Mothers come in various shapes and sizes. We have all had a mother. They are pretty essential to the continuation of life.
Mothers are humans so they are not perfect, even though they sometimes seem so to their little children. But mothers often make things seem perfect – and beautiful – just by saying they are so.
A mother does so many things. She can’t do everything, but it often looks like she does. She does what needs to be done and if no one else is available to do it, she does the thing that can’t be done. If her child – or a child in her care – or a child in need of care – needs her, she will be there.
When trouble is on the way a wise mother prays. She prays in advance. She hems her days with prayer – beginning with gratitude and ending with petition. Her children may think she can work miracles, but she knows who the miracle maker is and she entrusts all of it to Him. When time is short, she prays more. She prays while she’s driving to the ER, to the school conference, to the science fair, to court and to graduations. She tells God all about it and asks Him to light the way, one step at a time, one prayer at a time. She asks for guidance for herself, for her children, her family, her world. When times are especially hard, she tries to say “thank you” for what remains. And if she is truly wise, she teaches her children to do the same.
A mother juggles. She spins plates. She moves mountains and shows her children how. She works hard for the sake of love. She often says “yes”, but sometimes she says “no.” As she grows in wisdom, a mother learns when to say yes and when to say no. And she learns to take naps if she can. Because a rested mother is a nicer mother. A mother sacrifices. Sometimes the sacrifices are small, involving personal preferences or optional comforts. Sometimes the sacrifices are large, and mother goes without essentials so that a child will have what they need. Often the sacrifice is known only to the mother – and to God. No sacrifice is wasted. It is the secret sacrifice that means the most.
A mother builds. She builds a world for her children, for her family and for those who enter their lives. She makes a place for life to happen, hoping for love and laughter but prepared also as a refuge in sorrow and tears. She tells her children the truth of things and of God. That they are loved with an incalculable, costly love. And that her love – as great as it is – is only an echo of the greater love of God for them.