I stood washing dishes today and daydreamed about tomorrow - Mother's Day. I fully intended on partaking in a day just for myself; avoiding the kitchen like the plague, leaving dirty dishes for Mike to wash, locking myself in my room and binge-watching Netflix. I smiled briefly thinking about this glorious day all about me.
I was suddenly surprised when I felt a strange feeling. It wasn't guilt or disgust but something rather gentle and loving. I stopped washing the plate I was holding and stared at the wall in front of me - a little unsure of why my daydreams of alone time and sleeping in were suddenly interrupted by thoughts of waking early to make breakfast for my family and maybe spending the afternoon at a playground.
There is only One who can lovingly redirect a self-indulging plan into one that desires to have a day for me, be nothing about me...I knew this was the work of my Father. So I listened intently as he spoke directly to my heart.
Many videos are going viral on Facebook right now in preparation for tomorrow. Mom's all over the United States are claiming their day. I've clicked on a few of these videos and laughed thinking of how right they are. Yes, it would be totally awesome to sleep in, like, really sleep in without children banging on my door. Yes, I would like to spend the day at the spa and remember for a few hours that I am more than just a wife and a mother. Yes, I would love to lay around all day and watch reruns of Gilmore Girls while eating Reece's Peanut Butter cups, only emerging from my cave to indulge in the food that was prepared for me. But as I stood there with a plate in my hand and the water running, I remembered just how much I treasure being a mom, and the little ones who made me one.
It is true that in many families, 364 days out of the year are all about the children, while one day a year its supposedly all about us. But if we really take a look at that, we realize one very important thing; if our children think that our lives are all about them, that is not their fault, it's ours. If there is anything that the life of Jesus teaches us it's that he never tired of serving others. Even when he was exhausted and emotionally drained, he found something deep inside of him that allowed him to continue serving. He didn't do it because it was what he was supposed to do or obligated to do - he did it because he knew serving others, served a bigger purpose. Exhausted, emotionally drained but still serving a bigger purpose? Sound familiar?
My husband and I try very hard to teach our kids that this life is not about us. It's not about our comfort or our agenda or our wants. It is completely contrary to what this world tries to teach our kids - do what feels right to you, pursue your desires, get yours. Sometimes we have glimmering moments where our kids "get it" and we feel like Super Parents but a majority of the time we fail miserably. Which is why, as I was planning my day all about me I felt so very convicted; if on Mother's Day, a day supposedly celebrating a "job" deemed one of the most selfless any woman can have, I choose to make it all about me instead of all about the three absolutely beautiful creatures that gave me this job, what message am I sending them? "Thanks for bringing me so much joy, making my life-long dream of becoming a mother come true - now, I don't want to see you for the entire day." Yeah, sounds like a great plan.
I have learned more, grown more, and changed more since becoming a mother than any other stage in my life. It has taught me unconditional love. It has taught me how to dig deep in tough situations. It has taught me how to find joy in the little things and not sweat the rest. But above all, it has driven me closer to my Savior. There is no occupation in this entire world that can bring the highest of highs or the lowest of lows, than parenthood. And there is no one in this entire world that can bring us to our knees in prayer like our children.
I'm not saying that I hope a spa day or a binge-watching-Netflix-day aren't in my future, but this year, on Mother's Day I want my kids to know that on a day that is supposedly all about me, I want it to be all about them.
Landon Joseph, Nohemi Ruth and Levi Frank - I treasure you. Thank you for being a huge part of making me the woman I am today.