Wednesday, May 7, 2008

It's Mother's Day Season Again

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,

-J

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

(c) 2008

8 comments:

Jerry said...

Rather than just tell you that I will pray for you:

Dearest Heavenly Father,

I thank you for the beautiful woman that J. has become. I thank you for her gifts, her sensitivity, and her growth in you. I thank you that I am able to learn from her and be encouraged by her in her writing.

I pray that you will strengthen and confirm her satisfaction in you, and you alone. I pray that all of us, self included, would look beyond our many blessings and see that it is only you who satisfy. Reveal to us that Jesus Christ is our true reward and not just a path to your kingdom.

I pray that J., and each of us, will see the perfection of your providences. I ask that you will continue to guide us with your hand, and lead us in the paths of righteousness. During difficult seasons let us trust you more fully and experience your love more richly.

We thank you that while we are but wretched sinners deserving of your wrath and judgment that you have saved us through the perfect work of your Son, Jesus Christ, and we pray in His name. Amen.

Sarah said...

Praying Jerry's prayer...with tears. You are right...we all have those longings...ones we're aware of and some that seem to come out of nowhere.

This post should go in your book :)...ok, they should all go in your book :)

Lorie said...

I feel blessed to get to read your feelings and Jerry's prayer, thank you for letting us in.
Be blessed!
Lorie

joyce said...

What if someone were to tell you that Mother's Day is no big deal?? It was invented by a gal that wanted to honor her mom, but she had no children.

The radio ads have been trying to put a big guilt trip on the fathers to buy the cards and flowers and stuff for the small children without an income. And since my sons have been raised to know its no big deal, isn't it a poor reflection on their mother when they don't produce stuff? The only folks that profit on these silly holidays are the card companies and flower distributors. Do I sound bitter? I have no right to judge my mom who lends money and does the books for my adulterous brother. At what point, as Dr. Laura says, does a mom tear up her motherhood card? And is that Biblical? How to honor parents that think they own you, and that you owe them, and yet think we should not question who they choose to associate with. Affairs, divorce, and the aftermath tears at the heart of families, as you know. And until there is repentence, I have a brother I have not spoken to in years. Now I will go send an email Happy Mother's Day greeting to my sister-in-law who will always be the mother of my niece and nephew. Feel free to delete this comment. Can you tell I am still needing to pray for this weekend when all the odd relatives converge to honor James' commissioning and graduation??

joyce said...

And how about all those "mothers" here in Texas at the LDS compound who allowed their daughters to be impregnated by creepy older guys? And how about the "mothers" who try to flush or kill their children. Don't get me started. I think we get in trouble whenever we stray from honoring and worshipping and praising the only ONE who deserves our worship and praise. Only HE can help me honor the ones HE gave me. Only HE can give me the right mental attitude, the power to love, and what words to say when around them, and God will also give me the words and power to do my job as daughter as unto the LORD.

Becoming Me said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. This was a heart tendering post. Bless you.

Suzann said...

good post! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. As the beginning of Mother's Day is just beginning (it is almost 6 am for you right now), I want you to know that I am praying for you. I truly appreciate how you said it is just temptation (decorated with cards, flowers, etc). I will be praying that you will be able to use the full armor of God to fight against this. I was recently reminded that the only offensive weapon we are given is the Word of God. I will be praying that God will give you a special verse that will especially get you through the "church service" (as most church's have them). May you truly see victory in this day because the Lord is victorious! I love you so much.--Far East Lady