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Monday, 08 May 2017 15:32

Simple Gestures for Honoring Mom on Mother's Day

Written by  Gayla Grace
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As a young mom, I thought Mother’s Day should be all about me.  Surely I deserved recognition for my never-ending sacrifices as a mom and stepmom to five children, right?  However, after driving away from my parents’ home recently with tears spilling down my cheeks, I sensed God asking me to honor my mom with the time we have left. Unable to deny that Alzheimer’s is consuming Mom’s every fiber, Mother’s Day carries an overwhelming sadness, as she no longer knows me as her daughter.

 

I’d never considered how to truly honor my mom.

 

What does that look like? Why is it important?  

 

Honoring our moms starts with a thankful heart for the role they’ve played in our lives.  I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the influence of my mother. She’ll be the first to tell you she’s not a perfect mom but she’s shaped my life like no one else.

 

Perhaps you struggle with a thankful heart toward your mother. Many adults have leftover anger and disappointment from a childhood wracked by hurt that makes it almost impossible to consider honoring their moms. If this is the case for you, I challenge you to examine your heart and consider making amends, if possible. Honoring your mom doesn’t mean you agree with past behavior, it simply acknowledges her place in your life. It might require professional help to deal with your feelings and set appropriate boundaries for your current relationship, but I encourage you to put the past in the past and move forward in broken relationships. I’m not saying it will be easy, but holding onto unforgiveness keeps us in bondage and poisons other relationships.

 

We experience many other blessings, in addition to enjoying a long life, when we choose to honor our parents. We allow family legacies to be passed down as we make time for our children to get to know their grandparents.  We bask in knowing we’ve done the right thing, preventing regrets later of what can’t be changed. We reap the rewards of deeper relationships and meaningful memories we can savor long after they’re gone. And we more likely receive the same respect and honor in return as our children watch our actions.

 

Honoring our moms on Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be extravagant or complicated. A simple gesture is often more meaningful than a formal undertaking. Here are three suggestions to consider.

 

Express gratitude

As someone who’d rather write words than speak them, I don’t naturally express appreciation. I’m making an effort to show gratitude toward my mom for the investment she’s made in my life. I’ll never forget the day when I asked Mom’s opinion on a career decision I needed to make. As she relayed her thoughts, with tears in her eyes, she said, “I wish I’d done more with my life.” I was surprised at her words as I heard her regrets of only small advances in the career world, not recognizing the invaluable occupation she’d chosen as a devoted mom. Realizing her need for affirmation of sacrifices the world considers insignificant, I began to give examples of how her work at home as a mom, wife and homemaker had influenced my life.

 

Gratitude can also be expressed through a written tribute, detailing childhood memories and expressing appreciation for the positive qualities and values your mom has passed down. A tribute depicts specific ways she’s influenced you and the value of her role in your life. It doesn’t have to be long and complicated to be meaningful. My youngest daughter gave me a simple hand-painted message on a canvas board many years ago on Mother’s Day. It says, “For everything I am and hope to become I owe it to you, Mom. Love, Jodi.” Her heart-felt message means far more to me than material gifts I’ve received.

 

Give time sacrificially

My youngest sister lives several states away from our mom, stays busy with a family and a demanding career, but makes time to call, send notes, and plan extended visits to my parents’ house whenever possible. Her priorities show honor and allow special time with Mom to reminisce about years past, make memories with grandchildren, and help Mom adjust to her new stage of life, while conveying the significant position Mom holds in her life.

 

If you live a distance away your mom, it’s hard to commit to frequent visits, but extended stays provide valuable time together. Giving of our time sacrificially isn’t easy and takes intentional effort.

 

Walk in humility with her

Parenting roles reverse as our moms age, forcing us to assume responsibilities outside the norm. Helping with laundry, going to the store, taking over bill-paying and financial responsibilities, driving her to the doctor, or even becoming a regular caregiver demonstrate ways to walk in humility through the aging process.

 

We also walk in humility when we consider our mom’s opinions on life issues, acknowledging the wisdom they’ve acquired with their gray hair. I Peter 5:5 tells us, “…Be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” Decades of life often bring nuggets of wisdom.

 

How you choose to honor your mom will look different than how I honor mine. I have a friend who is losing her mom to cancer and, as an only child, would like to dictate aggressive treatment to prolong her mom’s life. Instead, she’s giving her mom the dignity to deny chemotherapy if she chooses, recognizing her mom’s choice means she will have little time left with her on this earth.

 

I recently watched another friend show honor by extending kindness toward her mom’s new husband, although she doesn’t particularly like him. My friend lost her father a few years prior and never expected her mom would marry again so quickly. Accepting someone new into the family has been harder than she expected, but she wants to respect her mom’s decision and has committed to make every effort possible to keep peace in the family.

 

Mother’s Day is the perfect time to show honor and love to your mom, without attaching expectations to her response. If you’re a mom yourself, it’s natural to savor the appreciation you receive and deserve on this special day. As I watch my mom’s last season quickly drawing to a close, I want to show honor and gratitude as often as possible, creating special moments in the process, without regrets in the end.

 

Gayla Grace writes, speaks, and coaches on family and stepfamily issues. She is a wife, mom to three and stepmom to two, ages 16-31. She holds a master’s degree in Psychology and Counseling and founded stepparentingwithgrace.com to offer coaching, resources and other support to stepfamilies. She co-authored Quiet Moments for the Stepmom Soul and resides in Shreveport, LA.

 

 

Last modified on Monday, 08 May 2017 15:36
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