138 Dirksen Drive, DeBary, FL US 32713
by Amy Altieri with Laura Ankrom
Mother’s Day is a special day set aside each year to celebrate mothers and motherhood. For some, it’s a joyous day. For others, it’s a day that brings sadness or hurt. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world where sin, disappointment, and loss are a reality. Sometimes that reality sets in and our attention can shift away from the original reason of celebrating such a day.
Regardless of how you face this Mother’s Day, God’s design for motherhood is intentional, purposeful, and beautiful.
This Mother’s Day will be the first without my “Grandma Goodie.” Just a few weeks ago she went to be with the Lord, and although she lived to be 85, time with her would’ve never felt long enough. She was a gem - spreading kindness, joy, and humor in all that she did. And although when surrounded by family and friends, she would often say “I’m the luckiest woman in the world,” we knew we were actually the lucky ones.
Over the past few months of soaking up precious time with her and watching my mother care for her, I had the privilege of viewing motherhood from a different lens.
Four generations, one room, and limited days remaining, time felt as if it stood still and went extremely fast at the same time. I didn’t want to blink. I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to see, let alone accept, further decline. My earthly desire was that nothing would change and what was could remain. I loved the thought of being able to go hold her hand, say hello, or share a chocolatey treat. I miss those possibilities terribly. But while my desires were not realistic, I’m forever thankful for the life lessons she shared up until her last hours. I’m glad that I can carry them forward and share them with others. After all, that is exactly what she would have encouraged!
Mothers, grandmothers, and motherly figures, as you approach this Mother’s Day, here are a few things I share with you.
1. You play a vital role.
Mothers, although, you’re not raising the Savior of the world, do not forget the significance of the role you hold. The Lord has entrusted you to raise his children, who are fearfully and wonderfully made, each with a unique purpose and role to fulfill one day. Wow! Read that again. YOU, Mom – what a position to hold. That is not just any role, and it can easily be under recognized in the busyness of being the best cheerleader, driver, chef, or the many other hats that you wear daily. As a mother, you are blessed with the opportunity to leave a godly legacy for your family. Every little thing you do to love and care for your child is a reflection of God’s love and care for us.
2. Motherhood doesn’t come with a formal job description.
However, it’s one of the most important roles that a woman can hold. It’s one that shapes generations forward. And since everything you do is on display, it’s important to be a good role model for your children and their children. What are some of the most important things you can teach your child? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These things are lasting and define character, but they are not easy to model. That’s why you need to read this job description every day! It’s found in Galatians 5:22-23.
3. Sometimes God does things his way and not our way.
Have you ever wondered how Mary felt when the angel Gabriel delivered the news to her that she was going to become pregnant and give birth to a son, Jesus? (Luke 1:26-38) As an unwed virgin, she was stepping into motherhood in a way that was very different from the “norm.” You see, in the culture of the day, having a child out of wedlock was not only shameful – it was punishable by death. The nerve-wracking reality of what her virgin pregnancy would mean likely overcame Mary when Gabriel delivered the news about her calling. Nevertheless, her reply highlights how she embraced it. “I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you’ve said happen to me.” Mary, while likely scared, trusted God. Sometimes, God does things differently than how we would, but he has a perfect purpose.
4. Be In the Word, Be Strong and Courageous.
At times, motherhood can be overwhelming. Learning to discipline your children well can seem daunting; nursing them to health through illness can be a full-time job; the list goes on and on. The good news is, God gave you your child for a reason, and he does not make mistakes. He will be with you in every situation, and he will give you strength.
A perfect example of God’s provision comes from the book of Joshua. Joshua was chosen by God to take on the overwhelming task of leading his people into the land that was promised to them 40 years earlier in the time of Moses. In Joshua 1:5 God reassures Joshua by saying, “Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.” God’s instructions to Joshua were simple –
“Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
God’s promise to Joshua is the same to you. He will not leave you or forsake you when motherhood feels like more than you can handle; when you can barely see overtop of the laundry piled on the laundry room table; when 12 dozen cupcakes need baked and iced by 7:00 tomorrow morning; when there’s not enough Pedialyte and saltine crackers to go around. Even when a child suffers from crippling anxiety, or when the diagnosis is not what you wanted to hear – he will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, and meditate on God’s Word day and night.
5. Build your mom tribe.
As you journey through motherhood, don’t go at it alone! Maybe you don’t have the relationship with your mother that you’d hoped for. Or maybe your mother is no longer with you. Find other moms who you can team up with and help each other practically, emotionally, and spiritually as you do motherhood together. Also, seek out godly women who have already been where you are and learn from their successes and mistakes. In his letter to Titus, Paul tells us:
“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”
We were created by God to be in community. Embrace that!
So, Mom, keep up the good work you are doing! We celebrate you and we love you because you care enough to want your children to grow up knowing and serving Jesus. We know you aren’t perfect and that’s ok, we love and respect you anyway!