Nurturing Joy

Hi sons!

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and we had a lovely day. Your dad was out of town for work, and although I would normally have been disappointed about that, I read an article last week that said exactly what I needed to hear — that you, my sons, are the gift and that mothering you is an honor and a privilege. It was a perfect reminder.

I want you both to know the joy you bring to my life. I hope that you are actually rolling your eyes as you read this in 2030 because you have heard me say it before on numerous occasions. I hope that I’m “that” mom who has so much love for and faith in you that you might even take it for granted, and yes, maybe even with an eye roll. If that is the case, I have been successful. It’s my job to love you like a crazy person (and boy, I sure do!) because I’m your mom.

But there are other nurturers in your life now in 2014, and there will be many others between now and when you read this, and I don’t want you to take them for granted for a moment. These are the nurturers who love selflessly and do so through acts of service for children who aren’t theirs. I’m talking about your teachers, coaches, pastors, extended family, and family friends.

Currently, for instance, you two are enamored with Ms. Barbara, your Sunday School teacher. Barbara does not have children of her own. She sees you and other children at church as her own and volunteers hours of her time for you all. Lovingly, she does it with joy in her heart. You two love Ms. Barbara so much. Telling you boys that you will see her when we are trying to put your shoes on to leave for church (of course, while you play with your toys and tell us you’d rather stay home and play), and we say, “Don’t you want to see Ms. Barbara?!”, it immediately shifts your attitude and you begin helping with your shoes and running to the garage. When you see her, you run to her for hugs, and she lights up as if you are her grandchildren and lovingly embraces you. I pray that as you read this in 2030, you recognize with gratitude her mark on your lives through her nurturing love, and from other nurturers that you will meet along the way.

With Ms. Barbara in Sunday School just before Halloween, 2013.

With Ms. Barbara in Sunday School just before Halloween, 2013.

The world needs more Ms. Barbaras. I pray with all my might that as you read this, the world is placing more value on our nurturers. Nurturers are the reason our world functions. Nurturers pick up the pieces and ask for nothing in return. We should celebrate them a heck of a lot more often than one day out of the year – a day we often see as an obligation to make a phone call so not to “disappoint” our mothers. And as a mother myself, it is also the day so many of us expect gratitude from others.

So, for me, this Mother’s Day, instead of waiting to feel appreciated for what I love to do and choose to do, I want to celebrate my own mother and all of my nurturers and their sacrificial love for me. I also want to celebrate the privilege I have of being your sole nurturer. I am humbled by the opportunity to love you recklessly just as I have been loved in the same way by my own mother (and she by her mother…). I am truly grateful, as well, for my nurturing “second mothers” and my nurturing God, the source of love itself!

Happy Mother’s Day! Hail to the world’s nurturers!

With gratitude and crazy love,
Mom

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