Hope you all had a blessed day.
Here in our home, it was much of the same...with the exception of the homemade cards and crafts & paper flowers glittering the walls and windowsill. I never tire of that stuff. I LOVE the extra hugs and kisses and sweet little "I love you's" throughout the day. We had a cookout for dinner with my parents with lots of fun outdoor games too...cornhole, and kickball, and frisbee...joyful exhaustion.
I still cleaned up spilled milk at lunchtime (actually it was lemonade, all the stickier), still changed diapers (though Dad took the stinky ones for me) and still scraped my way through dirty dishes, laundry folding, and that Sunday morning "dance" getting everyone dressed and ready for mass.
I still wrestled playful kids into the tub at bedtime, and still did the late night "pick-up" of toys and stray flip-flops and socks, etc.
Somehow though, the day's readings at Mass were a beautiful reminder of the what the meaning of Mother's Day really is. That it all boils down to LOVE. Real love...the patient, kind, non-boastful, non-jealous, real Christ-like love. The kind of love that we recognize in our Mothers, but also the kind of love that doesn't require stretchmarks to understand. (okay...so I'm working on the "patient" part.)
As I sat in church (at first just breathing, trying to "center" myself after the previous hour of chaos and well, outright screaming at times) I couldn't help but begin to remember the years in our marriage when Mother's Day seemed only a bitter reminder of our childlessness. It was painful to watch other women receive a blessing I might never have the opportunity for...salt in an open wound of infertility.
Love though. Love never fails. And when we recognize our ability for real Christ-like love, when we seize the opportunity to give of ourselves tirelessly...well that's a beautiful thing...that's the love that extends beyond the boundaries of parenting and is in each and every one of us.
At mother's day we recognize the blessings...the bootcamp-type training in loving that having children provides.
My children teach me daily how to be the better me. When they show kindness, tie each other's shoes, when they "wait up" and "slow down" for each other, when they retrieve bandaids, help the little ones with a drink, or drop everything just to "looky." (little things with great love)
This is Christ speaking directly to me. Showing me how to forget the stuff that ties us/traps us as moms and live in the moment...if only for a moment. To LOVE greatly, attentively, fully.
Christ tells us there is "no greater love than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." While he was referring to his death on the cross, I take it also to mean (since most of us won't have the instance to die for another) that perhaps setting aside our desires, that is to say sacrificing our own desires for another (whether it's time away from something we feel we must be or want to be doing, or sharing something we hold dear, any opportunity for giving of ourselves) is loving.
"Yes, you may have the last chocolate chip cookie sweetie." (as you're about to take a bite), or "Yes, I'd love to watch you do another cartwheel." Or "Yes, laundry can wait...let's shoot some hoops."...this is love...simple...sweet...love.
Moms, grandmas, sisters, aunties, all lovely ladies...celebrate together this beautiful day as an opportunity to show the love you are capable of...because of Christ and the love he's shown for you.