Thursday, May 5, 2016

Celebrating the Continuum of Mothering

Mother's Day always makes me nervous.
It is the 3rd most attended Sunday at church, behind Christmas and Easter.
People come to worship to honor and celebrate their mothers, often with their mothers, and they expect the preacher to say something profound, helpful, inspiring.

And yet, I am mindful that not everyone had a mother who was a loving as mine!  Thanks Mom! There are some whose mothers were... well... not so loving, not so present, not so gracious, not so mothering.

How in the church do we acknowledge and seek to redeem that aspect of Mother's Day?

Then I read an article that reminded me of broken dreams of women who so wanted to be a mother but couldn't for a variety of reasons, or mothers whose children were torn from them by illness, violence, war, and death, or mothers whose children have turned their backs on them.

Oh, the pain we bear, 
but dare not bare.

So on this Mother's Day how do we celebrate and honor the full continuum that is mothering?

I have found this open letter to a pastor helpful:

Especially this part of that post, as a sort of prayer:
To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you
To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you
To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst
To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be
To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths
To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst.
We remember you.

These thoughts shared from

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