Mother’s Day is this Sunday. A day where the sun supposedly shines brighter, the coffee is supposed to taste sweeter, and every child always acts on their best behavior, all to celebrate Motherhood.
At least, that’s often the perception of Mother’s Day I build up in my mind.
Like last year.
I dropped hints, pinned ideas on a slyly placed Pinterest board, all while shopping for our coordinating, but not too “matchy” outfits to assure that my two boys and husband would be ready to capture the perfect Mother’s Day photo.
Finally, the day arrived with my alarm beeping its familiar melody, and my eyes opened as I was greeted with a familiar voice, at an ungodly decibel. It was my son, my amazing gift from heaven.
“Mom! Where is my sock!? I can’t find it anywhere!”
Surely I misheard. Maybe if I lay here, I thought, this will translate into Belgium waffles on a bed tray with freshly squeezed orange juice.
“Mom! My sock! Where is it?!”
This time shriller than the last.
“One minute! I need to get up!” I roll out of bed and quickly head downstairs to the laundry room.
As I lifted up a gym bag in the basement, peeling off jerseys and sifting through what seemed like endless musty t-shirts, I heard a sound coming from upstairs.
I knew that sound. How could he? He wouldn’t dare. Not on Mother’s Day. How could he be upstairs playing a video game while I am down here in a pit of despair?
I thought the morning was going to be a time to honor my sacrifice as a mom, but it turned out to be quite the opposite. But isn’t that the way the Holy Spirit sometimes works in our lives?
We have a plan, a hope, an expectation for something. But what if the Holy Spirit could use a dirty, crusty, smelly sock to get my attention in the midst of my expectation?
I wonder how many times we get so focused on our plan, our hope, and our expectation that we lose sight of keeping our attention on God’s expectation.
The Holy Spirit reminded me at that moment how Jesus really is the ultimate example of selflessness. He came into a world, full of people that He designed intricately, knowing every hair on their heads, capturing every tear they cry and like a mother, Jesus was willing to do whatever it took to help those in need. He loved us so much that He left a perfect place of peace in heaven and put aside His comfort for us by paying a way bigger price.
He died the death of a sinner because He loved me that much. And it took something ridiculous to remind me of that:
Being a mother is not just a biological experience. It’s rarely just an emotional one either. Being a mother is setting aside our personal desires for the ones we love – just like Jesus did.
As mothers, may we be reminded that although many selfless acts will go unnoticed, unappreciated, and unseen, leaving our place of comfort for those we love is not only a goal to attain, it’s an opportunity to reflect God’s love for us.
I’m honored as a mother, not when my boys look dapper in their outfits, not when they shower me with gifts, notes, and other goodies. I’m honored when through every mess I clean up, every story I read, every encouragement I give, every meal I cook, every kiss on the forehead, and every mistake I make, I get to selflessly sacrifice and point my kids to be more like Jesus. Even if it means digging through the dirt to find that one-smelly-sock.
I wonder what the Holy Spirit will use in your life today to get your attention in the midst of your expectation.
-Pastor Jennifer Wilkes