Ah, finally. Mother’s Day! A chance to lay in bed and wait for my three teens to bring me breakfast. I’m hoping for handmade cards, fresh flowers and perhaps chocolate. What are your hopes and dreams this Mother’s Day?
Wait a minute! As I read Julie Taylor’s “A Day for All Who Mother,” I am reminded, “not all women who mother have children, yet their mothering helps others just as much.” So let me celebrate the mothering and mentoring of my surrogate mothers and sisters on this day, “a day to commit to be more compassionate and ferocious in your love for others.” Yes! I will be ferocious in unconditional love this month.
As I dig deeper in the soil of my hopes for Mother’s Day, I must admit I long for more than pretty and delicious gifts. Of course, I will not reject my childrens’ gifts. Many women, like me, are more comfortable in giving gifts than receiving them. One gift I long for is a daily attitude of gratitude.
This spiritual gift is given in the story by Katey Zeh, “Honoring Mothers, Honoring Women.” From this study [PDF], I give thanks for the many stories of mothers, including, sadly, stories of maternal mortality. The Bible offers prayers for the motherless and a hope to “work for a world where no child must grow up without a mother.” And healthy mothers have healthy babies.
Overall good health is truly the most awesome gift. As I tell my children all the time, “Health is wealth.” On this Mother’s Day, I am grateful for the gift of good health.
Indeed, this issue of response sparks my awareness of just how important good dental health is! Boyce Bowdon shares an incredible ministry of Neighborhood Services Organization, a United Methodist Women-supported national mission institution in “A Growing Neighborhood.” This ministry came from the reality that dental and oral health predict good overall health. While good teeth contribute to a good smile, for many dental care is not as simple as choosing a sparkly toothpaste. A lack of dental insurance can cost a family dearly. This neighborhood center brings comprehensive dental care to people in need.
As usual, this month’s response educates and inspires on cutting-edge social justice issues. I learned a lot reading about mandatory minimums in Marc Mauer’s “Mass Incarceration in the United States.” After reading this [PDF], I am committing myself to reading one of the books on restorative justice as described by Jennifer Lim in her “The Case for Restorative Justice.”
For Mother’s Day, I may ask my children for one of the books mentioned in this article. In fact, I may ask them to to hold off on the flowers and the chocolate. I may even stay in bed to read a few selections from the Reading Program.
So if anyone asks what you want for Mother’s Day, or you are deciding how to celebrate your mother, consider something small like a book from the Reading Program or something big like restorative justice. A gift that celebrates all who mother.
However you choose to celebrate the day, may you feel God smiling on you and on all of the surrogate mothers and sisters throughout our United Methodist Women network. May you feel a ferocious unconditional love and an abiding compassion for one another.