I feel so honored to celebrate this amazing day alongside millions of incredible women who call themselves moms. Whether your name at home is Mama, Mother, Nanay, Inay or Mommy, today is a day that you are honored in many parts of the world. Though I woke up to the smell of a deliciously home cooked breakfast by the men in our house, I also woke up to the realization that it was God’s grace that has brought me this far.
As a child, I used to dread celebrating Mother’s Day. I hated the fact that I had no one to make a card for, or buy flowers for or find a reason to celebrate because the woman I called mom had gone to heaven long before I could say her name. I lost my mom at the tender age of 9 months. It was a tragic goodbye but little did I know, God’s beautiful hand was already at work. He replaced her with a super grandma who took it upon herself to raise me alongside my five incredibly amazing aunts, who until today, I proudly call my moms and the grandmothers to my children.
My grandma and my aunts gave me a piece of themselves — unselfishly and tenderly. I have inherited characteristics and habits from each of them that I have unknowingly passed on to my children. I laugh when I hear myself repeating their words of wisdom when my kids do silly things. I catch myself talking to them the way they would talk to me when I was their age. Some of them sacrificed long days and nights tutoring me, taking me to school, babysitting me during bowling, letting me hang out with friends and sometimes even making me a third wheel on their dates. Growing up in a house full of strong women has definitely prepared me for my own journey as a wife and a mom.
Soon after, I got the privilege of having a step mom. After my dad remarried, I struggled with the idea of calling her mom. But a little part of me was excited that I could claim this day for myself a little more. As each day passed, I grew to love her more and more and one day, calling her my mom felt right. She has taught me how to love selflessly, sacrifice relentlessly and give generously. She continues to show me every day what unconditional love looks like and how beyond blessed I am to be her daughter.
A couple of years ago, the man I married was raised by remarkable woman. My mother-in-law has taught her son how to treat his wife like a queen. From our first year of marriage to every single special occasion after that, she would remind him to take me out on dates, have a bouquet of flowers ready for me in the morning, prepare nicely written cards and provide thoughtful gifts, all of which make me feel loved and special. She has shown me how incredible it is to be spoiled by your husband and blessed by your children.
What can I say, I learned from the best.
As a side note, when I started writing this post, it was all about the joys of motherhood; but when I paused to think about all these amazing, strong and dedicated women — and all those out there who have loved and cared for someone else — I quickly realized that the term “MOM” comes in different shapes and sizes. It is a title for each woman who has fought through infertility, miscarriage or even a loss of a child. It is for those women who are single parents and struggling to juggle being both mom and dad to her child. It is for those who have been spiritual mentors and inspirational examples of what it meant to be a Titus 2:3-5 woman. It is for those who can proudly stand and smile and know that they are leaving a godly legacy for those whom they have blessed. So whether you are a mom right now in the middle of waking up in the wee hours of the morning nursing your sweet little baby, or raising an army of toddlers (like me!) or you find yourself waiting for your moment of conception or even in throes of immense pain, or some of you who may not have biological children (like some of my aunts) but have helped raise a child– this day is for all of us.
Today, God gently reminded me of these sweet truths that made me tear up a little because it showed me how incredibly loved I am because of Him.
I am enough.
I think at times, many moms insecurely tell themselves “I am not doing enough.” There are a couple baskets filled with laundry that needs to get folded, meals that need to get prepared and children pulling you in every direction; this creates feelings of being incredibly overwhelmed with juggling all your responsibilities at home and caring for all the humans that live in it. Yet God’s Word reminded me in Isaiah 43:4a “… you are precious in my eyes … and I love you.” It made me tear up knowing that my Savior loves me even when my house is disaster and my children are screaming at the top of their lungs. That I am never a failure in His eyes and that He loves me just the way I am. That I do not need a special cape to be a super mom, I am enough because He equips me daily to be a mom.
HIS grace sustains me.
Motherhood can be exhausting. Sometimes I just want to hit pause and keep it there for a really long time. Yet He constantly reminds me in 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. This season in my life won’t last very long. This verse reminds me that instead of dwelling on the things that drive me nuts, I need to savor the moments that are fleeting — that special look in their eyes that refuels me at the end of a long day, that sweet sound of their laughter while wrestling each other on the carpet, that bedtime story that marks the end of our seemingly endless day, that time we spend figuring out each of their own “love languages.” As a mom of young children, God has reminded me that it because of His grace that I get to enjoy these simple and priceless moments and appreciate what is truly important. I have only so many hours in a day to spend with these precious little people, and they (and I) won’t be here forever, so why not be an extension of His grace instead of an example of a grouch.
HE called me.
What am I? Who am I? As I settled into my day, I began to rejoice at the thought that I am a mother. It is part of who I am. To my children it is my name: Mama. God has called me as a mom to train up my children in the way they should go according to Proverbs 22:6. I realized that there couldn’t be a more significant calling than to pass on the legacy of my faith. My identity in Christ is to be poured out into the lives of my children daily. Therefore, I should embrace this incredible role without grumbling and the sooner I do this, the better I can represent Him. What an amazing and humbling job He has given to me. I am to disciple, teach and pray for my children faithfully as His witness to them. Is there any other responsibility greater or far better than that?
I hope you too feel as loved and celebrated this Mother’s Day. And no matter what season you are in, know that you are enough, loved and appreciated. As I write this, I am taking in a few moments to look around me and appreciate the awesome God who has blessed me with this precious gift, the wonderful man who has given me the privilege of being a mama to my children and my little ones who are tucked in tightly in their beds for giving me the honor of this title. May your day be blessed and your moments be a reminder of God’s incredible promises. Happy Mother’s Day!
*photo credits: Zeus Martinez (an incredibly talented friend and photographer)