for a husband and a family of her own.

So be sensitive in the things you say and do. You don’t have to be over the top or awkward, but just be gentle, loving, and honoring as we always should be.

Dear Mama, called to mother in a less common way, thank you. Thank you for mothering the nations. Thank you for nurturing where you are. Thank you for mothering through your creativity, giftings, and call, we need you and we appreciate you.

Dear Mama, struggling with infertility, hang in there. I have full faith that your arms will one day hold the littles you long for. God is in the business of making families despite the obstacles this world can bring. Give yourself grace while you wait. Treat yourself on the hard days and let yourself be sad. Then find hope again and keep on hoping.

Dear Grieving Mama, I am so sorry for you loss. I hate this for you. As you tend to the needs of those around you, don’t forget to tend to your tender soul. Find the small ways along the way, a bubble bath, journaling, reading in a coffee shop, but be sure to take some time for yourself to process the pain.

Dear “not yet” Mama who longs for her husband, again hang in there. He is well able to provide you with the desires of your heart. Most likely you will look back and see how He has truly made all things beautiful in his time. He is so good.

Dear Birth Mother, never have I seen a more sacrificial love that watching a mother place her baby in the arms of another mother. You are a hero. Your love amazes me. You are a mother and I am in awe of your bravery.

Psalm 84:11 says that “He withholds no good thing.” Know that His love for you is fierce. Be tender to your heart as you await your promises.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Want to grow in HOPE? Check out my devotional called “Embracing Mystery!”

Embracing Mystery

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5 Replies to “Stupid Chapstick (when Mother’s Day stings…)”

  1. Great blog Anna! We started honoring all women on Mother’s Day for these reasons, too. We knew of too many women who avoided attending church on Mother’s Day because of the pain they felt in not being a ‘mother’ in the traditional sense. Love your writing!

  2. There is another mother that grieves on days like today-the ones, who for whatever reason-have no contact with their children. I made some horrible choices when my daughter was young, I thought we worked through it but a little over 6 1/2 years ago at the age of 29 my daughter, my only child, chose to cut me out of her life. I’m not the same person I was when I made those choices, I did all I could to make amends yet once again I don’t get to hear her voice on this day. If I could go back and make better choices I would. I grieve so on this day. Thank you so much for shedding light on those of us who would love to mother but are not able to do so. I am grateful for those God has put in my path, a sort of living amends, but they will never be the same as my sweet Alma Rose! God bless you and your sweet little ones!

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