While You Wait For Your Happy Mother’s Day

05-12-2014 10;59;46AM

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Mother’s Day 2014 has passed. Do you feel like a survivor, having endured another Mother’s Day? I remember how emotionally draining it was for me. Maybe that is why I haven’t even written about Mother’s Day but once.

My husband and I taught the newly married couples in our church for about five years and we loved it. We were childless, but at first our newly married couples were childless, too. After all, they were newly married! We had been teaching this class for a few years and one night at church (in 2002, I know because I journaled about this), I was helping in the nursery.  As usual, the topic of who the latest pregnant ladies were came up, and the three were ladies in my class.  Another worker said to me, “Boy, your class is really cranking out the babies.”  Then she declared,  “I think God is giving Greg and Joy big babies.” I remember answering, “Well, I guess He is giving us grandbabies, too.” That was probably a very tacky reply, but it seemed nicer than what I really wanted to say, which was, “If you’re trying to make me feel better, it’s not working.”

My husband didn’t take any offense in what she said or see it as negative; maybe it isn’t as personal for a man. I let her steal my joy, but I also hoped she meant well, and maybe at the time I was so concerned about not having what I wanted that I didn’t fully realize or appreciate how God was using me then. You see – there was truth in what that woman said to me. We didn’t have children, so we devoted our time and energy to that class, to those couples. We really loved them and wanted to see them grow in the Lord.

The pictures at the top of this blog post are a card and a note I received for Mother’s Day in 2004 and in 2005 from two very young moms in our Adult Bible Class. In the card, this precious lady thanked me for what we had done for them, including giving baby showers, writing notes, being a friend. She said even though I was not her mother, she looked to me as a spiritual mom. I received the note a year later from another precious lady who, along with her husband, had been saved at our church. Her words were full of compassion and maturity, and she said they had been praying for a year and a half that the Lord would give us a child. She also said I was truly like the mother she never had.

Those words are more precious to me now even though I was very touched by them the day I first received them. Looking back, God really did give us big babies. I am thankful God chose to use us in that capacity, and I trust our investment in those couples made a difference in their lives. I know it was not in vain. My encouragement to you is to realize and appreciate how God wants to use you right now – while you wait for your baby – whether you teach a class of newly married couples or 4-year old boys, help in the nursery, work a bus route, or find a teenaged girl who needs a mentor.  The Lord may use you to impact someone’s life as a spiritual mom or a mom they never had.

My wish is someday you will have a Happy Mother’s Day – from your “big babies” and from the baby you are waiting for.

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“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.” Isaiah 64:4

Another Year, Another Mother’s Day

Out of 365 days in the year, Mother’s Day was the most difficult in my experience with infertility.  A flood of memories comes rushing in when I think about it.  This special day, and the anticipation of it, was the hardest of all holidays and more emotional for me than baby showers and hospital visits to see newborns.

At most churches, mothers are appropriately acknowledged with honor and a gift of appreciation.  The first few years, I would feel so alone when all the mothers were asked to stand.  I felt out of place and thought I stuck out, like everyone knew I wasn’t a mommy.

The following may not be novel ideas, but I just wanted to share some thoughts on how we can become more proactive instead of reactive on Mother’s Day.

1) Get away!

One year we decided, “Let’s get away!”  We went out of town for the weekend and still went to church.  It was easier being away from our home church where no one knew I wanted to be a mom.  At this church, they asked the grandmothers to stand first, then the mothers, and then they even asked wives to stand who weren’t mothers.  I received a gift even though I wasn’t expecting to be included!

2) Celebrate your mom!

One year instead of focusing on it not being my day to celebrate, we again went away for the weekend but to spend it with my mom and dad.  Our mothers deserve all the recognition we can give them for their contributions and love and sacrifice.  That was a special time.

3) Serve instead of sit.

One year we could not get away for the weekend as we had in the past, but after talking with another friend who was also experiencing infertility, I decided I would try something different.  She said Mother’s Day wasn’t difficult for her because she always served in the nursery that day.  I thought I could try this.  Instead of enduring the recognition during the church service, I volunteered to help in 3-year olds and a friend of mine helped me, since both the teacher and helper were out of town.  We made pretty flowers out of tissue paper and pipe cleaners and sprayed perfume on them so the children could give them to their mothers.  It turned out to be fun, especially with a friend!

4) Think of others.

One year, I offered to take my friend’s place in the nursery so she could watch her daughter’s Mother’s Day music presentation.  Then for lunch, we invited an elderly widow to our home.  She had also never experienced the blessing of being a mother, but we wanted to show honor to her.

After the first few years of wondering how I would survive another Mother’s Day, I realized I could celebrate the day and cope with the difficulty by honoring our moms and by serving in different capacities.  I still shed some tears, but it made a difference deciding ahead of time how I would spend the day instead of reacting to the emotions this type of holiday brings forth.  And the Lord always gave grace when I needed it.

Another year, another Mother’s Day?  Make it a different kind of Mother’s Day.