Tomorrow is Mother’s Day.

Women of all ages will receive flowers, candy, chocolate-covered strawberries, gift certificates for a spa day, a family dinner in their honor, a special gift unique to her, or if the husband/ dad is buying the gift – the latest small appliance (just kidding guys).

Mother’s Day can be a day filled with family fun, pride, joy, drama, or sadness – all at the same time. A day in the life of motherhood.

For all the hype leading up to this holiday and others, most fail to really reflect on the role and responsibilities we mothers have. But, when I think about motherhood, what I learned from my mother, witnessed in others, and hopefully passed on to my children — a number of words come to mind.

Loving – of course, tops the list. Other than God’s there is no greater love.

Resourceful – mothers can make a costume out of a brown paper a sack, a meal from scraps of leftovers, or a magical dress from her imagination.

Persistent – mothers do not give up, give in, or waiver when it comes to the best interest of her child.

Strong – mothers are the strongest people I know. In the midst of tough times, adversity, tragedy, illness, or any of life’s curveballs. She shoulders the burden, picks up the slack, gets creative, and does what she must.

Teacher– from the time that tiny infant is placed into her arms. She has the wondrous opportunity of introducing them to the world and all things new. From teaching the basics — utensils, dressing, and manners, to throwing a ball, swimming, driving, and dating. She teaches right from wrong, life lessons, independence, self-reliance, and accountability. She does her best to prepare them for life outside the safety of “mom’s protection and help her children become the best adults they can be.

Enforcer– often it’s up to her to teach the hard lessons of accountability and consequences and no one does that better than mom.

Protector – it’s true what they say. Mess with a woman’s child and her claws come out. Like a lioness protecting her cubs, we guard our children with our lives.

Doctor, nurse & medic – all in one. She bandages scraped knees, sits with the croupy child in a steam bath all night, stops the bleeding, splints the broken arm, and stays up all night when the fever is high. And, when more serious – she is the advocate that “doesn’t play.”

Mothers are this and so much more.

I write this today in honor of all mothers and in particular, my daughter Jessica and sister, Deborah.

For the last 3 going on 4 weeks, Jessica has been at the hospital bedside of her ten-year/old daughter. I’ve never been prouder of the woman and mother she has become. She has handled this scary, trying, exhausting time with grace, strength, resilience, and all of it with a smile on her face. Mallory and Harper are lucky and blessed to call her mom.

And to my sister, Deborah. You showed us strength, love, and dignity through the most difficult task a mother hopes she never has to face – saying goodbye to a child. Lori was blessed to have you as her advocate and mother.

This tribute in no way is meant to diminish the role of the father. I believe both mothers and fathers are the foundation of raising strong, happy and independent children. Today, however, is her day. It’s her time to let the spotlight shine on her.

So, if you’re lucky enough to have your mother still around – beyond the gifts and flowers- tell her you love her. The woman who gave you life, tickled your tummy, made you feel safe, and taught you about life won’t be around forever. So, call her – just to say ”hi.” Hearing your voice never gets old and brings joy to her heart.

Strength and dignity are her clothing,

and she laughs at the time to come.

She opens her mouth with wisdom,

and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

She looks well to the ways of her household

and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children rise up and call her blessed;

    her husband also, and he praises her:

“Many women have done excellently,

    but you surpass them all.”

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,

    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Proverbs 31:25-30 English Standard Version (ESV)

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