Mother’s Day Revisited

We all have a mother. There is no getting around it. Having a mother is an intricate part of the procreating process that God dreamed into our earthly reality. While I know that science and social experimentation have tweaked the birthing process since it was first introduced, the genetics of a mother are still required. Without a mother there is no baby. The same is true of a father, but I digress.

What happens following birth though is greatly different from child to child. Some will be placed in their mother’s arms and held tightly until they leave home as grown ups. Others will never be cradled by mom and will long for her touch. Others will find warmth, nurture, and tenderness in the arms of another mother and be forever grateful for her role in their life. Many will reflect on their mother’s touch as hot or cold or as accepting or rejecting. Mothers come in all shapes and sizes as well as perspectives and practices. Hopefully we can all appreciate our mother for who she is rather than what she did for mothers are real people in our life and not just providers of our next meal.

Yesterday across the country millions of people stopped to thank mom. Flowers, cards, gifts, and expensive meals were provided as a gesture of appreciation. Christian congregations ordered their liturgy to reflect on mothers and how they are gifts of God to children and to the family. Sports teams and entertainment venues marketed Mother’s Day as a great time to come out to the ball park or come into the concert hall. Parks and backyards were full of families eating and laughing who get together only two or three times a year to catch up and refocus on the family. Mom was the MVP, MOP, GOAT, and the GDP all in one yesterday and rightfully so. Yesterday was a day for mom to rest, reflect, be revered, and rejoice at the work of her hands. It was her day of reward.

But that was yesterday.

Today is a day for mom to go back to work. You have 364 days until your next free day and every one of them will count. So let’s make the most of the next year. I am writing to every mom on behalf of every kid so read carefully and apply where appropriate.

Mom’s we need you to…

  • Help us to smile, laugh, breathe, and skip. Life takes that away from us at every chance.
  • Remind us of how much you love us, pray for us, and appreciate us. Sometimes you are the only one who does.
  • Teach us to mind our manners, eat right, and behave ourselves. We forget those things that you taught us so long ago.
  • Recount for us the story of our birth and beginnings. That will help orient us time and time again in life when we are lost or confused. Heritage is way more valuable than we sometimes think.
  • Be a person of real faith and certainty that God is at work in all things. No matter what seems to be taking place.
  • Stop worrying about us. Advise us and encourage us, but worry, anxiety, and heart burn only hurts you and us.
  • Show us how to forgive and faithfully love those who hurt us. No one forgives like a mother so teach us please.
  • Stop chasing our childhood and help us navigate adulthood. It is a jungle out here and you know the way. Show us like you showed us how to tie a shoe or wash behind our ears.
  • Take care of yourself. Not with cosmetics and clothes or fads and follies that adorn your outward appearance. Take care of the inside of you – your heart, your mind, your soul. Those are the treasures most important to your children.
  • Tell us that we are smart, we are kind, and we are important. (Thanks Aibileen!) That is all that we ever really need to know as children and you are the greatest source of it on earth.
  • Never give up on us. We are still growing up sometimes even at 44.  🙂

I will likely think of other things for your mom “to do” list, but that is a start. Don’t try and conquer all of it today or this week. Pace yourself as you get back to work. Don’t be overwhelmed by the load. You are a mom and God has made you just a little lower than a super hero (but a much better cook (probably.) You’ve got this and you getting this will make all the difference in us.

We love you. Hopefully it won’t take another year to say that. Let’s talk soon. Now get to work so we can go back to being kids.

I Know You Are, But Who Am I?

masks

Do you have it? Have you bought it yet?

“Bought what,” you ask?

Well of course I am talking about your Halloween mask! This is October and you must have already rushed out to get that special disguise for the big day at the end of the month. Who are you going to be –  Batman? Duck Dynasty? Sarah Palin? Roger Goodell? You better hurry up. Just 30 more shopping days to get your “get up” together or you will be stuck with the Halloween leftovers.

It may seem odd that we still get a kick out of dressing up and hiding who we are, even if it is for just a moment. But boy, do we love to do Halloween up right. Some of us plan all year long for one night of secret silliness.

Could it be that we are stimulated by the idea that we can get away with a certain kind of behavior for one day if we are in disguise? Maybe so. Maybe the possibility of being somebody we are not, even if it is for a short time, is too good to pass up. Then November 1st comes, and we realize that we are still the same person we were prior to taking on our temporary identity. It is back to reality and back to being the reputation that we have earned (good, bad, ugly, indifferent, unreliable, unworthy, etc.).

There is freedom in being honest and open. By being transparent we intentionally drop the game of putting on a mask and covering up the reality that is our mess of a life. Being transparent is about being honest with yourself and honest with God so that you can be honest with other people. Transparency is the fabric of solid relationships that have the potential to grow and become treasures in our life. Without transparency, relationships – all relationships – are surface, fake, and fall short of what we hoped they would be.

We are who we are. God knows it, others know it, and we know it, too. Make every effort for others to know the “real you” – warts and all – so that you aren’t living in the fear of them finding out about the “fake you.” Be transparent and see how others will follow your lead and be honest with you. It is a quality that our culture needs much more of. It is certainly a quality that is central to the Christian life: to be holy, live honorably, speak honestly, and share hospitality with all.

I have to warn you that being transparent is an extremely mature and adult way to live, so be prepared to catch people off guard. There will be people who think you are faking it or covering something up. Most of the world is just fine playing pretend and covering up, but that is not who God has called us to be. He has called us to more.

Choose today to be transparent in your relationships with others. Reject the temptation to live full time underneath an identity of false pretenses. Be the original masterpiece that God has created you to be.  Find out who you really are and own it. Don’t wear a mask and cover you all up. You are beautiful!

God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.  (Ephesians 2:10 – The Message)