Originally published Mother's Day 2014
Boy have I been busy - mostly doing mommy stuff. So busy that I haven't posted here in about 3 months. But now that it's Mother's May (did you catch that? I expect to be celebrated for the entire month), I have a confession to make. And this is one of those confessions that I feel I must offer up to make my point and then hope that you quickly forget lest you decide I am a horrible person. Deal? Ok. We have a deal. On most gift-giving occasions, I have impossibly high expectations. Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, my birthday, Christmas, my anniversary, Columbus Day (ok maybe not that one) - I have a perfect rom com script playing on the movie screen of my mind about how I will be honored. Gifts are my love language, which sometimes suprises my friends. It's not that I want or need lavish, expensive gifts. What I want is thoughtfulness. What I want is for a gift - no matter how much it costs - to scream that the giver thought of me and spent time finding or making just the right thing. It's about the thought and effort. I want my husband to be romantic, I want my kids to be loving and grateful and I want my friends to be sweet and appreciative. And for the most part, leaving a little room for human flaws, I have those things 365 days a year. But life is NOT a Hollywood blockbuster. So every special occasion I am inevitably disappointed at the amount of fawning that takes place, because nothing could possibly live up to a Hallmark commercial. And then I spend the next day or two in a funk - not disappointed in my family, but disappointed in myself that I believe I need and deserve so much. Whew! Talk about a crazy jumble of emotions. I KNOW all this is unrealistic and I try to temper my desires and prepare myself for a holiday that real, live human beings can deliver; but a piece of this girly girl always holds out hope for the fairy tale.
Are you seeing how ridiculous I am yet? I sure am. I'm feeling even more rotten having written it down. I had to stop typing and take some deep inhalations of God's grace to resist the urge to erase this and close my computer. You see, I had a conversation with Jordan (not her real name) this week. I have been aquainted with her for a few months, but knew so little about her. I knew she had a baby, but what I didn't know was that there was no husband, no family, no support system, and no education. She is working as a bartender and barely paying her bills. Her eyes welled up with tears as she told me how she struggles to buy food for them after all the other bills are paid and how much she has to pay a baby sitter. The baby's father, his family and her family all turned their backs on her when she got pregnant. And now she has a back injury that causes her constant pain (something I can relate to) but has no insurance or money to go to a doctor (something I can't relate to). And as she started to drop "f-bombs", I realized the depth of her spiritual needs as well as her physical and emotional needs. Unfortunately, our conversation was interrupted and she had to leave. After she was gone, I began to cry and beg God for forgiveness for my selfish desires and petty complaints. I was overwhelmed by the pain and hopelessness in Jordan's face and the ungratefulness in my own spirit. My prayer is for God to make me like Paul in Philippians 4:11: "Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am." I know as I sit here that I want for NOTHING! May God continue to open my eyes to the needs of others and show me how I can use my many blessings to meet those needs. And if I may ask a favor, please join me in prayer asking the Father for me to have more opportunities to minister to Jordan. Oh - and to all my mommy friends - Happy Mother's Day.