I love to preach on Mother's Day but I really try to stay away from Hallmark card sermons about motherhood. It seems to me that "theme worship services" should be used sparingly. I'm really not even crazy about the obligatory God-and-country services we have on either side of the Fourth. Many years ago, a headline on the front page of the Waco paper read, "Worship service to honor Grant Teaff." That always seemed just a bit off to me (and probably made Coach Teaff uncomfortable as well.)
Anyway, that's not what I wanted to write about tonight. I had a sweet day with my kids today. Mowgli came to church and stayed through the whole service because he knew that would mean a lot to me. They gave me a gift card for a massage (YES!) and we had barbecue for lunch so I wouldn't have to cook. Tonight C made pancakes to give me another break. And the kids did all the dishes--both meals--even though our dishwasher is broken and they had to hand wash everything. I love my kids!
I also really love my mom. I don't remember ever giving her a nice gift for Mother's Day when I was a kid. I remember bringing her breakfast in bed at least once--I can only imagine what she had to choke down! I liked to make her things like cards and things made of macaroni and so forth. I remember various coupon books for things like helping around the house or hugs. (She probably would have rather had coupons for not talking back or rolling my eyes but that was more than I could deliver on.) I also went through a stage where I liked to wrap up things she already owned and "surprise" her with them. And guess what? She was always surprised!
Anyway, the point is that I have a great mom. There was never one single moment in my growing up when I didn't know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was deeply and unconditionally loved. That is an incredible gift to give a child. I always believed that she loved being my mom, even when it was hard. She would listen to me talk and talk and talk and never told me (like I told Mowgli once), "My ears are too tired to listen any more." She is warm and kind and has a wonderful laugh.
As a teacher, she always cared most about the kids that struggled. Even in retirement, she gives back in some way every single week--delivering Meals on Wheels or spending the night at the homeless ministry or helping sign in kids for basketball at church. She and my dad taught me (and continue to teach me) that you should always be part of the solution because they live that way. She always taught me to see the other person's side of things (which has turned out to be a marketable skill--who knew?) and to try to remember that I'm not always right (that one was really hard!)
Mom was the first one to see that I was in love with C and the first one to understand why. She has loved my kids so well and they know it. Both have said, "Grandma's awesome" fairly recently--and they're right.
So Happy Mother's Day, Mom--I love you so much.