We celebrated Mother’s Day early this year. This is also my first Mother’s Day celebration! Recalling my pregnancy days, I remembered how grateful I felt towards my mother for loving me in her own ways. Regardless of how unlovable I was, she was and is still very patient towards me.
To my own mom, I thank you with all my heart for your love and understanding heart. I thank God for giving me a mom whom I will not exchange for any other. I thank you for all the things you have done, and are still doing each day, and for also those that have slipped under the radar that I failed to see as we bumbled along the mother-daughter yellow brick road (just like Dorothy and Scarecrow in Wizard of Oz) together over the past nearly 32 years. I love you for all that you are, for all that you are not, for all that you ever wanted to be, and for all that you have yet to become. I love your large round eyes framed by all those smiley creases, your laughter, your strength to overcome all trials, your uncanny ability to filter away negativity, your recipes, your will to provide for us, your generosity to give us the best you can afford, etc.
To my second-to-none mother-in-law, I thank you with all my heart for your selfless and unconditional love. I thank God for giving me a mother-in-law whom I can look up to as a great testimony for exemplifying Biblical motherhood. I will never forget how you cared for and loved us in Calgary during my last days of pregnancy and post-delivery, how you always put our needs before your own, and doing so with so much love. I thank God for filling your cup with His goodness that it overflows onto us. The only thing better than having you for a mum is Baby E having you for a grandma!
Motherhood – Called to Mother by Grace
“The things that seem to bind us the tightest and feel the most constrictive are the very things that ultimately free us.” Motherhood is an epitome of that saying. Just like Christianity, far from being binding and restrictive, the Truth actually sets you free. It’s about recognizing we have redemption in Jesus Christ that empowers us to serve others and live a free life in Christ – free from worries and fret. Freedom doesn’t mean we carry on our sinful ways in a carefree manner, just because we’re covered by grace; It means we’re free to live and love and be in communion with God.
At the same time, motherhood is intriguingly amazing – though it may peel away layers of what-you-thought-you-knew, leaving you exposed and sometimes raw, motherhood replaces those lost layers with new ones: contributing to the accolade of being an experienced mom. Mothers bear, overcome, and survive all kinds of things – from the simple, daily challenges that test our patience and will, to the unspeakable tragedies that have the power to change our lives and hearts forever. Every day, moms all over the world discover inner fortitude, ingenuity, and passion that they never knew they possessed. They discover their strengths, as well as their weaknesses.
A Mother’s Strength
The power of a mother’s strength comes from her heart, from her unabashed, unconditional, and unwavering love for her child. There is, as J.K. Rowling wrote in her Harry Potter books, a “magic” in that love. No matter what happens, a mother is always there for her child. A mother’s love is never to be questioned, neither is her strength.
The Kind of Mother I Want to Be
The day I became a mom, I have inadvertently agreed to commit to a cause greater than my own happiness. I pray that God will grant me the following desires of my heart:
- I hope to wake early, before my little one, so that I can steal some moments with Jesus and get passed the groggy stage of sleep.
- I want to prepare breakfast for J and both of us get to sit down to savour our healthy breakfast while it is still dark.
- On days I couldn’t, I hope to sip on my piping hot Milo as I ponder over the things to do for the day, visualizing them in my mind.
- I hope to make a mental note of what to teach Baby E for the day so I can remember what I want to accomplish in my teaching everyday.
- I want to hide the Word of God in my heart, at least one verse a week, to cling on to His promise and to refrain from disappointing my Lord.
- I desire The Lord to prepare my heart, mind and soul every single morning when I awake, for the good of J, Baby E and myself.
- I desire and pray that Baby E’s heart be always prepared and remain receptive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
- May I be sensitive to the needs of others before mine.
- More of Christ Jesus, less of me…
At this point, I ask myself, “Just how can I achieve the above?” The answer came crystal clear. Devotion to motherhood begins with devotion to Christ. Being devoted as a mother means being devoted to Christ, first. It means drawing from His living water constantly because He is our ultimate Source. If I could not fully submit my life to The Lord (which I’m still trying very hard to do) by living obedient to Him, I will always struggle in everything I do. Being devoted to Christ will flow into my life of being devoted as a mother.
Dedication of a Mother
A dedicated mother doesn’t mean she’s a perfect mother. She is simply, but entirely, and faithfully committed to the task of motherhood. A dedicated mother is one who has made the decision to be wholly faithful to the calling of motherhood, no matter how hard it gets. She is one who recognizes her shortcomings and prays for strength, breathes in deep, and tries again.
She is committed to her husband and children, and the tasks-at-hand to nurture her family that God has called her to do. She confronts her fears, her weaknesses without making up excuses for her failures, instead, she relies solely on The Lord for strength to overcome. A dedicated mother is not complacent and lassiez faire about the world’s influence on her children. She puts in intentional dedication to equip them to live fruitfully in this fallen world.
A dedicated mother also aims to become a better mother. There are always ways to be a better mom, whether it be making better meals, being more efficient, speaking in a more gentle tone, being more attentive, etc. the list goes on. A dedicated mother always strives for excellence and never be content with mediocrity.
Much of the attributes that make up a dedicated mother overlap: being dedicated, being faithful, being disciplined, the delight of it, and the duty of it. None of it will make a perfect mother. But the summary of them all is what makes up “mother”.
The Distracted Mother
On the contrary, a mother who is consistently distracted by her own desires or life circumstances will struggle to be focused on the commitment and dedication required for motherhood. She struggles hard to serve and love well, because her mind is constantly occupied by too many distracting thoughts and desires that draw her attention away from The Lord Jesus Christ and His Word. The distracted mother easily falls prey to the philosophy of men, to the lull of complacency.
The world can easily pull us in all the wrong directions or overload our plate with things that do not matter. It is also easy to fall into the trap that we can take shortcuts with our children and still get the same results, while we ourselves get caught up in the rat race.
The Hope We Have in Christ
We cannot tell our children to live for God unless we ourselves are living by example. The wonderful thing is, God has fully equipped us for the task He has called us to do. We just need to trust in Him. He is just and faithful to carry out the promises He gave us in His Word. So let go, and let God take the lead.
To all mothers, may we find joy in motherhood, regardless of which phase of it we are in. May our blossoming love for our children always be the guiding principle in all we do for them, for God is Love. Blessed Mother’s Day 2014!