What if we gave our families the gift of low expectations this Mother’s Day?
For our family’s sake, as well as our own?
Don’t worry, I KNOW that mothers have worth and value, but we are not the most precious creatures on the face of the earth.
Mothers work very hard, and it’s easy for our work to go unnoticed by our family.
I know. I feel it too sometimes. But we have to remember:
The ideas that we feed are the ones that grow. If we feed our minds thoughts of gratitude, there will be peace in our souls, and our family will breathe a sigh of relief!
I wasn’t going to write about Mother’s Day, but then I read this.
It has currently been shared on facebook 539 thousand times. (That count is from years ago when I wrote this post, so imagine how many more now!) There are almost no words to describe my thoughts when I read that, and what a terrible Mother’s Day one might have with those expectations. (Yes, I know there are some “redeeming lines” at the end, but it in no way cancels out the appalling sense of entitlement throughout…I pity the husband who must make all of that happen.)
Can you imagine followers of Jesus demanding those things? We, who are supposed to die to ourselves and follow him every single day for the rest of our lives…demanding a day such as that?
As mothers, we sometimes single-handedly wreck our own Mothers Day. Sometimes every year. On a day that we could be enjoying a sweet little card, or a caring phone call, a big hug from our husband, or maybe even a small gift, instead we stand there washing the dishes thinking “It’s Mother’s Day, how could they make me wash dishes?!!”.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Because of sin? Society? Self-pity? All of the above?
I don’t think the celebration of Mother’s Day is sinful and wrong. The Bible is full of reminders to be thankful, love, serve, and cherish each other. I think Mother’s Day fits in there beautifully. But it turns ugly when our expectations get the best of us and we demand cards, gifts and gratitude out of a sense of entitlement, mixed with a heavy dose of self-pity, and start to ask the ugly question, “what about me?“.
Do you really enjoy serving people who are demanding and feel entitled? I don’t. Our families probably don’t love it either.
We can’t “fix our eyes on Jesus” while we’re looking around wondering why we aren’t being served our breakfast on a tray…in bed…on a Sunday morning.
I think breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day is a hilarious thought. Of all the insane things to think of doing on our way out the door to church! (Yes, I know. Not everyone has to be at church early!)
Some mothers think it’s not a big deal to skip church in order to honor themselves.
Don’t we pray, and sing, and talk like we want our lives to be a reflection of Christ? But then we want to “treat ourselves” by deciding that attending church on this day of the year isn’t really a big deal.
This is not who we are supposed to be!
We are not called to create our own kingdom, we are to serve in God’s Kingdom.
We can have a wonderful Mother’s Day even though we are getting a ton of people out the door on Sunday morning…to honor the One who is worthy of all of our praise.
You may wonder why this matters. Why am I making such a big deal out of all of this?
Because we are the controllers of the atmosphere in our home. Wouldn’t we like that atmosphere to be one of gratitude?
These attitudes get passed on from mother to daughter to grand-daughter. We have the ability to change our family culture from demanding to grateful. That is worth our time and energy.
So how do we change the tone of Mother’s Day? I’m sure you have your own ideas, I’ll just share a few of mine.
I try to make it a day of gratitude-for me to thank them for being such a great family! Sometimes I make our favorite food, sometimes we go out, but the tone is one of gratefulness, and it goes both ways.
Through the year, I write down words of gratitude from my family. To me, those are more meaningful, because they didn’t have to say it. It wasn’t Mother’s Day.
We have life’s moments to treasure in our hearts when we are servants of our family. But it rests with us to be the keeper of those memories.
Recently I got one of my favorite compliments ever. While reading a book to my kids about a mom I greatly admire, someone said “wow mom, she reminds me of you”.
I made cinnamon rolls the other day, and my boys comments: “Oh mom, you are the best mom ever, these are soooo good! Thank you for making these!” beats any card hands down…if I will let it.
I let it.