I love [read ironically] how our capitalism has lead to the extension--if not the outright creation--of our holidays. Have you noticed that holidays no longer exist for a day? They are seasons, often overlapping ones! And so it is that a holiday with the word 'day' in its title has now become a weeks-long season (similar to winter in the south--lol!).
And so, having not even arrived at the actual day yet, and I find myself struggling. I just reread last year's post on the subject, and I find that much of it is still true. I LOVE the life God has given me--it is rich and rewarding, and for perhaps the first time in my life, has real roots in a community. I am blessed beyond measure, pressed down and overflowing. So why is it that Mother's Day cards and commercials and ads all make me feel small and insufficient and empty? This is one of those things that requires much battle in my mind. I spend this season fighting to recall the many, many blessings in my life. Not that I want one iota of anything God doesn't ordain for me. And yet I still struggle...
Sometimes, it makes me wonder if there are things in my heart I won't admit even to myself. That is probably true (and I suspect I am not alone in that, yes?). Perhaps there are desires and longings that I am simply sitting on, waiting on. That is probably true, too. In fact, I know it is. It is--at least partly--why I wrote this.
But then I consider that in the vast majority of the non-Mother's-Day-Season year, I am fine. These pains don't surface and I live life content with the blessings God has given, not the ones He hasn't. I truly don't believe in looking to see if other people's grass is greener. My grass is just as green as God ordained, and it does me zero good to check on other people's lawns. (I don't want their fertilizer anyway; mine's plenty, I assure you!) And I can live in that contentment 93% of the year.
So I have to ask the question, why is this 'season' difficult? And I find that--at least in part--the answer is: I am being tempted. Satan uses this season, these flowers, cards, and well-wishes to stir up trouble in my soul. And you know, when I write that, I'm kinda glad to know it. What Satan means for evil, God is turning to good. Looking back, I realize through each year's trial, my 'soul muscles' have gotten stronger and stronger. I don't know that the pain is any less than it once was, but my ability to deal appropriately with it has grown. God has allowed this longing and temptation to create in me:
...a heart that strives lay it all down before Him.
...a quicker, "I will not covet" response in my mind.
...a will that knows it can choose to celebrate God's gifts. Period.
And so, this year, I'm looking at Mother's Day Season as a gift. It is a chance to once again turn my heart back to my Father and to rest in His goodness and His gifts. I may have a dozen children someday, or I may die with only spiritual ones (a blessing indeed!), but no matter what the future holds, I have all that my Father deems best for me now, and I can and have chosen to glory in it.
Tomorrow, I may struggle more. Sunday may be more difficult than today. But by His grace, my lawn is well-watered and fertilized. So I think I'll stick to tending it, and let you celebrate your own green lawn.
Doing spiritual workouts,
Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers...
For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
-Psalm 1:1-3, 6
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart...Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. -Hebrews 12:2, 3, 7a