Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mothers out there and to all of you who had a mama. I’ll wager that gets you all. Except maybe for Wes in my Hollyhill books. Remember he always claimed to be from Jupiter and Jupiterians probably come from magic beans that old Mr. Jupiter throws on the ground and out pops a Jupiterian, each in various states of maturity. That’s so things won’t get boring. At least that would be how Wes would explain it to Jocie in Hollyhill. He liked coming up with crazy Jupiterian scenarios.
Back to earth, I hope you had a good mama who loved you without boundaries. Who loved you so much she made you act right and wash behind your ears and pick up your stuff and weed the garden or mow the lawn. I’m sure you can think of at least one thing you hated to do but that your mama made you do anyway and now you can see it was because she loved you and wanted you to grow up to be a responsible, strong adult able to do the things you should. That’s why we have mamas. (And Daddies too, of course, but their day is in June.)
And it’s not always that easy to be one of those mamas. In the bulletin today I used something I’d once gotten in one of those internet pass-along messages. This one was supposed to be what second graders answered to questions about why God made Moms. One of the questions was “What are Mamas made of?” The second grader answered, “Clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.” There are times that moms need that one dab of mean. At least in so far as proper discipline goes. So I hope you had a mom with the right balance of all the things that make a great mom and I hope you are managing the same balancing act if you’re a mom now. One thing sure, a mom never retires from loving her children. And then if you’re truly blessed, the grandkids come along and your love keeps growing and spreading.
You know, you might run out of energy. I do that plenty. But it seems the more you dip into your well of love, the deeper it gets. Sort of like that story in the Old Testament where the widow had no money to pay her creditors and they were going to take her children as slaves in payment of the debt. When Elisha asked her what she had, she told him all she had was one small bottle of oil. The prophet told her to collect pots and pitchers and every type of container she could find or borrow from her neighbors and go inside her house, shut the doors and windows and pour the oil from her bottle into those containers. The oil kept pouring and filled every pot she had and didn’t stop pouring out until there were no more containers to fill. Then the oil stopped pouring. When she went back to the prophet to tell him what had happened, he told her to sell the oil and pay her debts. The woman was rewarded in direct proportion to how many containers she gathered in faith. I’ve never heard a preacher use that Bible story for a Mother’s Day sermon, but I think it would be a good one. A mother’s love combined with faith and trust in the Lord’s providence can be powerful.
My sisters and I went to eat lunch with my mom who is eighty-nine. She wasn’t feeling real great today, but she went outside with us and sat in the sun while we planted all the flowers we bought her for Mother’s Day. She likes flowers and birds and crossword puzzles. She used to travel a lot. Went all over – to England and Scotland and Hawaii and Alaska and Austria, to name a few destinations. If there was group organizing a trip, she was ready to jump on board. She can’t travel now. She gets too tired. She’s winding down and knows it. But at the same time she still takes joy in the beautiful things in life and in us, her daughters, and her grandchildren and great grandchildren. I’ve written a book with the setting and a few characters based loosely on stories she’s told me about growing up in the thirties. Revell has it and will be publishing it after the Shaker books are published, probably in a couple of years. I’m hoping readers will like the story when they get a chance to read it. Before that though there will be a few more Shaker books beginning with The Believer in around three months now. And when I get my books, I’ll take Mom a copy and she’ll put it with my other books in a prominent place in her living room. One thing about most moms, they don’t mind bragging about their kids.
So if you’re a mom, go ahead and brag about your kids. It’s your day and you’ve got a right to be proud. And don’t forget to enjoy your mom if you’re lucky enough to still have her with you. If she’s gone on to be with the Lord, remember some of the best times and the everyday times and the “I know I was loved” times and savor those memories.
“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”— Jewish proverb
“Grown don’t mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown. In my heart it don’t mean a thing.” — Toni Morrison